Nesbitt-Larking, Paul (2009) Introduction to the Special Issue on Communications, The Media and Policy in Canada. Canadian Political Science Review, 3 (2). pp. 1-4. ISSN 1911-4125

The complexity of the late-modern globalizing order has accelerated the erosion of time and space and has radically undermined the apparent solidities of borders, identities, and the social relations of production. Hybridity, fluidity, risk, and individuated self-reflexivity are among the concepts that social researchers everywhere have grasped in order to anchor their attempts to apprehend the eruptions and disruptions that condition phenomenologies of the present. Among the most affected social theories are those of communications. The informational and communicational order that was taken for granted even a generation ago has been supplanted by a complex of global networks, mobilities, and flows. Media analysis, which is an important subfield of communications, has undergone particular transformation. From Innis to Angus communications theory has been more than a rich product of Canadian scholarship; the lived experience of space and land, nature and technology has conditioned the very possibility of Canadian social theory. In this way, the emerging contributions to scholarship in politics and communications, profiled in this special issue, are able to take us beyond the postmodern claim that “all that is solid melts into air.” While called upon to innovate and re-examine our theoretical frameworks, chosen methodologies, and critical matters of empirical enquiry, we do so on the basis of established research traditions that suggest certain future directions as we attempt to think through media and communications in an increasingly global Canada.

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