Media Reception Studies broadly surveys the past century of scholarship on the ways in which audiences make meaning out of mass media. It synthesizes in plain language social scientific, linguistic, and cultural studies approaches to film and television as communication media.
Janet Staiger traverses a broad terrain, covering the Chicago School, early psychological approaches, Soviet theory, the Frankfurt School, mass communication research and critical theory, linguistics and semiotic theory, social-psychoanalytical research, cognitive psychology, and cultural studies. She offers these theories as a set of tools for understanding the complex relationships between films and their audiences, TV shows and their viewers. She explains such questions as the behavior of fans; the implications of gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity with regard to the media; the effect of violence, horror, and sexually explicit images on viewers; and the place of memory in spectatorship.
Providing an organized and lucid introduction to a staggering amount of work, Media Reception Studies is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in understanding the effects of mass media.
“Media Reception Studies could be subtitled, ‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Reception Studies, But Were Afraid to Ask.’ Staiger presents a robust, sophisticated, and eminently readable account that will enable specialists and students alike to grasp the depth and breadth of one of the most significant areas of inquiry in the field today.“
—Barbara Klinger, Indiana University
“I have been waiting for just this book. At last, someone with a deep background in reception research has brought her wisdom to bear on the state of the field. Media Reception Studies has a wonderful range, and is so clearly and incisively written that everyone from undergraduates to senior academics can get great benefit from it.”
—Martin Barker, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
“Staiger writes that her purpose is to provide a map of the field of reception studies, and in this she succeeds. This stuyd reveals how much ahs been done in this area and how the study of the effects of media content has evolved. The "selective" bibliography is in fact extensive,a nd the index is comoprehensive.”
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