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Television and American Culture [Paperback]

by Jason Mittell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 18, 2009 0195306678 978-0195306675
To understand American popular culture, we need to come to grips with the enormous role that television has played in shaping that culture over the past sixty years. In this timely and provocative book, Jason Mittell provides students with a uniquely thorough look at the medium of television.

Exploring television at once as a technological medium, an economic system, a facet of democracy, and a part of everyday life, this landmark text uses numerous sidebars and case studies to demonstrate the past, immediate, and far-reaching effects of American culture on television--and television's influence on American culture. Arranged topically, the book provides a broad historical overview of television while also honing in on such finer points as the formal attributes of its various genres and its role in gender and racial identity formation.

Replete with examples, this pedagogically rich text includes many end-of-chapter case studies and narratives with suggestions for further reading--and, appropriately, viewing. Illustrations and photographs--primarily DVD grabs--contextualize historical footage and older television programs that may not be familiar to younger students.

A multi-disciplinary approach to American television, Television and American Culture is ideal for an array of intermediate undergraduate- and beginning graduate-level courses, including:
* Television Criticism
* Television & American Culture
* Television & Society
* Introduction to Media Studies
* American Popular Culture
* Radio & TV
* History of Mass Communication
* Broadcasting & Broadcast Programming

For more information about this book, including updates, corrections, links, videos, and teaching resources, visit the companion website at

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Television and American Culture + Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader
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Editorial Reviews


"A terrific introduction to the study of television, this textbook masterfully integrates a look at American television's industrial practices, its genres and narrative strategies, and its cultural roles. Professors will find this textbook comprehensive and well-organized, while students will find it engaging and provocative."--Ethan Thompson, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

"Mittell brings much needed energy to television studies--a well-rounded treatment of television as culture, industry, form, production, and technology."--Anandam Kavoori, University of Georgia

About the Author

Jason Mittell is Associate Professor of American Studies and Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College. He is the author of Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture (2004), numerous journal essays and book chapters, and the blog, "Just TV."

Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195306678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195306675
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a professor of Film & Media Culture and American Studies at Middlebury College. My research focuses on American television studies, narrative theory, digital media, and American culture.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for Cultural Studies theorists working in TV. It was a primary source for me in writing my dissertation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, yet fun January 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had this book for a class at school, and I knew I'd enjoy it because of the giant picture of LOST on the cover. It was very informative, yet written in a way that was easy to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good at looking at how TV is a the center of American popular culture. Looks into how TV shows are created. The book gives you the tools to understand in a critical light, how TV works.
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In light of your very concise description in "Fair Use and this book", I found myself laughing derisively (again) at all of Pixar's ABCgulls in Finding Nemo:
I think I NEED a copy of this book!
Apr 17, 2009 by Scott Ellington |  See all 2 posts
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