|About the book|
"This is a welcome critical corrective to complacent mainstream accounts of the media's cultural impact".
Prof. Slavoj Zizek, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London
"A powerful and highly engaging re-assessment of past critical thinkers (including those not normally thought of as critical) in the light of today's mediascape".
Jorge Reina Schement, Distinguished Professor of Communications, Penn State University
With the exception of occasional moral panics about the coarsening of public discourse, and the impact of advertising and television violence upon children, mass media tend to be viewed as a largely neutral or benign part of contemporary life. Even when criticisms are voiced, the media chooses how and when to discuss its own inadequacies. More radical external critiques are often excluded and media theorists are frequently more optimistic than realistic about the negative aspects of mass culture.
This book reassesses this situation in the light of both early and contemporary critical scholarship and explores the intimate relationship between the mass media and the dis-empowering nature of commodity culture. The authors cast a fresh perspective on contemporary mass culture by comparing past and present critiques. They:
Critical Theories of Mass Media is a key text for students of cultural studies, communications and media studies, and sociology.
|About the authors|
Paul A. Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory, University of Leeds, UK.
Jan Ll. Harris is an independent scholar.
|Table of contents|
Part 1 Then
Walter Benjamin’s ‘Work of Art’ essay
Siegfried Kracauer's mass ornament
Theodor Adorno and the culture industry
Marshall McLuhan's understanding of media
Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle
Part 2 Now
Introduction to Part 2
The culture of celebrity
Banality TV: the democratization of celebrity
The politics of banality: the ob-scene as the mis-en-scène