Textbook covering the philosophical fundamentals from the Enlightenment to current times effecting the perception of culture. These fundamentals have been used and reflected by the media to influence community. These concepts are often illustrated through works of art, media, and entertainment.
Although published in 2008, it does provide a good foundation and incorporates SPSS into the analysis; however, similar information would be found in Wikipedia, although it would take more time to organize it. The Internet is mentioned throughout, but detail is lacking.
Type of Material:
Lectures and text assignment
Internet browser and PDF software for opening and reading textbook.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
"The aim of the book then, is to provide students with an introduction to Media and Cultural Theory in a way that is both readable and engaging.” “Though the core of the work is grounded in the delineation of key theoretical perspectives, the book is not trying to shed new light on any of the theorists discussed per se. Rather, it is our intention to explore how these theoretical perspectives might inform thinking about contemporary media and cultural production. In this direction, the book can be viewed as a starting point for students, guiding them as to how they might begin to incorporate the seemingly bewildering selection of theoretical perspectives on offer into their work.”
Familiarity with important contributors and thinkers whose work lends itself to understanding the historical and economic implications of attitudes and consumption. Provides a perspective for carefully considering aspects of communication based on understanding human attitudes. Provides a perspective for anyone creating art in all formats. Provides a perspective for understanding the roots of the postmodern and contemporary era and its effect of media.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate students in communication, philosophy, or humanities classes, or any college or graduate level course that embraces social culture and the arts.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some background in philosophy, but this is not necessary.
It is free (unobtrusive interactive advertisements are embedded), concise, well-written and researched (extensive bibliography), and immediately downloaded.
Combining philosophies from past centuries with contemporary examples will be enticing for current students, although many references are dated: A Clockwork Orange and Desperate Living are probably not recognizable by most college students.
Well-organized, clearly articulated perspectives covering major contributors to a comprehensive understanding of media and culture.
It is aesthetically bland (although paid advertisements are very professional).
Ancillaries found with textbooks, for example, application questions, slides, quiz questions, etc. are lacking. The textbook is four years old; therefore, the material is probably five years old. Both authors use their MySpace accounts as contact information, which indicates how current the work is.
The concept appears to be European-centric. Here in the states it would provide a divergent viewpoint, which is good.
Its review of post-colonialism lacks depth, although it does touch upon major and important issues.
Other influential philosophers who have contributed to this understanding a cultural perspective are never mentioned and might be included as an addendum. For example Husserl, or Heidegger.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The text is presented with one concept building upon the prior concept. This results in the student having the opportunity to understand media and culture on a philosophical rather than simply practical level. The writing and presentation is excellent
The United Kingdom, particularly Britain is used as the locus for most of the historical commentary. This provides insight but not as much for American students as if the book were more focused on America. In addition, the book contains regular ads inserted by bookboon.com.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Simple and succinct. The text inserts for all of the included philosophers is incredibly useful. The citations are clear and easy to reference. The graphics are well designed and the writing is terrific.
Other Issues and Comments:
This should be a required text for any person in the communications or art field. However, it would be a terrible travesty if students do not use this text if they have an interest in society, culture, the economy, or philosophy. Even political science and law students can benefit from the concepts clearly presented in this open textbook.
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