I've been to two undergraduate lectures in the Cambridge sociology department thus far, and this term, "the sociology of the media," has been bandied about on numerous occasions by two different lecturers, apparently without irony.
Needless to say, I'm having a bit of trouble reading in-between the lines.
Particularly since, from my American point of view, the intellectual tradition that they reference when invoking this term would come not under the umbrella of sociology but of communication. Sociology in the United States has largely ceded media studies to the other humanities and humanistic social sciences.
(The way in which Prof. Georgina Born introduced the intellectual justification for the sociological view of the media was brilliant, though, in its succinct compare/contrast with what she called "internalist" analyses of media in the humanities. I must remember it for the day that *knock on wood* I teach this material myself...)
Anyway, getting back to what I was saying before--does anybody know? Is bracketing the social scientific study of the media into sociology a UK thing? That strikes me as a bit weird, since the discipline of communication is certainly present here as well, and discussions with graduate students at LSE and Goldsmiths lead me to believe that it's in line with what I experienced at NYU.
Or is this attempt to manage the boundaries of the discipline in such a way a Cambridge local custom?