IJoC Publishes Special Section on “Urban Communication Research”

urban communication

“The Urban Panopticon/Los Angeles,” originally taken from “Street Discourse:
A Visual Essay on Urban Signification” (Pauwels, 2009)

IJoC Publishes Special Section on “Urban Communication Research”

Cities are central to the media landscapes and communication practices of our times, ranging from the wide appeal of urban popular cultures and the global resonance of protests in squares to the ubiquity of public screens and locative media in urban space. Over the past decade, scholars have become increasingly interested in cities because a close look at urban life may offer answers to important questions about contemporary media and communication: How do individuals and communities interact through the media or face-to-face in urban settings?  How does the urban built environment shape and constrain the everyday lives of city dwellers?  How do dominant narratives about cities promote particular forms of civic engagement and social change?

The networks, proximities, creativities, and inequalities that animate cities are at the heart of some of the major debates that sustain the discipline.

Urban communication scholarship is concerned with the ways in which people connect (or don’t connect) with others and with their urban environment via symbolic, technological and/or material means. This Special Section on methods and methodologies for urban communication research breaks new ground. For the first time, a group of established scholars reflect systematically on how research on urban communication is done, why particular questions matter, and how they and others have examined specific aspects of the urban/communication nexus.

Guest-edited by Giorgia Aiello and Simone Tosoni, this Special Section features seven original articles that cover different disciplinary points of view, including documentary (Daniel Makagon, Mary Rachel Gould), audiencing (Simone Tosoni, Seija Ridell), material (Greg Dickinson, Giorgia Aiello), visual (Luc Pauwels), mixed-method (Matthew D. Matsaganis), ecological (Stephen Coleman, Nancy Thumim, Giles Moss), and applied (Susan Drucker, Gary Gumpert) perspectives on urban communication.

The Special Section works as a springboard for a timely and much-needed conversation on the key methodological principles, processes and practices that underlie urban communication as an area of inquiry in its own right. Taken together, the articles highlight the multifaceted nature of this body of work and invite scholars to keep reflecting on how media and communication research can produce groundbreaking empirical knowledge on cities. Even more, these articles show that research in and on cities may fundamentally change current outlooks on media and communication as a whole.

Going About the City:  Methods and Methodologies for Urban Communication Research—Introduction
Giorgia Aiello, Simone Tosoni

Learning the City Through Stories: Audio Documentary as Urban Communication Pedagogy
Daniel Makagon, Mary Rachel Gould

Decentering Media Studies, Verbing the Audience: Methodological Considerations Concerning People’s Uses of Media in Urban Space
Simone Tosoni, Seija Ridell

Being Through There Matters: Materiality, Bodies, and Movement in Urban Communication Research
Greg Dickinson, Giorgia Aiello

Visually Researching and Communicating the City: A Systematic Assessment of Methods and Resources
Luc Pauwels

Multi- and Mixed-Methods Approaches to Urban Communication Research: A Synthesis and the Road Ahead
Matthew D. Matsaganis

Researching Local News in a Big City: A Multimethod Approach
Stephen Coleman, Nancy Thumim, Giles Moss

The Communicative City Redux
Susan Drucker, Gary Gumpert

We invite you to read these papers that published February 23, 2016 at http://ijoc.org