Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction

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Clearly organized, systematic, and combining a critical survey of the field with a finely judged assessment of cutting edge developments, this book provides a ‘must have’ contribution to media and communication studies. Ideally pitched for students it explores the media saturation of everyday life while carefully emphasizing the complex relationships which exist between media, culture, and society. The text is organized into three distinctive parts which fall neatly into research and teaching requirements: Elements of the Media; Media, Power and Control; and Media, Identity and Culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Communication Research Trends
"The book addresses complex theories and issues of power, control and representation, but does so in a style that is accessible without being simplistic...The text would be useful in media seminars at various levels." - Pete Bicak, Rockhurst University— Pete Bicak
From the Publisher
In his beautifully balanced, clear and broad-ranging account of a fast-changing field, Paul Hodkinson has successfully brought together myriad perspectives with which to critically analyse today's media culture and media society
Sonia Livingstone
Professor of Media and Communication, LSE

Introductory texts are notoriously difficult to write; they have to be accessible, engaging, well organised and well written. Hodkinson has succeeded in writing a book which makes a distinctive and engaging contribution to the literature; it is a work which combines scholarship and imagination. The book is carefully organised and sets an agenda which will be useful to students in a wide variety of contexts. It manages to combine traditional approaches to understanding the media with new and emergent issues and areas. Contemporary examples and illustrations are used throughout to ensure that general analysis is always embedded in particular case studies and each section is rounded off with a summary conclusion which allows students to reflect on their reading. The book is fully supported by key references and succeeds in providing an introduction to which students will return throughout their studies
Tim O'Sullivan
Professor of Media, Film and Journalism, De Montfort University

Written clearly and accessibly, Media, Culture and Society offers a solid grounding in key theories and debates. From media technologies through to audience communities, Hodkinson is always a sure-footed guide
Matt Hills
Cardiff University

Communication Research Trends - Pete Bicak
"The book addresses complex theories and issues of power, control and representation, but does so in a style that is accessible without being simplistic...The text would be useful in media seminars at various levels." - Pete Bicak, Rockhurst University
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412920520
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/15/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Hodkinson is a sociologist whose work is focused upon youth cultures, online communications and on the relationships between media and cultural identities. He has conducted extensive research on goth subculture and is author of Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture (2002, Oxford: Berg). He is also co-editor of Youth Cultures: Scenes, Subcultures and Tribes (2007, London: Routledge).

He is currently researching young people's use of online communications - notably through social networking sites. He is based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey. He joined the department of sociology in August 2003. He was previously Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at University College Northampton and prior to that, he studied at the University of Birmingham at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

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Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION Introduction Media, Culture, Society Starting Points: Shaping, Mirroring and Re-presenting The Communications Process Transmitters, Receivers and Noise Who Says What and Other Questions Linear and One-Dimensional Elements of Media in Socio-Cultural Context Media, Power and Control Media, Identity and Culture Making Connections PART ONE: ELEMENTS OF MEDIA
2. MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES Introduction Contrasting Medium Theories McLuhan: The Medium is the Message Kill Your Television Technological Determinism Hot, Cool or Both?
Generalization and Reification Technologies and Social Contexts Capacities and Constraints Into the Digital Age Convergence Interactivity Mobility The Internet: A Cure for Social Ills Conclusion: Technologies in Context
3. MEDIA INDUSTRY Introduction Media Organizations Commercial Ownership Concentration of Ownership = Concentration of Ideas?
The Bottom Line: Sources of Revenue Advertising Revenue Direct Audience Payment Payments Between Companies Maximising Audiences The Role of Sponsors Governments and Regulation Access Restrictions Ownership Restrictions Content Regulation Deregulation Supporting the Industry: Copyright Conclusion: Economic Determinism?
4. MEDIA CONTENT Introduction Media Texts as Arrangements of Signs Signs as Arbitrary?
Levels of Meaning Signs as Relational Uncovering Mythology Limitations of Semiology Narrative, Genre and Discourse Analysis Narrative Analysis Genre Analysis Discourse Analysis From Quality to Quantity: Content Analysis
'Systematic, Objective and Quantifiable'
Categories and Coding Population and Sample Case Study: Gerbner and Television Violence Limitations of Content Analysis Conclusion: Putting Texts into Context
5. MEDIA USERS Introduction US Empirical Traditions of Audience Research Effects Research Limited Effects and Two-Step Flow Uses and Gratifications Functionalist and Complacent?
Cultural Studies: Dominant and Oppositional Readings Encoding, Decoding and Preferred Meanings Social Context and Differential Readings Audiences as Cultural Producers Ethnographies of Audiences, Fans and Users Conclusion: An Uncritical Celebration?
6. MEDIA AS MANIPULATION: MARXISM AND IDEOLOGY Introduction Marxism and Ideology: Basics The Culture Industry as Mass Deception Unsupported Elitism?
Ideological Meanings Beyond Marx' Materialism Case Study: Consumerist Myths Political Economy and Ideology Manufacturing Consent Cultural Imperialism as Globalization of Ideology Arguments and Criticisms Political Economic versus Cultural Approaches Complex Communication Flows and Consumer Resistance Conclusion: Avoiding Easy Dismissals
7. THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEWS Introduction Selection, Gatekeeping and Agenda Setting News Values Case Study: September 11th Constructing Stories Differences Between Outlets Medium Style and Market Position Political Stance Similarities: Back to Bias and Ideology?
Class Bias Institutional Bias Infotainment and Depoliticization Conclusion: Bad News?
8. PUBLIC SERVICE OR PERSONAL ENTERTAINMENT? CONTROLLING MEDIA ORIENTATION Introduction Public Service Broadcasting Reith and the BBC Differing PSB Arrangements Developing PSB Principles Enabling or Imposing?
Censorship: Preventing Harm and Offence Avoiding Majority (and Minority) Offence Pornography Violence Preventing Harm or Inhibiting Freedom?
Commercial Competition and Consumer Choice Neo-Liberal Approaches US Broadcasting: A Free Market Model A Toaster with Pictures: The Decline of Regulation Conclusion: A Rosy Commercial Future?
9. DECLINE OF THE NATIONAL PUBLIC: COMMERCIALIZATION, FRAGMENTATION AND GLOBALIZATION Introduction Media and the Public Sphere Habermas' Public Sphere Media and Public Engagement Nation as Imagined Community Decline of the Public Sphere From Facilitators to Shapers Commercially Driven Content Digital Dilution of the Nation Fragmentation Globalization The Internet: Interactive but Fragmented Conclusion: National Public - Good Riddance?
10. MEDIA, ETHNICITY AND DIASPORA Introduction Racism and Exclusion Representation Under-Representation Stereotypical Representations The Reproduction of Subordination Promoting 'Positive' Images Reversing Stereotypes of Passivity Successful, Well Adjusted, Integrated The Burden of Representation New Ethnicities and Diaspora New Ethnicities Diaspora Representing Diaspora Audience Segregation Newspapers, Video and Global Bollywood Digital Specialization Online Diaspora Conclusion: Empowerment or Ghettoization?
11. MEDIA, GENDER AND SEXUALITY Introduction Constructions of Femininity Female Marginalization The Male Gaze Patriarchal Romance and Domesticity Post-Feminist Independence?
The Enduring Gaze Elitist Critics Empowering Possibilities Reading the Romance Subversive Pleasures From Consumers to Producers Remaining Critical Media and Masculinities Masculinity or Masculinities?
Lads Mags and Contradictory Representations Beyond Heterosexuality Conclusion: A Balanced Approach
12. MEDIA COMMUNITIES: SUBCULTURES, FANS AND IDENTITY GROUPS Introduction Media versus Community Homogenization and Atomization Resisting Mass Culture (and Media): Youth Subcultures Moral Panic and Mass Media Stigmatization Targeting Community Local Media Niche Magazines and Consumer Groups Niche Digital Media DIY Media and Internet Communication Fanzines Online Micro-Communication Virtual Community Communities or Individuals?
Conclusion: All About Definitions
13. SATURATION, FLUIDITY AND LOSS OF MEANING Introduction Saturation as Loss of Meaning Consumerism: Expansion and Speed-Up Information Overload Media = Reality From Truth, to Ideology, to Simulacra Celebrity Culture as Hyperreal Identity: Fragmentation and Fluidity Recycling and Pastiche The Internet As Virtual Playground Simulated Identity?
Internet as Extension of Everyday Life Case Study: Social Networking Sites Conclusion: Saturated but Real Glossary
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