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Media Analysis Techniques
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Media Analysis Techniques

Sixth Edition


January 2018 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

This book provides a concise, thought-provoking, and cleverly-written introduction to major theories in media analysis, and it gives students new perspectives on the media they use.”

—Donna Halper, Lesley University

In the Sixth Edition of Media Analysis Techniques, author Arthur Asa Berger once again provides students with a clearly written, user-friendly, hands-on guide to media criticism. The book empowers readers to make their own analyses of the media rather than just accept how others interpret the media. Media Analysis Techniques begins by examining four basic techniques of media interpretation—semiotic theory, Marxist theory, psychoanalytic theory, and sociological theory—that Berger considers critical for creative people to acknowledge if they are to understand how their creations translate to the real world. Application chapters then link popular culture to these four theories. Written in an accessible style that demystifies complex concepts, Media Analysis Techniques includes learning exercises, a glossary, study guides, and the author’s own illustrations.

New to the Sixth Edition:

  • A new chapter on discourse analysis offers students techniques for analyzing the language in texts.
  • New content on psychological impact of social media shows that there are often negative consequences to using social media.
  • Increased coverage of technology and social media helps readers apply time-tested analysis techniques to the latest media.
  • Updated examples from popular culture bring theory to life.
  • New drawings and photo images illustrate concepts and enhance the visual attractiveness of this book.
  • New material around generational differences describe to students how each generation interacts with media differently, particularly the millennials.   
  • New discussions by thinkers who have made major impacts on popular culture, such as
    • Daniel Chandler on semiotic codes
    • Michel Foucault on change in cultures
    • Mark Gottdiener on sign vehicles in semiotic theory
    • Guy Debord on the Society of Spectacle
    • Mark Thompson et al on Marx’s neglect of egalitarian political culture
    • Marcel Danesi on myth and popular culture
    • Ernest Kris on the Oedipus Complex
    • Sigmund Freud on the purposes of jokes
    • Clotaire Rapaille on the new “Global code.”
    • Teun van Dyk on discourse analysis and ideology
    • Wolfgang Iser on reception theory

Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class!
Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Part I. Techniques of Interpretation
 
Chapter 1: Semiotic Analysis
A Brief History of the Subject

 
The Problem of Meaning

 
Social Aspects of Semiotics: The Individual and Society

 
Saussure on the Science of Semiology

 
Signs

 
Forms of Signs

 
Signs and Truth

 
Facial Expressions as Signs

 
Hyperreality

 
Language and Speaking

 
Connotation and Denotation

 
The Synchronic and the Diachronic

 
Syntagmatic Analysis

 
Paradigmatic Analysis

 
Intertextuality

 
Dialogical Theory

 
Metaphor and Metonymy

 
Codes

 
Culture Codes

 
Michel Foucault on Codes

 
Semiotics of the Television Medium

 
Some Criticisms of Semiotic Analysis

 
A Checklist for Semiotic Analysis of Television

 
 
Chapter 2: Marxist Analysis
Materialism

 
The Base and the Superstructure

 
False Consciousness

 
Ideology

 
The Frankfurt School

 
Class Conflict

 
Alienation

 
The Consumer Society

 
John Berger on Advertising

 
Bourgeois Heroes

 
Hegemony

 
The Problem of Media Consolidation

 
The Society of the Spectacle

 
The Danger of Being Doctrinaire

 
Grid-Group Analysis

 
Marxist Criticism in the Postmodern World

 
Analyzing a Text From a Marxist Perspective

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
Annotated Bibliography

 
 
Chapter 3: Psychoanalytic Criticism
The Unconscious

 
Sexuality

 
William A. Rossi on Sexual Aspects of the Foot and Shoe

 
The Oedipus Complex

 
On the Importance of Myth

 
Media and the Oedipus Complex

 
Id, Ego, and Superego

 
The Structural Hypothesis Applied to Culture

 
Symbols

 
Defense Mechanisms

 
Martin Grotjahn on Horror Films

 
Dreams

 
Condensation and Displacement

 
Aggression and Guilt

 
Stereotypes and Aggressive Humor

 
Freud and Beyond

 
Jungian Psychoanalytic Theory

 
Psychoanalytic Analysis of Media: A Cautionary Note

 
 
Chapter 4: Sociological Analysis
Émile Durkheim on Our Social Nature

 
Some Basic Concepts

 
Culture

 
Herbert Gans and Taste Cultures

 
Uses and Gratifications

 
Genres and Formulas

 
Content Analysis

 
 
Chapter 5: Discourse Analysis
Defining Discourse Analysis

 
Teun A. Van Dijk on Discourse Analysis

 
Spoken and Written Discourse

 
Styles and Written Discourse

 
Political Ideologies and Discourse Analysis

 
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)

 
Advertising and Critical Discourse Analysis

 
Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA)

 
Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA)

 
A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of an Advertisement

 
Conclusion

 
 
Part II. Applications
 
Chapter 6: Murderers on the Orient Express
Organizing a Mystery

 
Detectives as Semioticians

 
Social and Political Dimensions

 
Poirot as Revolutionary

 
 
Chapter 7: Seven Points on the Game of Football (And Some Interesting Statistics)
Football Is a Game of Signs

 
Instant Replay and the Modern Sensibility

 
Football Socializes Us

 
Statistics on Televised Football

 
Why Baseball Is Boring

 
Football as an Alternative to Religion

 
The Marxist Perspective

 
Football and the Psyche

 
Concluding Remarks

 
 
Chapter 8: The Maiden with the Snake: Interpretations of a Print Advertisement
Signs in Signs: A Primer on Applied Semiotics

 
The Maiden in Paradise: A Case Study

 
A Paradigmatic Analysis of the Fidji Advertisement

 
Using the Myth Model

 
Psychoanalytic Aspects of the Fidji Text

 
An Aside on Moisturizers and Anxiety

 
Final Comments on Perfume and Anxiety

 
 
Chapter 9: All-News Radio and the American Bourgeoisie
News and Alienation

 
News and Ruling-Class Ideology

 
Commercials and Anxiety

 
Caught in the Middle

 
News and Conversation

 
News from the Internet and Social Media

 
 
Chapter 10: Video Games: A New Art Form
An Investigation of MMO’s

 
Are Video Games an Art Form or a Medium?

 
New Technologies and Video Games

 
Janet Murray on Interactivity and Immersion

 
Video Games and Addiction

 
Video Games and the Problem of Violence

 
Social and Physical Problems Caused by Video Games

 
Video Games and Sexuality

 
Conclusions

 
 
Chapter 11: Cell Phones, Social Media, and the Problem of Identity
An Epiphany

 
The Internet

 
Media Use by 8- to 18-Year-Olds

 
Social Media

 
A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Youth and Social Media

 
The Cell Phone as Sign: A Semiotic Perspective

 
Marxist Perspectives on Cell Phones

 
Conclusions

 
 
Epilogue: Shmoos and Analysis
 
Appendix: Simulations, Activities, Games, and Exercises
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Author Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Author
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • A new chapter on discourse analysis offers students techniques for analyzing the language in texts.
  • New content on psychological impact of social media shows that there are often negative consequences to using social media.
  • Increased coverage of technology and social media helps readers apply time-tested analysis techniques to the latest media.
  • Updated examples from popular culture bring theory to life.
  • New drawings and photo images illustrate concepts and enhance the visual attractiveness of this book.
  • New material addresses generational differences and presents to students how each generation interacts with media differently, particularly the millennials.   
  • New discussions by thinkers who have made major impacts on popular culture, such as
    • Daniel Chandler on semiotic codes
    • Michel Foucault on change in cultures
    • Mark Gottdiener on sign vehicles in semiotic theory
    • Guy Debord on the Society of the Spectacle
    • Mark Thompson et al on Marx’s neglect of egalitarian political culture
    • Marcel Danesi on myth and popular culture
    • Ernest Kris on the Oedipus Complex
    • Sigmund Freud on the purposes of jokes
    • Clotaire Rapaille on the new “Global code”
    • Teun van Dyk on discourse analysis and ideology
    • Wolfgang Iser on reception theory

KEY FEATURES:

  • End-of-chapter study resources help students practice media analysis and focus on and retain important topics.
  • Vivid applications from popular culture link theory to practice through teaching games and activities that show readers how to apply theories and concepts to various kinds of texts.
  • A comprehensive glossary serves as a ready reference for students. 


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1- Semiotic Analysis

Chapter 2- Marxist Analysis


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