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Understanding the Media
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Understanding the Media

Third Edition


© 2014 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"This is a lucid and lively introduction to key concepts and developments in media and media studies. The new edition, with updated case studies and a good range of online reading, is a valuable resource for both students and lecturers."
- Chindu Sreedharan, Bournemouth University


"Has expanded the possibilities of what a textbook can be. Incisive questions framed through accessible and detailed examples provide a platform for a wealth of different activities that engage readers in the critical study of media."
- Dr Daniel Ashton
, Bath Spa University

"Accessibly written and very well-structured, the book will be one of those you go back to time and time again throughout your studies. In addition it also offers that much-needed, little-found extra in a textbook: critical engagement with media and society. A joy for those of us teaching the subject.
- Joke Hermes
, University of Amsterdam

How much of our media experience is shaped by the profit motive of media conglomerates? How much freedom and power do we have as members of an increasingly fragmented media audience? How do the media influence what we understand about friendship, globalization and even our own selves?

This book teaches students how to ask critical questions of the media, and gives them the analytical tools to answer those questions. By gaining a rich understanding of how the media play a role in society, both in giving pleasures and creating power relationships, students are encouraged to become critical thinkers. Understanding the Media:
  • Teaches the theoretical foundations and key concepts students need to get started on their own media studies
  • Brings concepts to life with examples and case studies on everything from Harry Potter and Big Brother to the Occupy movement
  • Shows the ‘how to’ with guided exercises and improves essay writing with a guide to the research literature
  • Helps students take learning further with guided free online readings
This is an essential guide to the how and why of understanding the media, perfect for students in media studies, sociology, cultural studies and communication studies.

Companion Website now available! Visit www.sagepub.co.uk/devereux3e for a range of student and lecturer resources.
Introduction: Asking Awkward Questions  
 
Chapter 1: Understanding the Media
Introduction  
Defining the Media  
The Media in a Social Context  
Asking Questions about U2  
Asking Questions? Which Questions?  
The Importance of Theory and Method  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 2: Media Histories, Media Power
Introduction  
Media Histories  
Changing Media Histories: an Irish Example  
A Contested Field  
Media and Power  
Power and Media Content  
Power and the Media Industries  
Power and Media Audiences  
Towards a (More) Critical Media Studies  
Model of Media Analysis: Production, Content and Reception  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 3: Media Globalization
Introduction  
What is Globalisation?  
The Latest Brand of Colonialism?  
Theories of Globalisation  
Media Globalisation  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 4: Media Ownership: Concentration, Conglomeration and Regulation
Introduction  
Why Should We be Bothered about Media Ownership?  
Media Ownership  
Conglomeration, Concentration and Content  
Vertical and Horizontal Integration  
The Political Economy Perspective  
'Follow the money...'  
Jurgen Habermas and the Public Sphere  
Media and Regulation  
Models of Media Regulation  
So, Do We Need Media Regulation?  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 5: Media Professionals and Media Production
Introduction  
Production Research  
Two Traditions  
Theoretical Underpinnings of Production Research  
Methodological Basis  
Hall's Encoding/ Decoding Model  
Ethnographic Research on Media Production and Media Professionals  
Inside Prime Time by Todd Gitlin  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 6: Media, Ideology and Discourse
Introduction  
What Precisely is Meant by the Term Ideology?  
Defining Ideology  
Ideology as Dominant Ideology  
Discourse and Ideology  
It's All in the Discourse?  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 7: Media 'Re-presentations' in an Unequal World
Introduction  
Representation/ Re-representation and 'Reality'  
What is Content Analysis?  
Media Re-representations in a Divided World: Four Approaches Outlined  
Media Re-presentations of Social Class  
Media Coverage of the Underclass: Stories about Welfare  
The Happy Poor: Representations in Fictional Media Content  
Media Representations of Ethnicity: a Discourse Analysis Approach  
Media Representations of Gender and Sexuality  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 8: Media Audiences and Reception
Introduction  
Themes and Tensions: Competing Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Audience Research  
Power to the People? Three Phases in Reception Research  
Reception Analysis and the 'Ethnographic Turn'  
Qualitative Audience Research: Three Examples  
Audiences, Fans and Participatory Cultures  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 9: New Media, Social Media
Introduction: New Media and Social Media - Empowering Audiences, But Who is Holding the Tiger's Tail?  
Will the Revolution be Digitalized?  
The Promise and the Reality of the Internet  
We are All 'Produsers' Now, are We? Audiences and New Media  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 10: Conclusion: The 'How' and 'Why' of Media Analysis
Introduction: This is Not a Methods Chapter...  
A Step-by-Step Approach to Doing Media Research  
How to Usefully Engage with Existing Research  
Doing Production, Content and Reception Research  
Keep on Asking Awkward Questions...  
Conclusion: The 'How' and 'Why' of Media Analysis  

Supplements

Click for online resources



For Students:


  • Chapter toolkits
  • Further reading and discussion points
  • Case studies
  • Online resources and links

For Lecturers:

  • Tutorial exercises
  • Sample exam/assessment questions

Devereux’s third edition of Understanding the Media has expanded the possibilities of what a textbook can be. Incisive questions framed through accessible and detailed examples provide a platform for a wealth of different activities that engage readers in the critical study of media.

Dr Daniel Ashton
Bath Spa University

This is a lucid and lively introduction to key concepts and developments in media and media studies. The new edition, with updated case studies and a good range of online reading, is a valuable resource for both students and lecturers.

Dr Chindu Sreedharan
Bournemouth University

Understanding the Media is carefully aimed at a new generation of media students. Accessibly written and very well-structured, the book will be one of those you go back to time and time again throughout your studies. In addition it also offers that much-needed, little-found extra in a textbook: critical engagement with media and society. A joy for those of us teaching the subject.

Joke Hermes
Inholland University and University of Amsterdam

Comprehensive guide to the how and why of understanding the media. Good overview for an introductory course in media studies.

Mr Seamus White
School of Arts, Dublin Business School
July 26, 2016

As a general media reader there is of value as a generalist text for those interested in the crime dimension of the media

Mr Ashley Tiffen
Institute of Policing and Criminal Justice Studies, University of Cumbria
June 16, 2015

An intelligent appraisal of a constantly changing landscape.

Ms Mary Williams
School of Social Historical and Literary Studies, Portsmouth University
March 10, 2015

Eoin Devereux's work is both appealing and instrumental in discussing problems pertaining to the field of Media. Its insightfulness is of great use for all, be it those starting their relationship with these issues and those who want to keep track of the foundations of the debate around media.

Professor Pedro Neto
School of Sociology and Public Policies, ISCTE - Inst of Soc Sci & Bus Studies
February 21, 2015

A fantastic well thought out text. Delivered in a succint a thoughtful fashion. I will be adopting this as my primary text for the module I am teaching

Mr Mark Timoney
Social Science, Sligo Institute of Technology
February 18, 2015

A very strong title which offers a broad, global scope that many texts of this kind are sorely lacking.

Dr Todd Nesbitt
Department of Communication, New York University in Prague
December 16, 2014

The book is rich with conceptual underpinnings and interesting examples. It is accessible and critical, suitable for students in media studies, cultural studies and sociology.

Dr Miyoung Oh
Department of Sport, Sheffield Hallam University
March 20, 2014

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Chapter One: Understanding the Media


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