Dr Stephen B. Crofts Wiley

Picture of Dr Stephen B. Crofts Wiley

Associate Professor


Stephen Wiley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He received his B.A. in Sociolgy and Anthropology at Swarthmore College, his master’s in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. in Communication Research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

Wiley’s work examines how communication and media technologies help shape cultural identities and social spaces—in other words, how people understand who they are, where they are, and where they belong.  His primary research method is ethnography, and he has carried out numerous field research projects in Latin America during the last 30 years, particularly in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.  He first travelled to Chile in 1985 as an undergraduate student to conduct life-history interviews with leaders of the opposition to the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.  In 1986 he carried out a video project on Chilean Canto Nuevo, a folk-protest music movement that played a significant role in sustaining opposition to the Pinochet regime.  Following a year studying communication and political theory in Argentina in 1987, Wiley returned to Chile in 1988 to carry out research for a master’s thesis on the Chilean No campaign, the successful effort to reject General Pinochet’s bid to remain in power.  In the mid-1990s, he went back to Chile again, this time to interview key figures in the new democratic government and the Chilean media.  This study became his Ph.D. dissertation, a study of how Chilean media and communication technologies changed in the years following military rule.  His dissertation argued that we should see Chile as a “transnation”—a cultural space in which the nation is formed out of transnational flows of migration, money, information, and ideas. 

Most recently, Wiley was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting faculty member at the Universidad de Concepción in southern Chile, where he carried out ethnographic fieldwork to see the effects of globalization on ordinary people’s sense of place in the city of Concepción in 2008 and 2012.

Wiley’s work has appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies, Communication Theory, Media, Culture & Society, and Kairos.  He is co-editor, with Jeremy Packer, of a special issue of The Communication Review (2010) on communication and mobility; and a book, Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks (Routledge, 2012)He is working on a book tentatively titled Becoming global: Transnational ties and sense of space in Concepción, Chile.

Steve Wiley is married to Myriam Bascuñan and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They have three sons: Rodrigo, Nicholas, and Daniel.


Teaching and Research Interests

My research explores people's sense of place and space.  People are becoming more mobile through travel and migration, and their social relations are becoming more extensive and distantiated (including family relations, friendships, and work relations).  At the same time, we are more connected to others via mobile communication and information networks and more immersed in global media via television and the web.  In this context, is our sense of place changing?  To what extent do we continue to understand ourselves, and others, in terms of traditional definitions of place, such as the city, the state, or the nation?  To what extent are new experiences and understandings of place and territory emerging? My research, which is based most recently on fieldwork in Concepción, southern Chile, examines social space and place as an assemblage of social networks, geographical mobility and emplacement, and communication technology use.  I am interested in how these three aspects position subjects socially and geographically and how subjects respond, cognitively and affectively, to their experiences of that positioning.



Packer, J. & Wiley, S. B. C. (2012). Strategies for materializing communication. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 9(1): 107-113.

Packer, J., and Wiley, S. B. C. (Eds.) (2012). Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Packer, J., and Wiley, S. B. C. (2012). The Materiality of communication.  In J. Packer, and S. B. C. Wiley (Eds.), Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Wiley, S. B. C., Moreno, T. & Sutko, D. (2012). Assemblages, networks, subjects: A Materialist approach to the production of social space. In J. Packer and S. B. C. Wiley (Eds.), Communication matters: Materialist approaches to media, mobility, and networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Wiley, S. B. C., and Packer, J. (Eds.) (2010).  Communication and Mobility. Special issue of Communication Review 13(4).

Wiley, S. B. C. & Packer, J. (2010). Rethinking communication after the mobilities turn. The Communication Review, 13(4), 263-268. doi:10.1080/10714421.2010.525458

Wiley, S. B. C., Sutko, D. M. & Moreno Becerra, T. (2010). Assembling social space. The Communication Review, 13(4), 340-372. doi:10.1080/10714421.2010.525482

Wiley, S. B. C. (2007). Identification, please: Communication and control in an online learning environment. Kairos 11(2). Online: http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/11.2/index.html.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2006). Transnation: Globalization and the reorganization of Chilean television in the early 1990s. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50(3), 400-420.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2006). Assembled agency: Media and hegemony in the Chilean transition to civilian rule. Media, Culture & Society 28(5), 671–693.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2005). Spatial materialism: Grossberg's Deleuzean cultural studies. Cultural Studies, 19, 63-99.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2004). Rethinking nationality in the context of globalization. Communication Theory, 14, 78-96.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2003). Nation as transnational assemblage: Three moments in Chilean media history. In J. D. Slack (Ed.), Animations (of Deleuze and Guattari) (pp. 129-62). New York and Oxford: Peter Lang.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2002). Anonymity, botulism, and counterfeit Russians. In C. M. Anson (Ed.), The WAC casebook: Scenes for faculty reflection and program development (pp. 156-68). New York: Oxford University Press.

Wiley, S. B. C. (1996). Death (an assemblage). Cultural Studies: A Research Volume, 1,

Wiley-Crofts, S. (S. B. C. Wiley) (1991). Social semiosis and authoritarian legitimacy: Television in Pinochet's Chile, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 10, 239-55.



  • Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champgaign, 1999
  • M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, Austin, 1993
  • B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College, 1986