Media Thinkers and Theory

Feminist Media Studies

Despite the growth and expansion of the feminist movement throughout the twentieth century, Feminist Media Studies did not become a known paradigm until the late 1970s. Feminist Media Studies uses feminist ideals and principles in researching and analyzing media, focusing on stereotypes, socialization, and ideologies of gender. Feminist media arguably began with the start ofContinue reading “Feminist Media Studies”

Queer Media Studies

Queer media studies are the lens of queer principles and politics to researching media texts, processes, industries, and sociocultural constructions. It is methodologically and theoretically diverse. Specific psychological, political, and cultural codes have elevated heterosexuality to the status of a sexual “given”. Those codes include the fact that initially heterosexuality was used to describe behaviorsContinue reading “Queer Media Studies”

Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin was a prominent German cultural critic and philosopher of the Frankfurt School. Benjamin was born on July 15th, 1892 in Berlin, Germany to an upper-middle-class Jewish family. In his youth, Benjamin became interested in culture and anti-authoritarianism. He attended the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium, a prestigious secondary school, and later joined the German Youth Movement.Continue reading “Walter Benjamin”

Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Walter Benjamin is an important critical theorist and philosopher. He argued that technological developments permitted works of art to be reproduced in a way that altered the masses experience of art, films, and theatrical productions. Art has always been reproducible, but mechanical reproduction has allowed for a complete reworking of the understanding of reproduction itself.Continue reading “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

Culture Industries

In 1944, Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer published their article, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” This article introduced the world to the theory of culture industries from the Frankfurt School. Adorno and Horkheimer developed this theory from living in Nazi Germany, where they witnessed people unthinkingly conform to whatever roles the government prescribed.Continue reading “Culture Industries”

Political Economy of Communication and Media

Political economy examines how power and economics are related, and how they influence mass media, social, political, and economic structuration. The tradition of political economy developed alongside the great capitalist revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In reaction to the social and commercial transformation created by capitalism early political economists looked toContinue reading “Political Economy of Communication and Media”

Cultural Theory

Culture theory is a concept created and published by Marxist theorist Raymond Williams. Williams published this theory in 1961 in his piece “The Long Revolution.” Williams’ culture theory was inspired by his curiosity in how the structure of feelings and culture/lifestyles changed from generation to generation in Britain. Williams determined that it would be impossibleContinue reading “Cultural Theory”

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies is an academic discipline stemming from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. Cultural Studies has its roots in post-World War II Britain, beginning with the Centre’s formation in 1963 (Murphy, 1992).  Under a definition provided by the Center itself in early literature, Cultural Studies can be defined as “an interdisciplinary field which dealsContinue reading “Cultural Studies”

Frankfurt School

The Frankfurt School is unique in comparison to other communication and media studies schools in that it is the result of a culmination of many different subject materials and areas of study. Ultimately, the Frankfurt School approach is the combination of such subjects as social and critical theory, philosophy, economics, psychoanalysis, and Marxism (McLaughlin 1999).Continue reading “Frankfurt School”

Production Studies

Production studies is a term that developed during the rediscovery of the mass communication. In the 1970s, some social and political scholars focused on the mass communicator and their organization and industries. In the decades since this era of rediscovery, substantial research effort has been devoted to understanding how professional mass communicators, their organizations, andContinue reading “Production Studies”

Technological Determinism

Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that claims that technology shapes society. According to this theory, technology inevitably enhances on a traceable path that can be followed and correlated with the enhancement of society. Determinism refers to a relationship between two things that involves a “predetermined result” (Papageorgiou, T.) Technology is defined as the useContinue reading “Technological Determinism”