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Book Review
“Media and Cultural Theory”

Book Review
Media and Cultural Theory
Book “Media and Cultural Study” containing new thinking and brings together international scholars to address key issues and debates within Media and Cultural Studies. The takes as its starting point from enlightenment. Focusing on the three theories of the pre and post Enlightenment, it is easy to see how they sit as cornerstone of modern thinking and can offer faciatin insights into the way in which contemporary text make meaning. Most interesting perhaps is the tension that exits between the romantic vision of the sublime rooted in emotional resonance and authenticity, and those formations influenced by rational thinking and reason. In part this is because this debate is the backdrop to contemporary ideas about romanticism and modernity. Likewise, the fine line between utilitarian function (pleasing most of the people most of the time) and the more repressive impulses of the panopticon gaz have direct relevance in a society doninated by information technology. Ironically however it is perhaps the Enlightenment concept of the carnival that has most to offer contemporary thinking because it encapsulate the willful subversion and playfulness of a culture long since enveloped in a very postmodern sensibility.

Marx argued that it is the consciousness of man that determines society. On that basis, has the power to be the agent of social change providing that change can be imaginated. Increasingly, however, it would seem that it is our media consciousness that determines our social culture and social position within the global economy. The predominance of information based industry requires cultural knowledge and not just financial resources. Moreover, the proliferation of information technology in the twenty first century has the potential to undermine international relations of the state and power that have endured since the days of British Empire. The rise of china’s economic importance and the tiger economies of South East highlight this. Most recently, the election by the American people of democrat candidate Barack Obama in 2008 is perhaps a reflection of a change in Western perceptions of the changing nature of its own global position. In reviewing theoretical perspectives informed by semiotics and formalism, it is easy to see how they sits as cornerstone of modern society thinking and can offer fascinating insights into the way in which contemporary texts make meaning. Most interesting perhaps is the tension that exists between world, sentence and text level meaning. In part, this is because it is the backdrop to contemporary ideas about the role of audience and the function of genre. In particular volosinov’s perspective on how the meaning of texts change over time is particularly instructive in a digital age in which the archives of media production are more accessible than ever before. The effect of this on contemporary ideas about genre and narrative is complex. On the one hand, the stability of certain conventions has been reistated because we are more familiar with older text. On the other hand, the proliferation of narrowcast digital media means that producers have the opportunity to be more experimental in their development for new media forums. Next five sections focuses on the way how three neo Marxist theorists can be to used to frame and shape the way in which we think about cotemporary media, society and culture. Here discuss the Theodor Andorno’s work and the way in which it can inform our understanding of contemporary media text. Second it focus on Herbert Marcus .Finally it discuss the Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, whose work focuses on the concept of hegemony. The institute plays very significant contribution toward moving Marxism beyond ‘Dialectical Materialism’. Later the school was dissolved, when Hitler came into...
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