Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A paradox of contemporary sociology is that the discipline has largely abandoned the empirical study of journalistic organizations and news institutions at the moment when the media has gained visibility in political, economic, and cultural spheres; when other academic fields have embraced the study of media and society; and when leading sociological theorists-including Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, Manuel Castells, and Niklas Luhmann-have broken from the disciplinary cannon to argue that the media are key actors in modern life.1 Herbert Gans called attention to this “famine in media research” in a 1972 review article in the American Journal of Sociology.2 Yet-with the notable exceptions of a few landmark studies conducted in the 1970s - in the last thirty years American sociologists have largely stayed out of newsrooms and ignored the conditions of journalistic production.3 Although there are a few emerging studies of digital technologies in newsrooms, and of labor issues for journalists, the late media scholar Timothy Cook notes that “it is as if a virtual moratorium were placed on further studies” of newsrooms.4 The sociology of news organizations is all but dead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Democracy and the Pursuit of Equality
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317261445
ISBN (Print)9781594513534
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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