Making Sense of Media: Key Texts in Media and Cultural Studies / Edition 1

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Making Sense of Media is a lively and accessible text that helps readers understand mass media and the texts they carry. Designed expressly for those interested in gaining a solid understanding of the media and how they work, it is an indispensable book.

  • Offers a lively, accessible, and concise textbook to help readers understand mass media and their texts
  • Covers seminal figures, concepts and scholarship in mass media studies, including Vladimir Propp, Mikhail Bakhtin, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, and Stuart Hall
  • Explores the ideas found in nineteen significant books that will provide useful insights and concepts for anyone interested in the study of the media
  • Features chapter-by-chapter short articles by the author, that address an idea or theory in the particular book being discussed
  • Includes charts, boxes features, exercises, and illustrations to round out analyses and engage the beginning student
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Arthur Asa Berger has taken a refreshingly creative approach to introducing ideas central to analyses of media and popular culture. This delightful book will not only enliven courses in media studies, but also prime students to read more of the seminal texts defining one of the most vibrant areas of the communication field.” William H. Dutton, University of Oxford

“Reading this book is like going through a museum with a master critic and collector. Berger’s compelling and witty essay opens the door to great thinkers and scholars, some from the distant past, some quite contemporary. There is no other book with a broader perspective that truly makes its readers stretch, though the process is always enjoyable.” Everette E. Dennis, Fordham University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405120166
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/18/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Asa Berger is Professor Emeritus in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University. His many publications include: Signs in Contemporary Culture (1984; 2nd edn., 1998); Seeing is Believing: An Introduction to Visual Communication (1989; 2nd edn., 1998); Media Analysis Techniques (1992; 3rd edn., 2004); Essentials of Mass Communication Theory (1995); Narratives in Popular Culture, Media and Everyday Life (1997); and Media and Communication Research Methods (2000).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the media in our lives 1
1 Ferdinand de Saussure : Course in general linguistics 9
In practice : King Andrew the First
2 Roland Barthes : Mythologies 17
In practice : A semiotic analysis of a sea shell
3 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson : Metaphors we live by 25
In practice : Love is a game
4 Aristotle : Poetics 33
In practice : Theories on comedy
5 Tzvetan Todorov : Introduction to poetics 41
In practice : What happens in Hamlet
6 Vladimir Propp : Morphology of the folktale 49
In practice : Understanding genres
7 Janice Radway : Reading the romance 57
In practice : write your own romance novel
8 Janet Murray : Hamlet on the holodeck 67
In practice : Hypothesis on Pac-Man and video games
9 Mikhail Bakhtin : The dialogic imagination 75
In practice : Parody and laugther
10 Yuri Lotman : Semiotics of cinema 83
In practice : The "1984" Macintosh commercial
11 Sergei Eisenstein : Film form 93
In practice : Rashomontage
12 Raymond Williams : Marxism and literature 101
In practice : The prisoner and "the general"
13 Henri Lefebvre : Everyday life in the modern world 111
In practice : Cells and terror
14 Michel de Certeau : The practice of everyday life 121
In practice : Resistance through ridicule
15 Marshall McLuhan : Understanding media 129
In practice : The financial times
16 Fredric Jameson : Postmodernism, or, the cultural logic of late capitalism 139
In practice : A postmodern perspective on Madonna
17 Michael Thompson, Richard Ellis, Aaron Wildavksy : Cultural theory 149
In practice : Political cultures and popular culture
18 bell hooks : Black looks : Race and representation 157
In practice : Krazy Kat and "racial" memory
19 Stuart Hall : "The work of representation" 167
In practice : 9/11 as representation
20 Afterword : a confessional 177
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