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Political economy, power and new media

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This article suggests that it is timely to revitalise studies in the tradition of the political economy of media and communications in order to develop a critical and comprehensive analysis of the social and economic dynamics of the production and consumption of new media. Specifically, a coupling of research on mediated communication and on highly situated communities of practice with some strands of research in political economy could shed new light on the way changing power relationships are informing the development and application of new media products and services. There are precedents for this approach in studies of the older media and signs of a greater receptivity to such an approach in some studies of Internet developments and the open source software movement.

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