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Understanding the Media
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Understanding the Media

Third Edition
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December 2013 | 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

As with the previous two editions, this will prove to be an essential course book for students. Introduces students to key theoretical concepts and encourages critical thinking about the role of the media within society.

Ms Lesley Albon
Department of Media, Chester University
February 21, 2014

This is easily the best textbook of its kind, Apart from dealing thoroughly with the subject matter, the author's own research competence shines through. It positions better students for solid research in the field of mass communications.

Dr Michael Breen
Media & Communication, Univ of Limerick, Mary Immaculate Coll
February 20, 2014

Very helpfull to enlighten students on how media - indeed- work.

Dr Sonia Nelson
Dept of Mass Communication, Sultan Qaboos University
February 5, 2014

Although I have recommended it for Honours (4th level BA) I am prescribing it as essential reading for my MA and PhD students (aproximately 10 students). It is excellent.

Professor Beschara Karam
Department of Communicatin Science, University of South Africa
February 4, 2014

Fascinating and up-to-date text with hands on examples for students.

Dr Ayoade Amuda
Humanities, University of South Wales
February 3, 2014

A great text for students of journalism and communication studies. I have added this text to the reading list for my forthcoming MA course, and am certain it will be enjoyed for its refreshing writing style, clear structure and attention to detail. Happy to see new cases such as the Leveson Inquiry included.

Mrs Line Thomsen
Inst for Information & Media Studies, Aarhus University
January 15, 2014

Very useful book which explores how the media influences and impacts on our day to day lives....used in conjunction with a crime in the media module it widens and expands a students understanding of the power processes in play within our very powerful media consortium.

Mrs CAROLYNE JAMES
Applied Social Science (Carlisle), University of Cumbria
January 12, 2014

The book has a critical approach that I would like to see in textbooks. Especially in the last chapter it encourages the readers to think and engage in analysis and producing articles.

Dr OSMAN KOROGLU
Management and Vocational School, Fatih University
December 26, 2013
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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One: Understanding the Media


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