Nick Couldry

Nick Couldry
The London School of Economics and Political Science | LSE · Department of Media and Communications

About

188
Publications
48,503
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
10,689
Citations

Publications

Publications (188)
Article
La datificación no es solo la creación de información, la cual, en cierto sentido, la humanidad ha venido haciendo desde la aparición de los símbolos y la escritura. Más bien, la datificación es un fenómeno contemporáneo que se refiere a la cuantificación de la vida humana a través de información digital, muy a menudo con fines económicos. Este pro...
Article
Full-text available
This article traces the emergence of a ‘decolonial turn’ in critical technology and data studies that analyzes the transformation of society through data extraction for profit. First, we offer a genealogy of concepts over the last decade from different fields related to this decolonial turn, including work that explores the connection between racis...
Article
The platform economy challenges existing economic systems, social interactions and participation as well as the very foundation of democracy. As data is replacing labor as the central economic good, economy, society, class structures and democracy might change fundamentally. Or we might experience old wine on new bottles. Karl Marx famously said th...
Article
Today’s global media infrastructures involve not just media, but the continual extraction and circulation of data across digital platforms, with health data being an important data domain. The extraction and use of health data raises particular human rights issues. This paper reviews, fist, the basic risks to individuals from unconstrained collecti...
Article
Big Tech companies have recently led and financed projects that claim to use datafication for the “social good”. This article explores what kind of social good it is that this sort of datafication engenders. Through the analysis of corporate public communications and patent applications, it finds that these initiatives hinge on the reconfiguration...
Article
Full-text available
This article starts out from the need for critical work on processes of datafication and their consequences for the constitution of social knowledge and the social world. Current social science work on datafication has been greatly shaped by the theoretical approach of Bruno Latour, as reflected in the work of Actor Network Theory and Science and T...
Article
Full-text available
Digital platforms and learning analytics are becoming increasingly widespread in the education sector: commercial corporations argue their benefits for teaching and learning, thereby endorsing the continuous automated collection and processing of student data for measurement, assessment, management, and identity formation. Largely missing in these...
Article
Datafication is not just the making of information, which, in one sense, human beings have been doing since the creation of symbols and writing. Rather, datafication is a contemporary phenomenon which refers to the quantification of human life through digital information, very often for economic value. This process has major social consequences. Di...
Article
Humanity is currently underoing a large-scale social, economic, and legal transformation based on the massive appropriation of social life through data extract. This quantification of the social represents a new colonial move. While the modes, intensities, scales and contexts of dispossession have changed, the underlying drive of today’s data colon...
Article
We are often told that data are the new oil. But unlike oil, data are not a substance found in nature. It must be appropriated. The capture and processing of social data unfolds through a process we call data relations, which ensures the “natural” conversion of daily life into a data stream. The result is nothing less than a new social order, based...
Article
As World Economic Forum’s definition of personal data as ‘the new “oil” – a valuable resource of the 21st century’ shows, large-scale data processing is increasingly considered the defining feature of contemporary economy and society. Commercial and governmental discourse on data frequently argues its benefits, and so legitimates its continuous and...
Article
As World Economic Forum’s definition of personal data as ‘the new “oil” – a valuable resource of the 21st century’ (2011: 5) shows, large-scale data processing is increasingly considered the defining feature of contemporary economy and society. Commercial and governmental discourse on data frequently argues its benefits, and so legitimates its cont...
Chapter
Full-text available
The methodology of any domain depends, first, on clarifying what types of object are being researched – indeed can exist – in that domain: that is, on clarifying the ontology of that domain. The ontology of social media might seem wholly unproblematic: social media sites are certainly infrastructures with considerable, even massive, presence in our...
Article
Full-text available
Originally the “Media and Communication” chapter of the International Panel on Social Progress, published by Cambridge University Press, we hope this version as a CARGC Press book will expand the reach of the authors’ vision of communication for social progress.
Article
Drawing insight from queer and media studies, this article analyses data from the UK study Adults’ Media Lives. The authors claim that this study reveals the significance of people’s intimate relationships to their media practices, highlighting in particular how people’s media practices mediate the ‘presence’ of others. The authors put forward the...
Article
This article reviews the contribution of media institutions to modernity and its wider institutional arrangements. It will consider how this relationship has normally been conceived, even mythified, and then, in its second half, review how the institutions that we now call ‘media’ are, potentially, disrupting, even deranging, modernity’s arrangemen...
Article
Dayan and Katz’s book “Media Events” was so crucial because it challenged the dominance of quantitative communications research focussed on measurable discrete ‘media effects’. But meanwhile new challenges have emerged which we called ‘deep mediatization’ – datafication, deeper fragmentation of the audience, and over the longerterm threats to the u...
Article
Full-text available
There has been little empirical research to date on the consequences of mass media change for the processes of government in the UK, despite a well-documented concern since the 1990s with ‘political spin’. Studies have focused largely on the relative agenda setting power of political and media actors in relation to political campaigning rather than...
Article
No one disputes that the collection of ‘Big Data’ holds the promise of interesting, even radically new, discoveries. But any critical social science of Big Data must take account of the broad transformations in communication and social organization that have generated the situation where Big Data is standardly available not just to corporations and...
Book
Social theory needs to be radically rethought for a world of digital media and social media platforms driven by data processes. Fifty years after Berger and Luckmann published their classic text The Social Construction of Reality , two leading sociologists of media, Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp, revisit the question of how the social world, and ou...
Chapter
This entry summarizes the main features of actor-network theory's account of the role of technologies in social life and its potential contribution to the understanding of media institutions. The limitations of actor-network theory (ANT) as a total theory of media are also discussed, alongside a short history of how ANT has been drawn upon (or at t...
Chapter
This chapter explores the fate of “celebrity” in an era when the long-term fate of media institutions is itself profoundly unsettled. It analyses the growing phenomenon of celebrity culture from the point of view of institutional logics of survival, changing institutional and market networks, and the battle of media institutions to shore up their s...
Article
Full-text available
The institutions we have come to call “media” have been involved for over a century in providing an infrastructure for social life and have invested in a quite particular and privileged way of re-presenting the world as “social.” The dialectic between “media” and “social” has become more urgent to understand in an era when media and information inf...
Article
This article examines critically the claims that digital networks (digital media infrastructures, especially social media platforms) fundamentally change the conditions of politics over the longerterm. Without doubt digital networks enable faster political mobilization, accelerated cycles of action, and some new forms of collectivity, but how conse...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the idea that research into media communications and information has recently undergone a normative turn as more and more writers reflect on the ever deeper embedding of our lives in media, and the possible costs that this entails. Possible ways forward for deepening and addressing this normative turn are explored, based on th...
Article
In this short article, I analyse Hall’s neglected early work on media and its account of how ideology is reproduced through the everyday workings of media institutions. I trace the importance of that work through later work on the mythical aspects of media institutions (Couldry) and more recent work on the culture of connectivity (Van Dijck) and it...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores tensions between the imaginaries and material hindrances that accompany the development of digital infrastructures for narrative exchange and public engagement. Digital infrastructures allow civil society organizations to become narrators of their community lives, and to express solidarity and recognition. Often full developme...
Article
Among the most deep-seated anxieties of the Internet age is the fear of technologically produced forgetting. Technology critics and sociologists of memory alike argue that daily exposure to overwhelming flows of information is undermining our ability to connect and synthesize past and present. Acknowledging the salience of these concerns our approa...
Article
This article argues against the assumption that agency and reflexivity disappear in an age of ‘algorithmic power’ (Lash 2007). Following the suggestions of Beer (2009), it proposes that, far from disappearing, new forms of agency and reflexivity around the embedding in everyday practice of not only algorithms but also analytics more broadly are eme...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the emergence of new, inter-local spaces of news production and consumption, drawing on extensive fieldwork and interviews with community reporters trained by a community reporter organisation based in the north of England. Practices of news production and content generation are focused on people's own communities and they are...
Article
Full-text available
This article contributes to an emerging field of ‘small data’ research on Twitter by presenting a case study of how teachers and students at a sixth-form college in the north of England used this social media platform to help construct a ‘community of practice’ that enabled micro-processes of recognition and mutual learning. Conducted as part of a...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the possibilities for new forms of ‘digital citizenship’ currently emerging through digitally supported processes of narrative exchange. Using Dahlgren's (Dahlgren, P. 2003. “Reconfiguring Civic Culture in the New Media Milieu.” In Media and the Restyling of Politics, edited by J. Corner, and D. Pels, 151–170. London: Sage; Da...
Article
This lecture reviews the history of how the status and authority of media institutions over the past century have been entangled with wider claims about social knowledge and the order of societies. It analyses those relations in terms of three successive and now overlapping myths: ‘the myth of the mediated centre’ which claims that media (tradition...
Article
Full-text available
This short article argues that an adequate response to the implications for governance raised by ‘Big Data’ requires much more attention to agency and reflexivity than theories of ‘algorithmic power’ have so far allowed. It develops this through two contrasting examples: the sociological study of social actors used of analytics to meet their own so...
Article
It is well known that narrative exchange takes distinctive forms in the digital age. Less understood are the digitally based processes and infrastructures that support or constrain the wider exchange of narrative materials. This article reports on research in a UK sixth form college with ambitions to expand its students’ digital skills. Our approac...
Article
Among the most deep-seated anxieties of the Internet age is the fear of technologically produced forgetting. Technology critics and sociologists of memory alike argue that daily exposure to overwhelming flows of information is undermining our ability to connect and synthesise past and present. Acknowledging the salience of these concerns our approa...
Article
This article addresses implications for democracy of two interconnected developments involving big data and the media. One is the targeting of consumers for advertising by marketers and the new data-capture industry that supports them. The other involves the transformation of advertisers’ approach to subsidizing media content production. We describ...
Article
Full-text available
Building on the principles of the digital storytelling movement, this article asks whether the narrative exchange within the ‘storycircles’ of storymakers created in face-to-face workshops can be further replicated by drawing on digital infrastructure in specific ways. It addresses this question by reporting on the successes and limitations of a fi...
Article
One of our goals in launching the International Journal of Communication, in addition to demonstrating the viability of non-commercial open access scholarly publication at the highest level, was to take full advantage of the capabilities of online publishing to serve as a forum for a variety of contributions and conversations. Thus, our Features ca...
Chapter
How best can we think about the effects of media institutions’ existence on the space of the social, that is, on the underlying possibilities of social organization? I use the term ‘the space of the social’ not primarily in a geographical sense, but simply to refer to the whole mass of ways in which the social is organized. That is the question I w...
Chapter
This book revolves around the idea of reclaiming the public sphere. When land is reclaimed from the sea, a common story in Denmark, the United Kingdom and many other countries, major work must be done to redirect the sea’s flow and to plan and build new types of foundations strong enough to support life on land that has been damaged. So, too, with...
Chapter
This chapter review the recent history of mediatization research from the perspective of its potential contribution to social theory. The starting-point for this is to conceive mediatization not as a logic internal to media contents (as for example in the pioneering work of Altheide and Snow), but as a meta-process that emerges from many simultaneo...
Article
Full-text available
Why ‘‘mediatization’’ as a topic for communication theory now? This rather ungainly word has been rising in prominence for the past decade, but many readers of this journal may still want to ask: What does it mean? What does it add to communications theory? And is it necessary at all? The purpose of this introduction to the special issue—apart from...
Chapter
Media raise normative questions of various sorts. Some start out from evaluating the organizational structures through which media get made; others start out from our evaluations of the things media institutions and individual media agents do and the implications for our wider media environment in an environment that in the past 15 years has expand...
Chapter
In September 2012 a series of violent protests erupted in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia in response to a YouTube film that caricatured Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The protests, which were directed primarily towards the US where the short film was made, echoed the similar violent reactions to the publications of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons...
Book
Media are fundamental to our sense of living in a social world. Since the beginning of modernity, media have transformed the scale on which we act as social beings. And now in the era of digital media, media themselves are being transformed as platforms, content, and producers multiply. Yet the implications of social theory for understanding media...
Book
Bystander publics lack the longstanding political motivation of the engaged publics of political parties or social movements, and so are important for different reasons, depending on one's direction of analysis. For those interested in expanded political agency, bystander publics are the standing reserve of political action, available for recruitme...
Article
As práticas midiáticas foram confi guradas como um modelo determinado, o um-paramuitos, que o paradigma da comunicação de massa pareceu automático. O paradigma resume-se no termo inglês “the media” ? “a mídia”. Mas e se a própria ideia de “a mídia” também estiver implodindo, já que as interfaces que chamamos de mídia sofreram uma transformação? Trê...
Article
Over the first decade of the twenty-first century there has been a growing perception that we live in an era of media 'convergence'. There are at least four ways that the expression 'convergence' has been deployed and its meaning solidified - as a description of new synergy (a 'horizontal' realignment) among media companies and industries, as the m...
Article
This article considers Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture as a sociological argument about the tendencies in contemporary culture and argues that it generalizes from a small pool of evidence, considering arguments that would lead to very different conclusion with other demographics. From there, the author raises broader questions about how the stud...
Article
Full-text available
This article addresses the relationship between the British version of the reality television programme The Apprentice and the shifting working cultures of contemporary neoliberalism. It explores how the programme enacts, through ritualized play, many skills required by the ‘flexible’ work economy: emotional commitment, entrepreneurial adaptability...
Article
This article considers Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture as a sociological argument about the tendencies in contemporary culture and argues that it generalizes from a small pool of evidence, considering arguments that would lead to very different conclusion with other demographics. From there, the author raises broader questions about how the stud...
Chapter
Emerson was writing about education in 1840s America in a fast-changing society that had a long way to go toward an effective representative democracy. This, after all, was before the US Civil War and the abolition of slavery, before the struggles to create trade unions, before the civil rights struggle for excluded black citizens in the 1950s and...
Book
For more than thirty years neoliberalism has declared that market functioning trumps all other social, political, and economic values. In this book, Nick Couldry passionately argues for voice, the effective opportunity for people to speak and be heard on what affects their lives, as the only value that can truly challenge neoliberal politics. But h...
Chapter
How did our diarists themselves describe their overall orientation to a world beyond the private? Specifically, how did they conceive of democracy in contemporary Britain and their position in it? In this chapter, we listen in more detail to diarists’ voices on these fundamental questions.
Chapter
So far we have reviewed a range of arguments (both empirical and theoretical) about the uncertain future of democratic participation (Chapter 1) and media’s role in democratic systems (Chapter 2). We use the term ‘(mediated) public connection’ heuristically to cut beneath that complexity and suggest an underlying precondition for democratic legitim...
Chapter
What broader contexts stabilise mediated public connection? Three possibilities are discussed in this chapter: the values people bring to bear on their interpretation of events, the extent to which they have discursive contexts to talk about issues, and what sort, if any, of public and quasi-public actions they perform or can imagine performing. At...
Chapter
We have explored when, how and why people have an ‘orientation to a public world where matters of shared concern are, or at least should in principle be, addressed’ (cf. Chapter 1). People’s diaries suggest that they are often oriented to the public or civic, variously defined, in ways that depend on the context. This orientation towards public con...
Chapter
In Chapter 1, we reviewed the debates regarding the basis of the public’s engagement with democratic politics. We observed that, while there are many explanations of the so-called crisis in democracy, these generally focus on changes in political institutions and social structures; much less often is serious attention paid to the media. Yet at the...
Chapter
We have introduced the term‘public connection’ to capture a dimension of daily life: that is, an orientation towards a public world beyond matters of purely private concern. We talk of ‘mediated public connection’ where that orientation is sustained principally by our practice of consuming media. We wanted to track evidence of public connection acr...
Chapter
No amount of communication, however stylish and informative, will engage people in politics, unless they are paying attention, at least some of the time. If, with apologies to Plato (and his famous cave metaphor), we can imagine political events as projected onto a wall, then democracy depends on people’s backs not already being turned away from th...
Chapter
We began with a question: what can media, and the organisation of communication, contribute to democratic engagement and so to the long-term sustainability of democracy? Today, we must answer this old question in the age that Alain Touraine dramatically tries to depict. This is an age of declining participation in the electoral process (Sussman 200...
Chapter
What type of media users were our diarists? We need to understand both basic media use and the quality of media use, including media literacy. First, however, we must comment on the type of data about media consumption we obtained and the interpretative issues it raises.
Article
Media-related practices have so long been configured in a particular one-to-many pattern that the mass communication paradigm has seemed automatic as both frame for research and fact of social life. The paradigm is summed up in the English term 'the media'. But what if the very idea of 'the media' is also imploding, as the interfaces we call media...
Article
La dimension mythique ou simplement rituelle est présente dans le système économique, et ne peut être occultée puisqu'elle fonde sa plausibilité et sa légitimité. Ce court article cherche à expliciter la relation entre deux facteurs : d'une part, un mouvement pressant (en particulier au Royaume-Uni) vers une économie de plus en plus appuyée sur le...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Project (1)