Canonic Texts in Media Research: Are There Any? Should There Be Any? How about These?

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Overview

ARE THERE ANY? Many of us have our own canonic texts - the kind that won't
go away. We tell them that their time has passed, that it's embarrassing
they're still around, but they turn up repeatedly on our reading lists and
in our bibliographies. They inspire us, haunt us, argue with us — but they
won't leave. Typically, we keep them to ourselves.

SHOULD THERE BE? Of course there should be, and there's no reason to hide
them. Canons (and saints) should be shared, because they define fields and
communities. These texts are not simply monuments, however. They are alive
and breathing, standing the test of time by shedding old meanings and
assuming new ones. The minimal care they need - occasional brushing off and
bulb-changing - is well worth the trouble.

HOW ABOUT THESE? The field of media studies is now more than 50 years old,
and the contributors to this volume offer their own candidates for canonization. Each of the thirteen essays in the book presents a critical reading of one of these classics and debates its candidacy. You are invited to disagree. The texts are summarized, analysed and re-examined for their contemporary relevance. They are grouped together in schools (Chicago, Columbia, Frankfurt, Toronto, British Cultural Studies) to highlight the different perspectives that characterize the field.


This book offers thirteen pairs of shoulders to stand on, the better to see the field of media studies. It will serve as an excellent teaching text for advanced students in communications and media and cultural studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745629339
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Elihu Katz is Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Emeritus, Departments of Sociology and Communication, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, John Durham Peters is Professor of Communication Studies, University of Iowa, Tamar Liebes is Professor of Communication, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Avril Orloff is a writer/researcher in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction: Shoulders to Stand On 1
Pt. I The Columbia School 9
1 Critical Research at Columbia: Lazarsfeld's and Merton's "Mass Communication, Popular Taste, and Organized Social Action" 12
2 Herzog's "On Borrowed Experience": Its Place in the Debate over the Active Audience 39
Pt. II The Frankfurt School 55
3 The Subtlety of Horkheimer and Adorno: Reading "The Culture Industry" 58
4 Benjamin Contextualized: On "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" 74
5 Redeeming Consumption: On Lowenthal's "The Triumph of the Mass Idols" 90
Pt. III The Chicago School 103
6 Community and Pluralism in Wirth's "Consensus and Mass Communication" 106
7 The Audience is a Crowd, the Crowd is a Public: Latter-Day Thoughts on Lang and Lang's "MacArthur Day in Chicago" 121
8 Towards the Virtual Encounter: Horton's and Wohl's "Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction" 137
Pt. IV The Toronto School 153
9 Harold Adams Innis and his Bias of Communication 156
10 Canonic Anti-Text: Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media 191
Pt. V British Cultural Studies 213
11 Retroactive Enrichment: Raymond William's Culture and Society 217
12 Canonization Achieved? Stuart Hall's "Encoding/Decoding" 231
13 Afterthoughts on Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure" in the Age of Cultural Studies 248
Index 260
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