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Media and Society

Burton, Graeme
Publisher:  Open University Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  2005  
Pages:  378pp   Price:  $46.95   ISBN:  0-335-20880-0

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Burton is a published author on broadcast journalism. He is an academic in Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England (Bristol). This is a student text for popular culture and media studies programmes. The topics include a basic introduction to "media" as found in advertising, film, soap operas, women's magazines, sports, popular music, new technology, and globalization. For each topic, Burton presents key concepts and audience appeal, media influence, case studies, major questions for discussion. There is also a quotation from a commentator for discussion purposes (with questions posed by Burton). Everything here has a definition, a context, a relationship to other institutions, an audience, an alternative model, and a government regulation (e.g. British popular music, quite similar to our CanCon). The work concludes with a glossary, a Web site listing (mostly UK), and a bibliography by author (not subject). Specific, additional further readings are at the end of each topic's chapter.

* Audience or interest level: students, pop culture scholars.

* Some interesting facts: "It seems to me that the media exist in an evolving and difficult relationship with their audiences, and indeed with institutions of the state. The relationship is dynamic in that it is evolving and changing. I also believe that it is possible for different critical positions to coexist. It is possible to be skeptical about the motives and behaviours of economically powerful media institutions. At the same time, it is possible to be optimistic about the effects of regulatory control."

* What I don't like about this resource (its shortcomings): there is a distinct UK orientation for popular culture.

* What I do like about this resource (its positives): food for thought.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 85

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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