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Ordinary People and the Media
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Ordinary People and the Media
The Demotic Turn



December 2009 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While "power to the people" may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the "demotic" with democracy...Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies."
 Serra Tinic, University of Alberta, Canada

The 'demotic turn' is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the 'ordinary person' in the media today.

In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the 'whys' and 'hows' of the 'everyday' individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through:

  • Celebrity culture
  • Reality TV
  • DIY websites
  • Talk radio
  • User-generated materials online

Analyzing the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of 'hot spots' within media and cultural studies today.

Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratizing politics, this book examines its political and cultural function in media production and consumption across many fields - including print and electronic news, current affairs journalism, and citizen and online journalism.

It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.


 
Introduction: The Demotic Turn
 
Ordinary People: Celebrity, tabloid culture and the function of the media
 
Reality TV and the construction of cultural identities
 
Redefining Journalism: Citizen journalism, blogs and the rise of opinion
 
Talk radio, populism and the demotic voice
 
Revenge of the nerds: User-generated content online
 
The Age of Entertainment: Media and cultural consumption today

Examines rigorously perhaps the most important debate within TV Studies... Smartly and engagingly written, this book draws on Turner's extensive work in this area to show how thinking about ordinary people and media offers valuable insights into areas such as globalisation, media industries, participation, representation, cultural politics and technology
Brett Mills
University of East Anglia


An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While "power to the people" may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the "demotic" with democracy. His deft analysis of how the media industries profit from the promotion of individualism and the "ordinary" compels us to revisit fundamental questions of power, identity, and community. Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies
Serra Tinic
University of Alberta


Graeme Turner is one of the most interesting and thoughtful writers in the field of media and cultural studies. Ordinary People and the Media is a book full of perceptive ideas and critical insights. Starting from the recognition that there has never been a time when so many ordinary people have been so visible in the media, Turner explores what this means for ordinary people, the media, and media and cultural analysis. This is a wonderful book that should be read by all serious students of contemporary media and culture
John Storey
Director of the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland


Graeme Turner takes a balanced and exceptionally reasonable approach to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the demotic turn in cultural studies
Jim McGuigan
Loughborough University

Graeme Turner’s fine book Ordinary People and the Media explores the structural shifts in western media that have given ordinary people extraordinary visibility as/in media content...Turner’s book will find a home on student reading lists for courses dealing in media and cultural studies, journalism, cultural sociology, and the like. It also strikes me that this book has particular purchase for anyone interested in knowing more about relations between media and democracy. Turner’s analysis of the media’s demotic turn expands our critical understanding of how the unprecedented participation of ordinary people in the media may look somehow democratic by virtue that ordinary folk are there, filling in the media content, taking part, having a voice. But it is an illusion. This exploration of the media’s demotic turn reveals the power of media elites remains pretty much intact
Participations: Online Journal of Audience & Reception Studies



Examines rigorously perhaps the most important debate within TV Studies... Smartly and engagingly written, this book draws on Turner's extensive work in this area to show how thinking about ordinary people and media offers valuable insights into areas such as globalisation, media industries, participation, representation, cultural politics and technology
Brett Mills
University of East Anglia


An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While "power to the people" may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the "demotic" with democracy. His deft analysis of how the media industries profit from the promotion of individualism and the "ordinary" compels us to revisit fundamental questions of power, identity, and community. Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies
Serra Tinic
University of Alberta


Graeme Turner is one of the most interesting and thoughtful writers in the field of media and cultural studies. Ordinary People and the Media is a book full of perceptive ideas and critical insights. Starting from the recognition that there has never been a time when so many ordinary people have been so visible in the media, Turner explores what this means for ordinary people, the media, and media and cultural analysis. This is a wonderful book that should be read by all serious students of contemporary media and culture
John Storey
Director of the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland


Graeme Turner takes a balanced and exceptionally reasonable approach to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the demotic turn in cultural studies
Jim McGuigan
Loughborough University

C. Sterling
George Washington University
CHOICE

Turner explores celebrity and tabloid culture; reality TV; blogs and blogging; talk radio; and user-generated content online. He points out that the anticipated democratic nature of media is actually becoming demonic in a sense that media users/producers are positioned to participate in a culture of entertainment rather than establishing democratic news.

Ms Irena Loveikaite
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
July 7, 2016

Excellent author on this subject, currently re-defining the nature of the discipline. Very specific and relevant case studies

Miss Lynda Juliet Fitzwater
Interdiscipline , University for the Creative Arts
March 8, 2016

Excellent

Ms Angela Grier
Department of Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University
September 12, 2012

The book's chapter on talk radio in America and Australia are interesting, although its focus is mainly political, and therefore not suited for adaption in this particular class, where the focus is more on the phenomenological dailiness of radio. But as a supplement to for instance Paddy Scannell's analyses of talk radio in Broadcast Talk and Television, Radio and Modern Life, it's a recommended read.

Mrs Mette Abildgaard
Institut for Litteratur, Kultur og Medier, University of Southern Denmark
September 12, 2011

A very interesting looking at the role of the citizen in the media and its implications for democracy,

Mr Malcolm Bradbrook
Journalism , Gloucestershire University
May 6, 2010

Very thought provoking and excellent for teaching, students may see it a little Aus/US focused as there are few examples from the UK

Dr Darren Lilleker
Bournemouth Media School, Bournemouth University
March 11, 2010

Extremely useful contemporary view - required reading.

Mr Steve Dixon
IT, Newman College
February 12, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter One


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