Media and Communication Technologies: a critical introduction by Stephen Lax

I spotted Media and Communications Technologies: A Critical Introduction on the New Arrivals book trolley. It looks relevant to my subject area so I took a closer look.

Author: Stephen Lax
Call No. P96.T42 L425

This book is a great introduction to Information Communication Technologies (ICT). It is neither technologically deterministic nor overly critical of and overlooking the influence of technology.


Lax sees,


“technologies as social products, that is, as the results of social processes such as investment decisions, political intervention and consumer response and equally as social products which have technological features that constrain or otherwise help explain the consequences of their use and their subsequent development”

This approach informs the way he discusses the various technologies starting with the telegraph and ending with the plethora of mobile communications.

I like the way he situated the technologies in history and marked out the turning points. He also took pains to explain key technological features.


I’m not a very technically inclined person and I could follow his explanations and gain a greater appreciation of ICT.


A clear and concise read. Recommended for people interested in a historical treatment of Information Communication Technologies.