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Paddy Scannell is one of the early pioneers of media studies in the UK. He brings his vast knowledge and experience to give an account of the development of thinking about the media from the 1930s onwards. His overview of the history of media theory is lucid, engaging and a highly informative and provocative account of how theories and their proponents have been shaped by the social and cultural context of the period in which they live...
His account of these major writers and movements is both comprehensive and clearly written, and will be appreciated by students and academics alike… What distinguishes Scannell's history of these theorists and their influence are his discussions of just how these ideas were generated: the labour and work that was undertaken to create the final product. It is the detail of the historical contexts that makes his writing a refreshing look at the history of media and communication in the twentieth century.
This is an original and lucid account of the emergence of two linked academic fields - media studies or mass communication, and cultural studies. Scannell, a historian of the BBC and a brilliant analyst of both radio and TV, writes knowledgeably and perceptively about intellectual developments on both sides of the Atlantic... It will inform both newcomers to the study of media and communication and experts who inhabit these fields but not their history. It is a good reference and a good read - highly recommended.
This is an excellent book that provides students with a broad series of summary outlines of key thinkers on media and communication, without conflating the two terms.
This book invites us to be more generous and imaginative than we have been in how we interpret the story of media research and it leads the way by embodying that spirit. The effects tradition and cultural studies will never look the same again.
A great book - exciting, and very clearly written.
An excellent book providing students with a historical understanding of mass media and communication. Theories, concepts and models are intertwined throughout the chapters challenging students to critically understand and evaluate the role of mass media in society.
The book provides summaries of important theorists in the field of mass communication. When discussing comparative journalism research especially "Part I - The masses" has been very helpful to sum up important and worthy of discussion topics. The structure of the book also gives an overview of the historical change and important paradigms of media content and effects research.
The book lives up to the high expectations: part history of media and communication research, part critical reflection of the social forces at play in intellectual life and academe it is apt to introduce students both to the subject matter of media studies as well as providing a rich social scientific background to newcomers to the field. It will provide valuable context information for a course that attempts to avoid some of the more mythical narratives of how the field came to be and how it goes about researching its subject matter.
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