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Mediated: How the Media Shapes Our World and the Way We Live in It Paperback – February 21, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
He does a good job of showing how television gives us a God's-eye view of everything so that we have a delusion of omniscience and this false power fuels our delusions of grandeur. Additionally, this God's-eye view spoils us so that we can't live in stillness and see life in the here and now but only media's cheap, hyped representations of life.Read more ›
De Zengotita is an anthropologist by training, but a cultural critic/philosopher by trade-and a damn good one who covers his ground with authority. As a teacher at the Dalton School, he enjoys deep exposure to the trends of teenagers, and as a professor at NYU's Graduate School of Arts & Science, he has his finger on the more absurd developments in the highbrow stuff, too. Both modes of being are beautifully fused in this book, enabling him to tackle his subject from both directions.
The gist of his argument is this: The ultimate (and often intentionally secret) goal of modernity is to get God out of the equation so man can finally become the author of his own being. The terror of arbitrariness-the accident of your race and gender-and the universal pain of anonymity, are cured, superficially, by the freedom to make choices. Mediation steps in to give you "options"-to give you the freedom to choose this or that and pave the way to selfhood. Everything, including the ground and the sky, can be thought of, presented, packaged, and (sometimes) sold in ways that are flattering to You and only You. Forget heroes and idols. You are the center of it all. And celebrities? They need You to buy into their brand, too.Read more ›
But the beauty part is it's all that AND a breeze to read. And covers not just the usual political-media topics, but how media pervades how we live our lives in all the day-to-day banality.
So, great beach reading AND you'll impress your summer dinner guests afterwards with your insights from this book...
This book is very well written; it expresses in depth thoughts clearly and with simple yet effective language. However, it is no wonder that there would be resistance from readers - after all, the Modernists convinced us that analytical rigor and stylistic performance were in some sense separable. The old-schoolers claimed that when analyzing world and culture that one must do so with detachment and "objectivity." This book shows that such divisions between "analysis" and "performance" (and that such concepts as "objectivity") no longer hold (or mean the same thing) in a mediated culture. If readers are demanding that De Zengotita's writing be more detached, more logical and analytical and less performance-oriented and less concerned with involved personal experience then they missed the point.
The other thing I want to say about this book is that - yes, it is about the media and its effects - but it is also about something more fundamental. This book is the most clear expression (or demonstration) of what it means to say we live in "the postmodern era." There has been a lot of books written on what "postmodernism" means, and most of them are lofty academic expositions that speak to only a select few. This book speaks to everyone and says some very thoughtful things about what it means to live in a late-capitalist, media-driven postmodern society. If you're interested in that kind of thing, this is a 5 star account that won't disappoint.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
hard to read. good content just not really great at engaging the reader in my opinion.Published 5 days ago by Ryan Burton
I’m still not buying this idea where he thinks that people have become full of themselves and are stars in their own delusions. “Mediated people learn to star in their own lives. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tokri
This book is disappointing. There are some occasional good points but they get lost in the blathering writing style. The book feels like a badly researched op-ed piece. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Cynthia A. Graham
When you look at old black and white photographs of town centres, women with prams stand in the middle of the road chatting to other mums and the men also stand in the road having... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Moises Halifax
I gave this book 5 stars because it does deserve it and it forces you to be more objective about the TV and virtual reality world we live in today and how far it infects our minds... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
What an incredible book! Zengotita is the Tom Wolfe of the millennial generation. I loved reading it and more important, I learned things about my kids, and even cleared up some... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dennis Jaffe
de Zengotita's argument isn't wrong.The way in which our mediated lives are structured does gesture toward a particular form of narcissism rampant in the world today. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Matt
This book was my favorite college text. I would read this book just for the fun of it. de Zengotita is a great writer and makes the material pop.Published on January 18, 2013 by Jennifer
As the author of a book on teens and adolescent development, I'd recommend THIS book as the best current book on adolescent development that's been written. Read morePublished on August 1, 2012 by M. Simon