Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication

(6 reviews)

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Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13:

Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

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Reviewed by Doug Trouten, Professor, University of Northwestern - St. Paul, on 7/16/2014.

The text covers all of the major forms of media and significant related topics (advertising, media economics, ethics, etc.). While the text lacks a … read more

 

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Reviewed by Robert Kerr, Professor, University of Oklahoma, on 1/13/2015.

This book devotes almost 800 pages to achieving an impressive level of comprehensiveness, considering the vast subject material upon which it … read more

 

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Reviewed by Nick Marx, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, on 1/8/2016.

The text is a broad and comprehensive overview of all relevant forms of media today. Although this is a common organizational approach for survey … read more

 

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Reviewed by Tom Grier, Professor, Winona State University, on 8/22/2016.

The book is comprehensive, covering the study of media and its intersection with culture, through an in-depth look at each of the major mediums, then … read more

 

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Reviewed by Amy Rawson, Professor, Century College, on 2/9/2017.

Interestingly, this textbook was more comprehensive than I originally expected. The text covered all of the major areas to be expected in a mass … read more

 

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Reviewed by Kevin Smith, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College, on 2/16/2017.

This text is comprehensive in its coverage of all major media platforms and key general concepts related to mass media. There are times (e.g. … read more

 

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Media and Culture
  • Chapter 2: Media Effects
  • Chapter 3: Books
  • Chapter 4: Newspapers
  • Chapter 5: Magazines
  • Chapter 6: Music
  • Chapter 7: Radio
  • Chapter 8: Movies
  • Chapter 9: Television
  • Chapter 10: Electronic Games and Entertainment
  • Chapter 11: The Internet and Social Media
  • Chapter 12: Advertising and Public Relations
  • Chapter 13: Economics of Mass Media
  • Chapter 14: Ethics of Mass Media
  • Chapter 15: Media and Government
  • Chapter 16: The Future of Mass Media

About the Book

Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative. Though the publisher has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, this adapted edition reproduces all original text and sections of the book, except for publisher and author name attribution.

According to the author, the world did not need another introductory text in mass communication. But the world did need another kind of introductory text in mass communication, and that is how Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication was birthed.

The only question was: What would be the purpose of another introductory mass communication text?

Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication was written to squarely emphasize media technology. Jack believes that an introduction to mass communication text should be a compelling, historical narrative sketching the *ongoing evolution* of media technology and how that technology shapes and is shaped by culture — and that is what he set out to deliver with his new textbook.

Today’s students are immersed in media technology. They live in a world of cell phones, smart phones, video games, iPods, laptops, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and more. They fully expect that new technology will be developed tomorrow. Yet students often lack an historical perspective on media technology. They lack knowledge of the social, political and economic forces that shape media technology. This is not knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It is knowledge that can help them understand, comprehend, appreciate, anticipate, shape and control media technology.

With this focus, Understanding Media and Culture becomes an appropriate title. Indeed, the title has particular significance. Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media is a key text in media studies. Written in the 1960s, Understanding Media was the subject of intense debates that continue to this day. Its central message was that the technology of media — not their content — was their most important feature. In a typically pithy phrase, McLuhan said, ”The medium is the message.“ The title, Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, situates the introductory text in a large, engrossing theoretical conversation.

The goal is to adopt a textbook that will support and complement your teaching of this course. Jack Lule’s, Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, will support an engaging and interesting course experience for students that will not only show them the powerful social, political and economic forces will affect the future of media technology, but will challenge students to do their part in shaping that future.

About the Contributors

Author(s)

Unnamed Author is the Joseph B. McFadden distinguished professor of journalism and the director of the globalization and social change initiative at Lehigh University. His research interests include globalization and media, international communication, international news reporting, cultural and critical studies of news, online journalism, and teaching with technology.

He is the author of Daily News, Eternal Stories: The Mythological Role of Journalism, published in 2001 by Guilford Press. Called “a landmark book in the sociology of news,” the book argues that ancient myths can be found daily in the pages of the news. The book won the 2002 Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship. His current book is a study of globalization and the media.

The author of more than forty scholarly articles and book chapters, Unnamed Author is also a frequent contributor to numerous newspapers and periodicals and has served as a commentator about the news on National Public Radio, BBC, and other media outlets.