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Centre for International Communications & Society (CICS)

The Department of Sociology at City University London has a distinguished record in Media Sociology and Communications. The pioneering work of Jeremy Tunstall (Emeritus) during the 1970s ensured the Department international prominence in this field from the very beginning.

Seminal studies such as The Westminster Lobby Correspondents (1970), Journalists at Work (1971) and The Media are American (1977) set an enviably high standard of research that continues with Professor Tunstall's latest work, The Media Were American (2007).

Today the CICS promotes and advances national and comparative research and scholarship in the following areas: sociology and media; media policy and regulation; media and internationalisation. We are at the forefront of research innovation using multi-disciplinary approaches, ranging from political economy of communications, to media globalisation and media sociology.

The Centre's Principles

Several general principles inform, but do not restrict, the work of Centre members. These include a commitment to:

  • Extend beyond media-centric orientations (i.e. reach beyond approaches which conduct, and remain with, immanent analyses of media), though interest in representation and organisation of media remains core
  • Situate media/communications in wide social relations
  • Locate media in a context of rapid and accelerating change
  • Conceive media broadly, to cover TV, radio, film, press, but also the Internet, digital media and social networks
  • Combine theoretical sophistication with empirically informed analysis
  • Emphasise the increased prominence of 'culture' in society, expressed in the growth of media/communications, but also in the explosive development of different cultures (from youth groups to hybrid music)
  • Situate democratisation and politics in the above (to emphasise the centrality to new social movements, political groups, gender and activities, of mediation and 'symbolic' campaigns and presentation, as well as to acknowledge the force of this major feature of social change in individual as well as collective identities).