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Understanding Media Cultures

Understanding Media Cultures
Social Theory and Mass Communication

Second Edition

April 2002 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The Second Edition of this book provides a comprehensive overview of the ways in which social theory has attempted to theorize the importance of the media in contemporary society. Now fully revised to take account of the recent theoretical developments associated with New Media and Information Society, as well as the audience and the public sphere, Understanding Media Cultures:

  • Critically examines the key social theories of mass communication
  • Highlights the work of individual theorists including Fiske, Williams, Hall, Habermas, Jameson, McLuhan and Baudrillard.
  • Covers the important traditions of media analysis from feminism, cultural studies and audience research.
  • Now includes a discussion of recent perspectives developed by Castells, Haraway, Virilio and Schiller.
  • Provides a glossary of key terms in media and social theory

Retaining all the strengths of the previous edition, Understanding Media Cultures, offers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the field. It will be essential reading for students of social theory, media and cultural studies. 

Marxism and Mass Communication Research
Habermas, Mass Culture and the Public Sphere
Critical Perspectives within Audience Research
Marshall McLuhan and the Cultural Medium
Baudrillard's Blizzards
New Media and the Information Society

Praise for the First Edition:

`Those interested in understanding contemporary debates over the media should find this book to be extremely valuable' - Douglas Kellner, University of Texas at Austin

`I can't think of a book in media studies that handles so well the diversity of perspectives and issues that Stevenson addresses. Whether reconstructing Marxism or deconstructing postmodernism, tackling the pleasures of soap opera or the repetitive structures of daily news presentation, Stevenson is always clear and insightful' - Sociology

In depth and critical exploration of central debates in media and society

Mr Eric Lybeck
Department of Sociology & Philosophy, Exeter University
December 8, 2015

I will be suggesting this text as a supplimentary text but dont think its fits in to what I had in mind for the course

Mr Mark Timoney
Humanities , Sligo Institute of Technology
June 12, 2012

Very interesting and in-depth text book, although it is a little bit challenging for my first-year undergraduate students. I would recommend it for further reading in the second and final year of study.

Dr Sylvie Magerstadt
School of Humanities, Hertfordshire University
November 7, 2011

I love this book. Not really for undergraduate level but certainly recommended for those pursuing postgrad studies in mass comm and related subjects.

Ms Edina Nasseri
Dept of Virtual Reality, Multimedia University
July 7, 2011

This book has good reading material that can help students expand their knowledge and understanding of theories related to Media cultures. I'm also going to use this book for another course I'm giving in Media Theory. I'm also going to order this book to be brought to the School's Library.

Miss Rusaila Bazlamit
Dept. of Design and Visual Communication, German-Jordanian University
September 14, 2010

New to the Second Edition:

Each chapter revised to take account of the recent theoretical developments associated with 'new media' and the 'information society'

Includes new discussions of recent perspectives developed by Castells, Haraway, Virilio and Schiller which were not in the First Edition.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.