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date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of the theoretical ideas that helped consolidate the field of communication and relates those ideas to the current media environment, where digital technologies and online networks mediate most exposure to information. The chapter offers a summary of research achievements and future challenges through the lens of the work discussed in the six parts that form this Handbook. Special attention is given to the question of how new data sources and recent methodological developments can help communication evolve as a field and adapt its research agenda to the demands of digital data, both in terms of analyzing that data with the right theoretical motivations and protecting the privacy of users to cement trust and a sustainable research agenda.

Keywords: peer influence, networks, two-step flow, mass communication, networked communication, computational social science

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