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On the challenges of cross-national comparative media research

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  • Pn Literature (General)
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences


Funding bodies and policy imperatives increasingly favour comparative research. Stimulated also by the phenomena of globalisation and the concomitant rise of globalisation theory, researchers in media, communication and cultural studies increasingly find themselves initiating or invited to collaborate in multinational comparative projects. Given the growing prominence of comparative media and communications research, this article examines the claims made for such research in order to foster a more explicit and critical understanding of the research aims, process and findings. Adapting Kohn’s (1989) four-fold typology of models for comparative research, a range of epistemological debates regarding cross-national comparison are juxtaposed with the practical experiences of media and communications researchers in order to reveal the key research decisions and their consequences for substantive conclusions.

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