A2 Communication and Culture: The Essential Introduction

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A2 Communication and Culture: The Essential Introduction features over 100 colour images, contemporary case studies and examples. The authors introduce students to the skills of reading communication texts and understanding the link between communication and culture, as well as taking students through the tasks expected of them to pass the AQA exam. The book is supplemented with a website at www.alevelcommculture.co.uk featuring additional activities and resources.

Areas covered include:

  • theoretical approaches

  • key concepts

  • spaces and places

  • fictions

  • objects of desire

  • cultural sites: intersections

  • the A2 examination

  • communication and culture in practice: A2 coursework

  • A2 coursework samples.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This book is confident, authoritative and reassuring: it is a key text for students and teachers alike. It is a must have resource for everyone interested in Communication Studies and is a welcome addition and progression from the AS Communication and Culture textbook. Alan Hackett, Head of Media and Communications, Campion School

This latest textbook lives up to its name – it is an essential introduction to many of the key ideas and approaches within cultural studies...it is indispensable and beautifully illustrated. If you are a student and you are going on to study Media, Cultural Studies, Sociology or English at university, it’s worth buying your own copy – you will find yourself coming back to it over and over again. www.communicationandculture.co.uk

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415471602
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Series: Essentials Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 0.67 (w) x 0.97 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Bennett is Chief Examiner for GCE Communication Studies and currently teaches prospective F.E. teachers in the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Education. He previously taught Film, English and Communication Studies at Rowley Regis College in The Community. He is the co-author of AS Communication Studies: The Essential Introduction (3rd edition, 2008), Communication Studies the Essential Resource (2003), Film Studies; the Essential Resource (2006), A2 Media Studies: The Essential Introduction (2005) and Channels (English and Media 11-14). He

Jerry Slater is Principal Examiner and Principal Moderator for GCE Communication and Culture and Senior Examiner for GCE Media Studies. He teaches Film, Media and Communication and Culture at Colchester Sixth Form College and is an Associate Lecturer with the Open University.He is the co-author of AS Communication and Culture: The Essential Introduction (3rd edition, 2008) and A2 Media Studies: The Essential Introduction (2005).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xiv

1 Moving on, moving up: from AS to A2 1

How will A2 be different to AS? 2

Being critical 4

An example 4

Journeys, excursions and other trips 8

Example: travel as a cultural practice 12

'This is where I live' 15

Other perspectives 20

A final example: 360? Fictions, Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood 22

2 Theoretical approaches 26

Market liberalism 26

What is capitalism? 26

Market liberalism: a case study 31

The downturn 32

Critical perspectives: Marxism 34

Marxism: the basics 36

Marxism, ideology and the 'culture industries' 40

Marxism: hegemony 44

Marxism: Louis Althusser 47

Feminism 48

Sex and gender 48

Gender and the body 50

Queer theory 54

Semiotics and structuralism 57

Language and codes 57

Structuralism 59

Poststructuralism 62

Postmodernism 64

Concepts in postmodernism: style over substance 67

Concepts in postmodernism: hyperreality 67

Concepts in postmodernism: playfulness 68

Optimistic and pessimistic postmodernism 69

Post-colonialism 69

The 'family of nations' 71

'Otherness' 72

Conclusion 74

3 Key concepts 76

What are the key concepts for? 76

Ideology 77

Discourse 80

Mode of address 82

Narrative 84

Technology 85

4 Spaces and places 92

Architecture 96

Buildings that make statements 98

From home to school 103

Beyond the school gate 107

Sports 113

From landmarks to landscape: in the streets where we live 114

Landscape 126

Music, space and place 130

5 Fictions 133

Variants of the Christmas Stories 138

Narrative, story and plot 139

Myth 142

Fictions and interactive stories 152

Interactivity: the case for the prosecution 153

Interactivity and video games: the case for the defence 159

Fictions and identity 162

Nostalgia 165

Postmodernism and Fictions 168

6 Objects of Desire 173

Objects as symbols 176

Theory and Objects of Desire 179

Karl Marx 179

Consumer society 183

Edward Bernays 188

The Frankfurt School 190

Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) 194

The savvy consumer 197

7 Intersections 204

What are Intersections? 204

Intersection One: Spaces and Places/Objects of Desire 206

Intersection Two: Fictions/Objects of Desire 218

Intersection Three: Fictions/Spaces and Places 227

8 The A2 Examination COMM3 communicating culture 237

Passing exams in a nutshell 237

Communicating Culture 239

Revision: what do I need to revise? 240

Planning 242

9 Communication and culture in practice: A2 coursework 256

Overview 256

The Case Study 261

The Creative Work 275

The icing on the cake: drawing on the Case Study 276

Developing an idea or argument 278

Sound and vision: the medium is the message 283

Do it yourself? The hardest audience of all 286

10 A2 Coursework samples 290

Case study A 291

Stage 1 Thinking 292

Stage 2 Planning 297

Stage 3 Writing Up 300

Case Study A The Final Version 301

Thematic Realism and the degrading of reality 303

The Precission of Simulacra (Baudrillard, 1998) 304

The Blair Witch Project: mixing fiction and faction 305

Case Study A possible Creative Work options 306

Case Study B 307

Stage 1 Thinking 307

Stage 2 Planning 309

Stage 3 Writing Up 311

Possible Creative Work options 311

Case Study C 311

Stage 1 Thinking 312

Stage 2 Planning 314

Stage 3 Writing Up 315

Possible Creative Work options 316

Case Study D 316

Stage 1 Thinking 317

Stage 2 Planning 318

Stage 3 Writing Up 321

Suggested Creative Work 321

Index 224

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