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Film studies as an area of scholarly inquiry, which is separate from journalistic reviews and from books published by commercial presses for a general audience, focuses on aesthetic, historical, and critical approaches to the study of motion pictures. Even when empirical methods are employed, they are generally not quantitative but rely on broader measures, such as categorization schemes. There is a strong humanist tradition in film theory and criticism, the two areas where most inquiry is located. Even reception studies, which is informed by quantitative methods since it involves social scientists studying viewers, has tended toward the cultural and historical emphases when conducted by film studies scholars. At the crux of it all, regardless of approach, is the search for meaning. The other major discursive ...

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