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A Companion to Television / Edition 1

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A Companion to Television is a magisterial collection of 31 original essays that charter the field of television studies over the past century

  • Explores a diverse range of topics and theories that have led to television’s current incarnation, and predict its likely future
  • Covers technology and aesthetics, television’s relationship to the state, televisual commerce; texts, representation, genre, internationalism, and audience reception and effects
  • Essays are by an international group of first-rate scholars

For information, news, and content from Blackwell's reference publishing program please visit

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Janet Wasko, one of our most distinguished media analysts, has assembled a veritable ‘dream team’ of authors to write about television. Drawing on multiple disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, this impressive new volume will shift our thinking profoundly about an object that continues to fascinate and frustrate both those who will its demise, and those who welcome its triumphs.”
Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside

“We need more accounts of television that really push at the interconnections of economy, institution and culture. This ambitious collection, often comparative and historical, hits the spot admirably.”
John Corner, University of Liverpool

“The volume comprehensively maps the terrain of television studies with an impressive line-up of authors. Each provides a state-of-the-art overview of a key topic, resulting in a stimulating diversity of historical, international, and multidisciplinary perspectives.”
Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics

"Jaent Wasko’s book provides a wealth of information, interesting analyses, and fruitful theoretical discussions."
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Janet Wasko is Professor in the School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Oregon. Her many books include Hollywood in the Information Age: Beyond the Silver Screen (1994), Consuming Audiences? Production and Reception in Media Research (1999), Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy (2001), and How Hollywood Works (2003).

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Table of Contents

Introduction (Janet Wasko, University of Oregon).

PART I: Theoretical Overviews.

1. The Development of Television Studies (Horace Newcomb, University of Georgia).

2. Critical Perspectives on Television from the Frankfurt School through Postmodernism (Doug Kellner, University of California at Los Angeles).

PART II: Television/History.

3. Television and History (Paddy Scannell, University of Westminster).

4. Our TV Heritage: Television, the Archive and the Reasons for Preservation (Lynn Spigel, Northwestern University).

PART III: Television/Aesthetics & Production.

5. Television as a Moving Aesthetic: In Search of the Ultimate Aesthetic – The Self (Julianne H. Newton, University of Oregon).

6. Locating the Televisual in Golden Age Television (Caren Deming, University of Arizona).

7. Television Production: Who Makes American TV? (Jane M. Shattuc, Emerson College).

PART IV: Television/The State and Policy.

8. Who Rules TV? States, Markets and the Public Interest (Sylvia Harvey, University of Lincoln).

9. Public Broadcasting and Democratic Culture: Consumers, Citizens and Communards (Graham Murdock, University of Loughborough).

10. Culture, Services, Knowledge: Television between Policy Regimes (Stuart Cunningham, Queensland University of Technology).

PART V: Television/Commerce.

11. Television Advertising as Textual and Economic Systems (Matthew P. McAllister, Pennsylvania State University).

12. Watching Television: A Political Economic Approach (Eileen R. Meehan, Louisiana State University).

13. Keeping ‘Abreast’ of MTV and Viacom: The Growing Power of a Media Conglomerate (Jack Banks, Hartford University).

14. The Trade in Television News (Andrew Calabrese, University of Colorado).

PART VI: Television/Programming, Content and Genre.

15. Configurations of the New Television Landscape (Albert Moran, Griffith University).

16. The Study of Soap Opera (Christine Geraghty, University of Glasgow).

17. The Shifting Terrain of American Talk Shows (Jane M. Shattuc, Emerson College).

18. Television and Sports (Michael Real, Royal Roads University).

19. “Where the Past Comes Alive”: Television, History and Collective Memory (Gary R. Edgerton, Old Dominion University).

20. “How will you make it on your own?”: Television and Feminism Since 1970 (Bonnie J. Dow, University of Georgia).

21. Television and Race (Sasha Torres, University of Western Ontario).

PART VII: Television/The Public and Audiences.

22. Television, Public Spheres and Civic Cultures (Peter Dahlgren, Lund University 23 Television and Public Opinion Justin Lewis, Cardiff University).

24. Reality TV: Performance, Authenticity and Television Audiences (Annette Hill, University of Westminster).

25. A Special Audience? Children and Television (David Buckingham, University of London).

PART VIII: Television/Alternative Challenges.

26. Local Community Channels: Alternatives to Corporate Media Dominance (DeeDee Halleck, University of California at San Diego).

PART IX: International Television/Case Studies.

27. Latin American Commercial Television: 'Primitive Capitalism' (John Sinclair, Victoria University).

28. Television in China: History, Political Economy and Ideology (Yuezhi Zhao, Simon Fraser University, and Guo Zhenzhi, Beijing Broadcasting Institute).

29. Japanese Television: Early Development and Research (Shunya Yoshimi, Tokyo University).

30. Change and Transformation in South African Television (Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, University of Natal).

31. Television in the Arab East (Nabil H. Dajani, American University of Beirut).

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