Media Analysis Techniques / Edition 4

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In this updated Fourth Edition of Media Analysis Techniques, author Arthur Asa Berger provides students with a clear, practical guide to media analysis techniques. Written in an accessible style with the author’s own creative illustrations, the book walks readers through the four most important methods of analyzing and interpreting our mass mediated culture: semiotic theory, Marxist theory, psychoanalytic theory, and sociological theory. The text coaches students on how to support their media interpretation if they want to convince others that their opinions are worth considering. These methodologies, once learned, will stay with students and have an impact on the way they live.

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Editorial Reviews

After introducing the interpretation techniques of semiology, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and sociology, the author demonstrates that critics always have a point of view by applying the four analytic theories to the film , football, a print ad for Fidji perfume, and all-news radio. New to the second edition is an appendix detailing activities, simulations, and games that can move players from pure theory to making sense of creative work. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412987769
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/29/2011
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Asa Berger is Professor Emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University, where he taught between 1965 and 2003. He has published more than 100 articles, numerous book reviews, and more than 60 books. Among his latest books are the third edition of Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2013), The Academic Writer’s Toolkit: A User’s Manual (2008), What Objects Mean: An Introduction to Material Culture (2009), Bali Tourism (2013), Tourism in Japan: An Ethno-Semiotic Analysis (2010), The Culture Theorist’s Book of Quotations (2010), and The Objects of Our Affection: Semiotics and Consumer Culture (2010). He has also written a number of academic mysteries such as Durkheim is Dead: Sherlock Holmes is Introduced to Sociological Theory (2003) and Mistake in Identity: A Cultural Studies Murder Mystery (2005). His books have been translated into eight languages and thirteen of his books have been translated into Chinese.

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Table of Contents

1. Semiotic Analysis
A Brief History of the Subject
The Problem of Meaning
Social Aspects of Semiotics: The Individual and Society
Saussure on the Science of Semiology
Forms of Signs
Signs and Advertising
Material Culture
Objects and Identity
Signs and Truth
Activities and Performances
Music and Sound Effects
Facial Expressions as Signs
Language and Speaking
Connotation and Denotation
The Synchronic and the Diachronic
Syntagmatic Analysis
Paradigmatic Analysis
Dialogical Theory
Metaphor And Metonymy
Semiotics of the Television Medium
Some Criticisms of Semiotic Analysis
A Checklist for Semiotic Analysis of Television
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
Annotated Bibliography
2. Marxist Analysis
The Base and the Superstructure
False Consciousness and Ideology
The Frankfurt School
Class Conflict
The Consumer Society
John Berger on Advertising
Bourgeois Heroes
The Problem of Media Consolidation
The Danger of Being Doctrinaire
Grid-Group Analysis
Mary Douglas and “Shopping”
Marxist Criticism in the Postmodern World
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
Annotated Bibliography
3. Psychoanalytic Criticism
The Unconscious
William A. Rossi on Sexual Aspects of the Foot and Shoe
The Oedipus Complex
On the Importance of Myth
Id, Ego, and Superego
Freud’s Structural Hypothesis Applied to Culture
Defense Mechanisms
Condensation and Displacement
Aggression and Guilt
Stereotypes and Aggressive Humor
Freud and Beyond
Jungian Psychoanalytic Theory
Psychoanalytic Analysis of Media: A Cautionary Note
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
Annotated Bibliography
4. Sociological Analysis
Émile Durkheim on Our Social Nature
Some Basic Concepts
Class (Socio-Economic)
Mass Communication and Mass Media
Role (Social)
Sex (Gender)
Uses and Gratifications 2
Genres and Formulas
Content Analysis
Leo Lowenthal on Content Analysis
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
Annotated Bibliography
5. Murderers on the Orient Express
Organizing a Mystery
Detectives as Semioticians
Social and Political Dimensions
Poirot as Revolutionary
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
6. Seven Points on the Game of Football
Football Is a Game of Signs
Instant Replay and the Modern Sensibility
Football Socializes Us
Statistics About Televised Football
Why Baseball Is Boring
Football as an Alternative to Religion
The Marxist Perspective
Football and the Psyche
Concluding Remarks
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
7. The Maiden With the Snake: Interpretations of a Print Advertisement
Signs in Signs: A Primer on Applied Semiotics
The Maiden in Paradise: A Case Study
A Paradigmatic Analysis of the Fidji Advertisement
Psychoanalytic Aspects of the Fidji Text
An Aside on Moisturizers and Anxiety
Final Comments on Perfume and Anxiety
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
8. All-News Radio and the American Bourgeoisi
News and Alienation
News and Ruling-Class Ideology
Commercials and Anxiety
Caught in the Middle
News from Internet and Social Media
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
9. Video Games: A New Art Form
Are Video Games an Art Form or a Medium?
New Technologies and Video Games
Janet Murray on Interactivity and Immersion
Video Games and Addiction
Video Games and the Problem of Violence
Social and Physical Problems Caused by Video Games
Video Games and Sexuality
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
10. Cell Phones, Social Media and the Problem of Identity
Media Use by 8 to 18 Year Olds
Social Media
A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Youth and Social Media
The Cell Phone as Sign: A Semiotic Perspective
Marxist Perspectives on Cell Phones
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion
Appendix: Simulations, Activities, Games, and Exercises
Anatomy of a Tale
Paradigmatic Analysis
Dream Analysis
Writing a Therapeutic Fairy Tale
Origin Tales
Radio Scripts
Television Narrative Analysis
The Propp Game
Advertising Analysis
Playing Aaron Wildavsky
Textual Analysis
Name Index
Subject Index
About the Author
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