Media Anthropology

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Media Anthropology represents a convergence of issues and interests on anthropological approaches to the study of media. The purpose of this reader is to promote the identity of the field of study; identify its major concepts, methods, and bibliography; comment on the state of the art; and provide examples of current research. Based on original articles by leading scholars from several countries and academic disciplines, Media Anthropology provides essays introducing the issues, reviewing the field, forging new conceptual syntheses.

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Editorial Reviews

Communication Research Trends
"[The book] represents a discussion of what anthropology might mean for the communication field in terms of both the kinds of content as well as different approaches to audience reception."
Communication Research Trends
"[The book] represents a discussion of what anthropology might mean for the communication field in terms of both the kinds of content as well as different approaches to audience reception."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412925556
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/5/2005
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric W. Rothenbuhler is Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. He was previously Director of Graduate Media Studies at New School University (2001-04) and on the faculty of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa (1985-2001). At Iowa he was an affiliated faculty member with American Studies and faculty advisor to the student radio station, KRUI, 89.7 FM, where he also had a weekly radio show on the history of rhythm and blues. He earned his doctorate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1985 and the BA and MA from Ohio State University. He has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Kansas (twice), Scholar in Residence at the Center for Advanced Study in Telecommunication at Ohio State University, and has participated in doctoral workshops and teaching seminars at the Universities of Dortmund, Ljubljana, and Oslo.

Rothenbuhler’s research and teaching address communication systems, ranging from ritual through community to media industries. His dissertation research on the living room celebration of the 1984 Olympic Games provided the first statistically representative evidence for television audience behavior and attitudes consistent with the theory of media events. This work was published in Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, and other outlets. His work on decision-making processes and industrial market structures in the radio and music businesses, in a series of articles beginning in 1982 in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Media, Culture, and Society, and several books, is also widely cited. This work continues with research on American radio in the 1950s in collaboration with Tom Mc Court, including an article in The Radio Journal and a forthcoming book manuscript. His essay “Symbolic disorder and repair after witnessing 9/11” is being translated and published in France, as was an earlier essay with John Peters, “The reality of construction.” Part of his work on the posthumous career and reputation of the American blues musician Robert Johnson is forthcoming in a book chapter called “The strange career of Robert Johnson’s records.”

Rothenbuhler is the author of Ritual communication: From everyday conversation to mediated ceremony (1988, Sage), which has been translated to Polish (2004), and co-editor (with Greg Shepherd) of Communication and Community (2001, LEA). He was Review and Criticism Editor for the Journal of Communication (1997-99) and author or co-author of over 50 articles, chapters, essays, or reviews on media, ritual, community, media industries, popular music, and communication theory.

Mihai Coman Born in Fagaras, Romania, in 1953, Mihai Coman has graduated from the College of Letters within the University of Bucharest (1976), and holds a Ph D in Letters (1985). He was teacher in a Romanian high school (1976-1982), journalist (1982-1989) and publisher (1989-1990). He was the first Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Studies within the University of Bucharest, and the first coordinator of doctoral studies in communications. Mihai Coman is considered to be the founder of journalism and communication education in Romania. Until 1989 he had specialized in cultural anthropology studies on Romanian folklore. He has published four volumes of mythology studies (The Sources of Myth – 1980, The Sister of Sun – 1983, Mythos and Epos – 1985, The Point and the Spiral – 1992) and a vast synthesis on animal mythology (Bestiarul mitologic roman, 1986, 1988, second edition published in 1996). Other mythology studies have appeared in scientific journals L’Ethnologie francaise, Etudes indo-europeennes, Kurier. After 1989 he published the reference volume Introducere in sistemul mass media and has coordinated the two volumes of Manual de jurnalism, a book which sold more than 20,000 copies. In this period he has started to elaborate the theoretical and analytical framework of mass media anthropology through studies published in scientific journals such as the francophone Reseaux, Media Pouvoirs, Communication, or in collections such as Roger Tessier (ed), La transition en Roumanie – communication et qualite de la vie, Montreal, Presse de l’Universite du Quebec, 1995, J. M. Pomorskiego, Z. Bajki (ed), Valeriana, Essays on Human Communication, in honour of Valery Pissarek, Krakow, 1996, Bernard Miege, Gaetan Tremblay (ed), 2001 Bogues: globalisme at pluralisme, vol I (TIC et societe), Laval, Les Presses Universitaires du Laval, 2003, INA – Television, memoire et identite nationale, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2003. In 2003, as a synthesis of these investigations, he published with Presses Universitaires de Grenoble the book Pour une anthropologie des medias.

He has also published numerous scientific studies in journals and books dedicated to the transformations in the mass media in post-communist countries (Romänischer Journalismus in einer Übergangspériode, in vol. “Medienlandschaft im Umbruch”, Berlin,Vistas, 1994, The Third Elite, in Ph. Glenn, O. Soltys (ed), “Media'95”, Prague, Charles University Press,1996, Les Journalistes roumains et leur idéologie professionelle, en K. Feigelson, N. Pelissier (ed), "Télé-révolutions culturelles: Chine, Europe Centrale, Russie ", Paris, Ed. L'Harmattan, 1998, Developments in Journalism Theory about Media "Transition" in Central and Eastern Europe (1990-1999), in “Journalism Studies”, nr. 1, vol. 1, 2000, Media in Romania (A Sourcebook), Berlin, Vistas Verlang, 2004)

Mihai Coman was visiting professor at Institut Fur Journalistik, Dortmund University, Germany (2000-2001), at The Department of Communication of the University Stendhal, Grenoble, France (1998-1999) at The Department of Communication of the University Paris XIII, France (1996), at The Department of Communication, University of Quebec at Montreal (1993) and a Fulbright researcher at Department of Communication, California State University, Chico, USA (1999)

He is a member of international organizations (AEJMC, EJTA, IAMCR, AAA, ORBICOM), and on the editorial boards of communication journals such as Reseaux, Communication, Journalism Studies.

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Table of Contents

The Promise of Media Anthropology - Mihai Coman, University of Bucharest and Eric W. Rothenbuhler, Texas A&M University
Media Anthropology, An Introduction - Faye Ginsberg, New York University
The Profanity of the Media - Mark Hobart, University of London
Proposal for Mass Media Anthropology - Francisco Osorio, University of Chile
Cultural Anthropology and Mass Media: A Processual Approach - Mihai Coman, University of Bucharest
Media Rituals: Beyond Functionalism - Nick Couldry, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Ritual Media: Historical Perspectives and Social Functions - Pascal Lardellier, Université de Bourgogne, France
The Emergence of Religious Forms in Television - Günter Thomas, Universität Heidelberg
The Church of the Cult of the Individual - Eric Rothenbuhler, Texas A&M University
News as Myth: Daily News and Eternal Stories - Jack Lule, Lehigh University
News Stories and Myth - the Impossible Reunion? - Mihai Coman, University of Bucharest
News as Stories - Michael Schudson, University of Calfornia at San Diego
Performing Media: Toward an Ethnography of Intertextuality - Mark Peterson, Miami University
Audience Ethnographies: A Media Engagement Approach - Antonio La Pastina, Texas A&M University
Picturing Practices: Visual Anthropology and Media Ethnography - Graham Murdock and Sarah Pink
The Pope's Visit to Reunion Island - Daniel Dayan, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ground Zero, the Firemen, and the Symbolics of Touch on 9/11 and After - Eric W. Rothenbuhler, Texas A&M University
Myths to the Rescue: How Live Television Intervenes in History - Tamar Liebes and Menahem Blondheim, Hebrew University of Jersusalem
Finding Aids to the Past: Bearing Personal Witness to Traumatic Public Events - Barbie Zelizer, Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania
Telling What-a-Story News Through Myth and Ritual: The Middle East as Wild West - Daniel Berkowitz, University of Iowa
CJ's Revenge: A Case Study of News as Cultural Narrative - S. Elizabeth Bird, University of South Florida
Ritualized Play, Art, and Communication on Internet Relay Chat - Brenda Danet, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Emerita) and Yale University
Religion and Meaning in the Digital Age: Field Research on Internet/Web Religion - Stewart M. Hoover and Jin Kyu Park, University of Colorado
Weaving Trickster: Myth and Tribal Encounters on the World Wide Web - Anita Hammer, University of Oslo
The Mass Media and the Transformation of Collective Identity: Quebec and Israel - Dov Shinar, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Media Anthropology: A Reflection and a New Media - Susan Allen, Kansas State University
Speaking with the Sources: Science Writes and Anthropologists - Merry Bruns, Center for Anthropology and Science Communications
The Journalist as Enthnographer? How Anthropology can Enrich Journalistic Practice - S. Elizabeth Bird, University of South Florida
Journalism Education and Practice - Gerd Kopper, University of Dortmund
The Public Sphere: Linking the Media and Civic Cultures - Peter Dahlgren, Lund University
About the Authors

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