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Television after TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition (Console-ing Passions) Paperback – November 30, 2004
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From the Back Cover
"Lynn Spigel and Jan Olsson have assembled a stellar lineup of television scholars whose unique and differentiated approaches to television studies' future also provide a fascinating overview of where we are and how we got here. These essays will set the terms for how we look at television in the twenty-first century."--Michele Hilmes, editor of "The Television History Book"
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The book is divided into four sections.
Part One is "Industry, Programs and Production Contexts". John Caldwell discusses the post-Fordist media industry's shift to producing branded content and TV's increasingly strategic relationship with the Web. Charlotte Brunsdon surveys Britain's lifestyle programs to find the social good of inclusiveness partly offset by more aggressive displays of consumerism and spectacle. Jeffrey Sconce convincingly argues that TV narratives have grown more sophisticated over time as conjecture, mythology and self-relexivity have conspired to enrich texts that in turn cultivate ever more demanding audiences. William Boddy recounts the history of interactive technologies and suggests that if the past is a guide, new technologies will merely serve to enhance the TV experience but will not revolutionize it. Lisa Parks deflates microcasting as embodied by the Oxygen network as representing a corporate scheme to more efficently market to profitable niche audiences and encourages social progressives to fight for greater TV self-expression.
Part Two is "Technology, Society and Cultural Form". William Uricchio explores how changing technologies have threatened broadcaster's control of programming flow and predicts a general shift from broadcasting to narrowcasting. Anna McCarthy's fascinating field study about TV in public spaces ultimately discovers that viewing practices are defined by capitalism's exploitation of waiting time created by differentials in power relations. Jostein Gripsrud contends that broadcasting will persist because it continues to serve elite interests in distributing cultural values and anticipates that interactive technologies will only marginally effect viewer behaviors. Anna Everett's case study of the Million Woman March touches on issues of technological self-empowerment and the mainstream media's increased reticence to cover significant social issues and events in depth.
Part Three is "Electronic Nations, Then and Now". Michael Curtin discusses the history of media production to show how national broadcasting was crucial to U.S. capitalist development in the post-World War II era but has more recently entered into an era of uneasy international competition and cooperation between East (Hong Kong) and West (Hollywood). David Morley contemplates TV's role in reinforcing the nation state and the manner in which audiences experience dis-placement through media images. Pena Ovalle analyzes the Pocho.com website's satirical treatment of popular media imagery in order to debate issues effecting the Chicano/a community and its struggle for cultural identity.
Part Four is "Television Teachers". Lynn Spigel recalls how MoMA's anxieties with consumer culture, feminity and domesticity doomed its programming attempts in the 1950s that sought to bridge the gap between hibrow art patrons and lowbrow TV audiences. John Hartley reminds us of the important role TV played in sharing differential experiences and struggles (such as the Civil Rights and Feminist movements) and contends that TV today has become a more democratic medium. Julie D'Acci proposes a new cultural studies model that stresses audience discourses and interdisciplinary study as the keys to yielding meaningful insight and analysis.
I highly recommend this sophisticated book to everyone interested in TV studies.