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COULDRY Nick, HEPP Andreas

The Mediated Construction of Reality

Polity, 2016, 304 p., $25.

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 our sense of everyday reality, are constructed – that is, made – by human beings. Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp ask : What difference does the deep involvement of digital media, and the data processes on which they rely, make to the type of social world we can inhabit ? What difference do ‘media’ make to the types of social order that are possible ? And how should we evaluate the consequences for our quality of life ? Drawing on a range of theory, from Nobert Elias to Alfred Schütz and Luc Boltanski, and a wide selection of empirical studies, this book will be essential for students and scholars of media. It offers an authoritative account of how the digital world has historically emerged, and where it is now heading.

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