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The Media Student's Book

The Media Student's Book

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The Media Student's Book is a comprehensive introduction for students of media studies. It covers all the key topics and provides a detailed, lively and accessible guide to concepts and debates.

Now in its fifth edition, this bestselling textbook has been thoroughly revised, re-ordered and updated, with many very recent examples and expanded coverage of the most important issues currently facing media studies. It is structured in three main parts, addressing key concepts, debates, and research skills, methods and resources. Individual chapters include:

approaching media texts

narrative

genres and other classifications

representations

globalisation

ideologies and discourses

the business of media

new media in a new world?

the future of television

regulation now

debating advertising, branding and celebrity

news and its futures

documentary and `reality' debates

from `audience' to `users'

research: skills and methods.

Each chapter includes a range of examples to work with, sometimes as short case studies. They are also supported by separate, longer case studies which include:

Slumdog Millionaire

online access for film and music

CSI and detective fictions

Let the Right One In and The Orphanage

PBS, BBC and HBO

images of migration

The Age of Stupid and climate change politics.

The authors are experienced in writing, researching and teaching across different levels of undergraduate study, with an awareness of the needs of students. The book is specially designed to be easy and stimulating to use, with:

a Companion Website with popular chapters from previous editions, extra case studies and further resources for teaching and learning, at: www.mediastudentsbook.com

margin terms, definitions, photos, references (and even jokes), allied to a comprehensive glossary

follow-up activities in `Explore' boxes

suggestions for further reading and online research

references and examples from a rich range of media and media forms, including advertising, cinema, games, the internet, magazines, newspapers, photography, radio, and television.

List of Figures

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Section 1: Key concepts

1 Approaching media texts

Introduction

Semiotic approaches

Structuralism, difference(s), and oppositions

Denotation and connotation

The social nature of signs

Debates

Content analysis

Conclusion

Case study: Visual and aural signs

Analysing a poster, and notes on two photos

Voices and sound signifiers

Audio-visual moving images

Content analysis

2 Narratives

General theories of narrative

Narration, story and plot

Narratives in different media

Long running and `single' narratives

`New media' and narrative debates

Conclusion

References and further reading

Case study: CSI: Miami and Crime fiction

The classification `crime fiction'

Plot/story

Applying Todorov

Applying Propp

Applying Barthes

Applying Levi-Strauss

Narratives, institutions, ideologies

References and further reading

3 Genres and classification

Classifying films: Thelma and Louise (US 1991)

Repetition and difference

Repertoires of elements

Case study: Formats and genres

Status and genres 1: `escapism' and verisimilitude

Status and genres 2: the cultural context

Conclusion

References and further reading

Case study: Horror as popular art The Orphanage and Let the Right One In

The child in the horror film

Global and local audiences

Style and the Gothic: different repertoires

Authorship and promotion

Distribution patterns

4 Representations

`Representation' now

Stereotyping and `scripts'

Case study 1: US plantation stereotyping

Scripts and performances

Case study 2: Representations and gender

Stages of change, and `positive/negative' debates

Realisms and representations

Comedy and questions of representation

Historical and institutional processes

Conclusion

Reference and further reading

Case study: Images of migration

Introduction

Discourses and stereotypes of `migration' and other kinds of travel

News media

The `grain of truth' in stereotypes?

Varieties of media representations

References

5 Globalisation

Your experiences of globalisation

Global histories

Approaches to globalised media

Global-local flows

Global futures?

Conclusion

References and further reading

Case study: Slumdog Millionaire: global film?

The background to a global hit

The production of the film

Distribution

The Bollywood connection

Controversies in reception

After the Oscar ceremonies . . .

6 Ideologies and discourses

Introduction

`Ideology' and its histories: Marxist approaches

The persistence of class and its (in)visibility

Post-Marxism and critical pluralism

Discoures

Lived cultures

Conclusion?

References and further reading

Case study: The Age of Stupid (UK 2009) and Climate Change Politics

Introduction

Context: images and discourses

The term `propaganda'

Textual approaches to the film

`Cinema' and its `everyday practices'

Conclusion

7 Media as Business

Studying business organisations

Ownership and control

The experience of conglomerates

New players in India and China

Public or private funding?

Public or private in filmed entertainment

The new digital environment

Business models

Different perspectives

Conclusion

References and further reading

Case study: Music and movies - digital and available

The challenge of copying

Piracy

Changing models in the film industry

Section 2 : Debates

8 `New media' in a `new world'?

Introduction

`Newness' and histories

Academic approaches

Openness, collaboration and `users'

`The long tail'

Digital copies and the `enclosure' of information

New media, old metaphors

`New media', vanishing resources

Conclusion

References and further reading

9 The future of television

Introduction

Ownership and control in the television industry

Paying for television

Business models for television broadcasting

Public service broadcasting

Network television

Subscription

10 Regulation now

Introduction

Politics and media economics

Regulation and `freedom'

Historical background

Changes in the orthodoxy of economic policies and new models

Deregulation, liberalisation and media institutions

The contemporary regulatory environment

A `free market' for classification, censorship and sex and violence?

The public gets the media it deserves?

`Free choices' and free speech?

Conclusion

References and further reading

11 Debating advertising, branding and celebrity

Introduction

Advertising, marketing and branding

Debates

Histories

Hollywood and branding

Hollywood: the brand(s)

Case study: `Brangelina'

Citizenship and consumption

References and further reading

12 News and its futures

Introduction

The importance of news, and views of `the public'

The construction of `news'

`Impartiality' and accuracy

`News values'

Debates on the influence of news

Futures: `new' news?

Conclusion

References and further reading

13 Documentary and `reality' debates

Recent issues in documentary

Documentary and assumptions about `realism' and truth

`Direct Cinema'

Performance and documentary

Ethics and documentary

Recent hybrids 1: `pranksters'

Recent hybrids 2: `reality TV'

Recent hybrids 3: forms of `drama documentary'

Conclusion

References and further reading

14 From `audience' to `users'

Introduction

Academic representations of audiences

The effects model

The uses and gratifications model

From `effects' to `influence': factual forms

`Cultural' approaches

Re-mediating audiences

Conclusion

References and further reading

Section 3 : Research methods and reference

15 Research: skills and methods

Introduction

Basics

Using the internet, and print forms

Fear of `theory'

Methods

Qualitative and quantitative

Textual approaches

Samples

Focus groups

`Ethnographic' methods

Footnote : Wikipedia

References and further reading

Glossary

Index

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