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The Handbook of Political Economy of Communications by Janet Wasko, Graham Murdock, Helena Sousa

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22

Media and Communication Studies Going Global

Jan Ekecrantz

Introduction

How is media research to be conducted in a globalized world? Are new paradigms and methodologies needed when the nation state is no longer an unproblematic measure of everything, or a presupposed conceptual frame, in a world where global interdependencies and transborder exchanges are supposedly more significant than structures and processes contained within national borders?

The geopolitical and geocultural consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union in conjunction with the information and communications technology revolution have changed the terms of everything “international” and caused academic concerns about “space” in general. Not only media systems, but also political and economic systems generally, are in flux in the new millennium. There is an often-noted new instability in the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the crackdown in Beijing in 1989 and, not least, after 9/11 in 2001.

Media studies shares with sociology and political science difficulties in coming to grips with the realities of a transnationalized and transforming world. One explanation is a certain, lingering “methodological nationalism” (Beck 2002), implying that the nation state still provides the presupposed and mostly implicit conceptual frame – also when the focus is on phenomena beyond the nation state. Considerable thinking is called for and much is also going on, not least in the field of globalization studies, with ...

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