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Understanding the Media


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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Professor Eoin Devereux is Professor of Sociology at the University of Limerick, Ireland and an Adjunct Professor in Contemporary Culture at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Primarily interested in Cultural and Economic Sociology, Professor Devereux has published extensively on media representations of poverty, inequality and the stigmatization of poorer neighbourhoods. He has also published widely on the media and on popular music including co-edited books on David Bowie, Morrissey, Joy Division and Protest Music. He is the author of the international best-selling book Understanding The Media, now in its 3rd edition and the editor of Media Studies: Key Issues and Debates, both published by Sage (London). Professor Devereux is co-founder/director of two research clusters at the University of Limerick, Ireland, namely, The Popular Music and Popular Culture Research Cluster and The Power, Discourse and Society Research Cluster. In addition to his academic work, Devereux is also a creative writer and experimental musician. His essay 'Waltzing Back: The Cranberries 1989-1993' is featured in the Box Set Version of The Cranberries debut album 'Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?' released by Universal Music (London) in October 2018. He has also curated sleeve notes for The Cranberries albums 'Something Else', 'In The End' and the 2020 re-issue of 'No Need To Argue.'


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

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
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

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