Media Anthropology


Edited by: Eric W. Rothenbuhler & Mihai Coman

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • Part I: Histories and Debates

    Part II: Concepts and Methods

    Part III: Events, Stories, Activities

    Part IV: Theory into Practice

  • Copyright

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    This is an interdisciplinary reader in media anthropology. It should be of interest to scholars and students in communication, journalism, anthropology, sociology, and allied disciplines. It is dedicated to the idea that the media are cultural phenomena, worthy of study using the concepts and methods anthropologists have developed for the study of indigenous cultures—adapted, of course, to global media markets, technologies, and industrial systems.

    This book represents a convergence of issues and interests in anthropological approaches to the study of media. In various disciplines and under a variety of labels, work relevant to media anthropology has been accumulating for years. This growth has not been well organized, though, and this name for a field of study, although used, has not yet been widely recognized. The purpose of the book, then, is to promote the identity of the field of study; identify its major concepts, methods, and bibliography; comment on the state of the art; and provide examples of current research. In original articles and a couple of selected reprints, leading scholars from several countries and academic disciplines introduce the issues, review the field, forge new conceptual syntheses, and apply the ideas in ongoing research.

    The book is designed to provide useful source materials for a large number and diversity of scholars, to be useful in teaching, and to represent the diversity of thinking in media anthropology across the various fields and disciplines in which it is found. First and foremost, we bring together both anthropologists and media scholars, discussing and applying each other's work. This begins with the editors, one of whom was trained in anthropology while practicing journalism and who later became a journalism teacher and the other of whom was trained as a media scholar and learned anthropology in the course of his research and teaching. The book is not slanted toward one or the other audience but is designed to be useful in both anthropology and media studies and wherever else anthropological approaches to media studies are of interest.

    Second, the book includes accessibly written introductions, overview articles from varying points of view, and research examples. Some chapters are guides to the literature, some show the concepts being applied in research, others are essays promoting alternative views of media phenomena—news as stories, for example, or celebrity as religion. Students can read the whole book through; more advanced scholars can choose the parts most useful to their own work. Teachers can choose among the sections to fit their courses.

    Throughout the book, we combine contrasting views and intellectual orientations, presenting the whole as more of a moderated discussion than an argument for any one intellectual position. In addition to representing both media scholars and anthropologists, each with their own professional dispositions, each major topic is addressed by at least two scholars, often with sharply contrasting approaches. Ritual, myth, religion, news, the Internet, media events, ethnography, and integration of theory and practice each receive multiple chapters covering contrasting views. The opening sections of the book offer four distinct takes on the very nature of media anthropology. The important debate about whether the adaptation of the spirit of ethnography in media and cultural studies is legitimately anthropological is addressed in multiple chapters. This intellectual diversity serves at least four purposes: It represents the field, it provokes the reader, it aids students especially, and it increases the number of people who can find useful material in the book.

    A unique and valuable aspect of the book is the section called “Theory Into Practice.” Here we reflect on how the anthropological approach to media studies can inform media practice. This section of the book engages value debates, arguing that anthropological concepts and methods could improve the teaching and practice of journalism in particular and media in general. Again we bring scholars of varying perspectives and experience to the discussion, representing idealistic hopes, some disillusionment, and realistic appraisals.


    The idea for this book arose in conversations with Gerd Kopper, Director of the Erich Brost Center for European Journalism at the University of Dortmund (Germany), at the close of the Media Anthropology doctoral workshop held under the auspices of the Erich Brost Center in January 2001. Mihai Coman was the Erich Brost Visiting Professor that year and had organized the workshop; Eric Rothenbuhler was a visiting faculty participant. We thank the Brost Center for its generous support of the workshop and its visiting professorship, Katharina Hadamik and Rolland Schroeder; members of the staff; and, most especially, the student participants who made that week such a rich experience.

    Dr. Kopper's support for the project has been consistent and generous. We spent a week in February 2003 in residence at the Brost Haus, and the Brost Center supported travel for Dr. Coman to New York in May 2004. The book could not have been completed without those weeks of working together. The U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, supported Dr. Coman's participation in the 2004 International Communication Association convention in New Orleans.

    The Media Studies Program at New School University, where Dr. Rothenbuhler was Director of Graduate Studies from 2001 to 2004, contributed to the project by providing research and editorial assistants, funds for the translation of two chapters, and equipment and office support—including the loan of a laptop so he could continue with final editing tasks while making the move to Texas A&M University. Dr. Rothenbuhler joined the Department of Communication there in August 2004, and the department has been equally supportive, supplying research assistants, a generous office staff, and more. Thanks also to faculty colleagues at both universities for their interest and encouragement.

    Katharina Hadamik at the Brost Center coordinated our visits to Dortmund, was a wonderful host, participated in hours of valuable conversation, and has given our project her enthusiastic vote of confidence from the beginning. Dan Cherubin and Eric Logan assisted Dr. Rothenbuhler with various editorial tasks. Paul Grant translated the chapters by Drs. Dayan and Lardellier. Alexandru Ulmanu worked with Mihai Coman in translating and editing some chapters. Thanks to Elizabeth Bird, Nick Couldry, Roger Delbarre, Antonio La Pastina, Jack Lule, Carolyn Marvin, Bernard Miege, Pierre Moeglin, John Pauly, Marsha Siefert, Carol Wilder, and many other friends, colleagues, and correspondents for thoughtful remarks and encouragement. David Morley was an early supporter of the project. Elihu Katz recommended some of the chapter authors. We thank several reviewers, including Ien Ang, David Black, Richard Chalfen, Larry Gross, Larry Grossberg, Nicholas Packwood, Wesley Shumar, Christina Wasson, and Barbie Zelizer; some anonymous reviewers also provided useful suggestions. Margaret Seawell has been a valuable advocate and a thoughtful and flexible editor; she, Claudia Hoffman, Kate Chilton, and everyone else at Sage have been wonderfully helpful. Most of all we thank our chapter authors, who have been quick and patient, terse and voluble, and whose contributions have made this book a success.

    Dr. Coman expresses his gratitude to the Fulbright Commission for a research grant in 1999, and he thanks his wife, Cristina, and children Ioana and Ion, for supporting his work and accepting him as physically present and mentally absent during the frantic periods during which we were looking for contributors, writing chapters, and editing the book. Dr. Rothenbuhler thanks Jane Martin, his wife and friend. She has consistently recommended that this project be a priority and tolerated the laptop, manuscripts, and distraction on vacations and during our move from New York to Texas. Without that support in the summer of 2004, the book would have come out 6 months later. We both thank our students for many years of thoughtful discussions, provocative questions, and daily challenges at the Universities of Bucharest, Iowa, and Dortmund and the New School.

  • About the Editors

    Mihai Coman was born in Fagaras, Romania, in 1953, graduated from the College of Letters within the University of Bucharest in 1976, and attained his Ph.D. in Letters in 1985. He has been a teacher in a Romanian high school (1976-1982), journalist (1982-1989), and publisher (1989-1990). He was the first Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Studies at the University of Bucharest and the first coordinator of doctoral studies in communications. Dr. Coman is considered to be the founder of journalism and communication education in Romania. Until 1989, he specialized in cultural anthropology studies of Romanian folklore. He has published four volumes of mythology studies (The Sources of Myth, 1980; The Sister of Sun, 1983; Mythos and Epos, 1985; The Point and the Spiral, 1992) and a vast synthesis on animal mythology (The Romanian Mythological Bestiary, 1986, 1988, with a second edition published in 1996). Other of his mythology studies have appeared in scientific journals, including L'Ethnologie Francaise, Etudes Indo-Europeennes, and Kurier. After 1989, he published the reference volume Introduction to Mass Communication, and he coordinated the two volumes of the Journalism Handbook, which sold more than 20, 000 copies. In the 1990s, he began to elaborate the theoretical and analytical framework of mass media anthropology through studies published in scientific journals, such as the francophone Reseaux, MediaPouvoirs, and Communication, or in collections, such as La Transition en Roumanie: Communication et Qualité de la Vie (edited by Roger Tessier, 1995); Valeriana: Essays on Human Communication in Honour of Valery Pissarek (edited by J. M. Pomorskiego & Z. Bajki, 1996); 2001 Bogues: Globalisme et Pluralisme (Vol. 1: TIC et Societé, edited by Bernard Miege & Gaetan Tremblay, 2003); and INA: Television, Memoire et Identité Nationale (2003). In 2003, as a synthesis of these investigations, he published Pour une Anthropologie des Medias.

    He has also published numerous scientific studies in journals and books dedicated to the transformations in the mass media in postcommunist countries, including “Romänischer Journalismus in einer Übergangspériode,” in Medienlandschaft im Umbruch, 1994; “The Third Elite,”Media'95, 1996; “Les Journalistes Roumains et Leur Idéologie Professionelle,” in Télé-révolutions Culturelles: Chine, Europe Centrale, Russie, 1998; “Developments in Journalism Theory about Media ‘Transition’ in Central and Eastern Europe” (1990-1999), in Journalism Studies, 2000; and Media in Romania (a Sourcebook), 2004.

    Dr. Coman was Visiting Professor at Institut fur Journalistik, Dortmund University, Germany (2000-2001); at the Department of Communication of the University Stendhal, Grenoble, France (1998-1999); at the Department of Communication of the University Paris XIII, France (1996); at the Department of Communication, University of Quebec at Montreal (1993); and a Fulbright researcher at the Department of Communication, California State University, Chico (1999). He is a member of several international organizations (American Association of Anthropology, Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, International Association of Mass Communication Research, International Communication Association) and is on the editorial boards of communication journals such as Reseaux, Communication, and Journalism Studies. Dr. Coman may be reached at

    Eric W. Rothenbuhler is Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. He was previously Director of Graduate Media Studies at New School University (2001-2004) and on the faculty of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa (1985-2001). At the University of Iowa, he was an affiliated faculty member with American Studies and faculty advisor to the student radio station, KRUI, 89.7 FM, where he had a weekly radio show on the history of rhythm and blues. He earned his doctorate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1985 and his B.A. and M.A. from Ohio State University. He has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Kansas (twice), Scholar in Residence at the Center for Advanced Study in Telecommunication at Ohio State University, and has participated in doctoral workshops and teaching seminars at the Universities of Dortmund, Ljubljana, and Oslo.

    Dr. Rothenbuhler's research and teaching address communication systems ranging from ritual through community to media industries. His dissertation research on the living room celebration of the 1984 Olympic Games provided the first statistically representative evidence for television audience behavior and attitudes consistent with the theory of media events. This work was published in Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, and other outlets. His work on decision-making processes and industrial market structures in the radio and music businesses, in a series of articles beginning in 1982 in Journal of Communication; Communication Research; Media, Culture, and Society; and several books, is also widely cited. This work continues with research on American radio in the 1950s, in collaboration with Tom McCourt, and has so far produced an article in The Radio Journal and a forthcoming book manuscript. Dr. Rothenbuhler's essay “Symbolic Disorder and Repair After Witnessing 9/11” is being translated and published in France, as was an earlier essay with John Peters, “The Reality of Construction.” Part of his work on the posthumous career and reputation of the American blues musician Robert Johnson is forthcoming in a book chapter called “The Strange Career of Robert Johnson's Records.” Dr. Rothenbuhler is the author of Ritual Communication: From Everyday Conversation to Mediated Ceremony (1988), which has been translated into Polish (2004). With Greg Shepherd, he coedited Communication and Community (2001). He was Review and Criticism Editor for the Journal of Communication (1997-1999) and has authored or coauthored more than 50 articles, chapters, essays, and reviews on media, ritual, community, media industries, popular music, and communication theory.

    About the Authors

    Susan L. Allen holds a doctorate in Media Anthropology (Special Studies, University of Kansas, 1980) and an M.S. in Journalism and Mass Communications. She was Research Intern at the East West Center in Honolulu in 1977 and 1978 and has done fieldwork in the Pacific Islands and Japan. She edited the first media anthropology text, Media Anthropology: Informing Global Citizens in 1994. She worked in Washington, DC, for Kansas Senator Nancy Kassebaum and produced a small ethnic newspaper before joining the Kansas State University Women's Center in 1993, where she serves as Director.

    Dan Berkowitz earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1988. Currently he is Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. His research interests focus on the sociology of news, including media and terrorism, the relationship between media and community, local television news, and the role of myth in news. He teaches public relations, media and terrorism, the sociology of news, and computer-assisted reporting and has been a visiting professor at Tel-Aviv University and the University of the West Indies. He is Editor of the book Social Meanings of News: A Text-Reader (1997) and has published articles in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media; Journal of Communication; Journal of Public Relations Research; Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Ecquid Novi; Public Relations Review; and International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

    S. Elizabeth Bird, Ph.D. (University of Strathclyde), is Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Audience in Everyday Life: Living in a Media World (2003), winner of the 2004 Best Book Award from the International Communication Association; For Enquiring Minds: A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids (1992); and Editor of Dressing in Feathers: The Construction of the Indian in American Popular Culture (1996), and she has published widely in the fields of media studies, folklore, and cultural studies.

    Menahem Blondheim teaches Communications and American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and serves as Director of the university's Smart Family Institute of Communications. His research and publications focus on communications in American and in Jewish history and culture, as well as on communication technologies, old and new. He may be reached at

    Merry Bruns is Director of the Center for Anthropology and Science Communications in Washington, DC, and has been involved in anthropology communications since the early 1990s. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and has written and done research on communication problems between anthropologists and science media. She gives annual American Anthropological Association workshops and academic sessions on communicating anthropology to the public, hosts roundtables between anthropologists and local science media, does volunteer work with the American Anthropological Association's Press Department, and works as a Content Strategist for science Web sites through her company, ScienceSites Communications (

    Nick Couldry is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He earned his undergraduate degree in Classical Literature and Philosophy at Oxford University, with subsequent masters and doctoral degrees in Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research interests cover media power, cultural studies, ritual, and public engagement in mediated politics. He is the author of The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses of the Media Age (2000), Inside Culture (2000), and Media Rituals: A Critical Approach (2003), and coeditor of Contesting Media Power (with James Curran, 2003) and MediaSpace (with Anna McCarthy, 2004).

    Peter Dahlgren is Professor of Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden. He received his doctorate at City University of New York in 1977 and has taught at Fordham University, Queens College, and Stockholm University. He has also been Visiting Scholar at the Université de Paris II, Rhodes University in South Africa, the University of Stirling, and l'Université de Québec à Montréal. At present he runs an exchange program with l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His research focuses on democracy, the evolution of the media, and contemporary sociocultural processes. Most recently, he has begun looking at how young citizens make use of new communication technologies for democratic engagement and identity work. He has published numerous articles and authored or edited several books in English and Swedish. His most recent book is Media and Civic Engagement (in press).

    Brenda Danet, Ph.D. Sociology, University of Chicago, 1970, is Professor Emerita in Sociology and Communication, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Research Affiliate in Anthropology, Yale University. Her interests have included bureaucracy and the public, language and law, oral tradition and literacy, aesthetics in everyday life, and communication and culture on the Internet. She has published Pulling Strings: Biculturalism in Israeli Bureaucracy (1989); Cyberpl@y: Communicating Online (2001); Bureaucracy and the Public: A Reader in Official-Client Relations (with coeditor Elihu Katz, 1973); and Art as a Means of Communication in Pre-literate Societies (with coeditors Dan Eban and Erik Cohen, 1990). With Susan C. Herring, she guest-edited “The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture and Communication in Instant Messaging, Email and Chat,” a special issue of the Journal of Computer-mediated Communication (2003). Her chapter on ritual, “Speech, Writing, and Performativity: An Evolutionary View of the History of Constitutive Ritual,” was published in The Construction of Professional Discourse (Britt-Louise Gunnarsson et al, Eds., 1997). Other articles of hers on IRC art have appeared in Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture (2003, 2004). She may be reached at, and her Web site is at

    Daniel Dayan is Directeur de Recherches at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Professor of Media Sociology at Geneva University and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. After being Roland Barthes's research assistant, Dayan lectured at numerous universities, including the Annenberg School for Communications, Hebrew University, Stanford University, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, the Sorbonne, and Oslo University. He has been a Fellow of the Rockefeller Center, Bellagio (2000) and is currently a Fellow of the Media Program, European Science Foundation. His work analyses the experience of the public in regard to the sociology of performances and the management of collective attention.

    Faye Ginsburg is David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University, where she also codirects the Center for Religion and Media. Her teaching and research interests are directed toward cultural activists and social movements, with particular attention to the politics of reproduction in the United States and the development of indigenous media in Australia, for which she has received Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Her books include Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community (1989, 1999), which won four awards; Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture (edited with Anna Tsing, 1992); Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction (edited with Rayna Rapp, 1995); and Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (2002). She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1986.

    Anita Hammer has been working with theater and performance in Norway and New Zealand. She has a special interest in work with ritual theory and ritual theater, as well as in anthropological approaches to theater and ritual study. She has worked with analyses of cultural development in Sumerian ritual, as well as applied ritual approaches to contemporary studies of performance. She has lectured nationally and internationally on ritual approaches to performance. Her doctoral dissertation, Weaving Plots: Frames of Theatre and Ritual in Simultaneous Interactive Digital Communication, was defended at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2001. Currently she is Associate Professor in Theater Studies in the Department of Music and Theater, University of Oslo, Norway.

    Mark Hobart is Director of the Media and Film Studies Programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he completed his doctorate after graduating from Cambridge in Social Anthropology. His teaching has ranged from regional ethnography, film, and semiotics to anthropological and general theory in the human sciences and, more recently, Southeast Asian cinema, media, and cultural studies theory and its broader philosophical implications. His work is based on more than 8 years of field research in Indonesia, and he has a long-standing interest in philosophical issues in the human sciences. His recent book, After Culture, is available online free at He has been active in developing media and cultural studies in Indonesia, including one of the largest extant archives of television materials (see, for which he was recently awarded the Dharma Kusuma for his contribution to Indonesian cultural scholarship.

    Stewart M. Hoover is Professor of Media Studies, Religious Studies, and American Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has served two terms as Interim Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the university. His primary research has focused on the relationship between media and religion in both North American and European contexts. His current research interests include the public projection of religious symbolism, the religious practices of the Baby Boom and post-Boom generations in the media age, and religion journalism. His books include the forthcoming Religion in the Media Age (2006) and Religion in the News: Faith and Journalism in American Public Discourse (1998); Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media (coedited with Lynn Schofield Clark, 2002); Media, Home, and Family (coauthored with Lynn Schofield Clark and Diane Alters, 2004), and Rethinking Media, Religion, and Culture (coedited with Knut Lundby, 1997).

    Gerd G. Kopper studied Industrial Sociology, Communication Sciences, and Law at the Free University of Berlin. He is a Fulbright Scholar with an M.A. in Journalism from Indiana University, Bloomington (1965) and a Ph.D. from the Free University (1967). He has worked as a journalist, journalism trainer, and editor and served as Permanent Consultant of the OECD, Paris, in 1968 and 1969. He was Head of research and development at Bertelsmann Publishing from 1971 to 1972 and Guest Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo, Todai. While in Japan, he also worked for NHK-Broadcasting and as a foreign correspondent. A research and development consultant for German government institutions at Bonn since 1974, since 1978 he has also been Full Professor at the Institute for Journalism, University of Dortmund, as well as Chair for Policy, Economics, and Law of Mass Media. In 1992 and 1993, he was President of the European Journalism Training Association; since 1991, he has been Director of the Centre for Advanced Study: Erich-Brost-Institute for Journalism in Europe. He has published in the fields of journalism and media structures and policies and is Coeditor of Journalism Studies, a quarterly periodical.

    Antonio C. La Pastina is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications, Texas A&M University, College Station. He holds a Ph.D. from the Radio-TV-Film Department of the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests are in media ethnography; the representation of otherness in mainstream media and its role on diasporic cultures, and the implications of the digital divide to peripheral communities. He has conducted research in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and central Texas, the northeast of Brazil, and Central Italy. He teaches courses in intercultural communication, ethnography, globalization, media, gender and race, and U.S. and Latin American popular culture. His work has appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Communication Research, and Intercom, as well as in several edited books. Before moving to the United States in the late 1980s, he worked as a journalist in São Paulo, Brazil, his native country.

    Pascal Lardellier is Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at Bourgogne University (Dijon, France). He is the author of two works: Les Miroirs du Paon: Rites et Rhétorique Politiques dans la France de l'Ancien Régime [Mirrors of the Peacock: Political Ritual and Rhetoric in the France of the Ancien Régime] (2002) and Théorie du Lien Rituel: Anthropologie et Communication [A Theory of Bonding Ritual: Anthropology and Communication] (2002). His chapter in this book reexamines and develops some of the suggestions contained in these earlier works.

    Tamar Liebes is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has written about media audiences, television genres, television's coverage of war and terror, and mass media and national and cultural identity. Among her books are American Dreams, Hebrew Subtitles: Globalization from the Receiving End (2003); Reporting the Arab Israeli Conflict: How Hegemony Works (1997); and, with Elihu Katz, The Export of Meaning: Cross Cultural Readings of Dallas (1992). She is Editor, with James Curran, of Media, Ritual, Identity (1998), and with Elihu Katz and John Peters, of Canonic Texts in Media Research (2003).

    Jack Lule is the Joseph B. McFadden Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Lehigh University. His research interests include cultural and critical studies of news, online journalism, media, sports and society, and teaching with technology. He is the author of Daily News, Eternal Stories: The Mythological Role of Journalism (2001). Called “a landmark book in the sociology of news,” the book argues that ancient myths can be found daily in the pages of the news. The book won the 2002 Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the Media Ecology Association. Dr. Lule is the author of more than 35 other scholarly articles and book chapters; he is also a frequent contributor to newspapers and periodicals. A former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, he received his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Georgia in 1987. He has been teaching at Lehigh since 1990.

    Graham Murdock is Reader in the Sociology of Culture at Loughborough University and a past Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego, and the Universities of Bergen, Stockholm, Brussels, and Mexico City. He has published widely on aspects of contemporary culture and communication and has been translated into 15 languages. He has long-standing interests in visual media and in the everyday organization of communication. He is currently codirecting a major research project on the ways households deploy domestic digital technologies.

    Francisco Osorio is an anthropologist at the University of Chile. His M.A. (1996) and Ph.D. (2002), also from the University of Chile, are in Epistemology of the Social Sciences. He has been Chief Editor of a Latin American e-journal of epistemology, Cinta de Moebio ( since 1997. He is a Fulbright Scholar who studied with Elihu Katz between 1999 and 2000 at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on the relationship between anthropology and mass media. He may be reached at

    Jin Kyu Park is a doctoral candidate and research assistant for the New Media @ Home Project at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a Korean national with a B.A. in Mass Communications from Yonsei University, Korea, as well as a master's in Journalism from the University of Texas, Austin. His research has focused on religion as a component for audiences' cultural text reading, religious and ethnic identity construction and media use, the popularity of Japanese animation (anime) in Western culture and its religious and spiritual implications, and the Internet as a medium for religious expression and meaning making. He is working on his dissertation on relationships between media, religion, and culture in contemporary Korea.

    Mark Allen Peterson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Miami University of Ohio. His work centers around semi-otic and ethnographic analysis of the diverse ways in which media have become a part of everyday experience and practice. Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Brown University, he has done fieldwork in north India, Egypt, and the United States. He is the author of Anthropology and Mass Communication: Myth and Media in the New Millennium (2003).

    Sarah Pink is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. She has a B.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1996) in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent and an M.A. in Visual Anthropology (1990) from the University of Manchester. She was Lecturer in Sociology and Social and Cultural Studies (1995-1999) and Reader in Anthropology (1999-2000) at the University of Derby. Her research has been in Spain, Guinea Bissau, and England, focusing mainly on visual and material culture, the senses, gender and performance in public contexts and in the home, and the use of visual images and technologies as part of research and representation. Her books include Women and Bullfighting (1997), Doing Visual Ethnography (2001), Working Images (2004), and Home Truths (2004).

    Michael Schudson is Professor of Communication and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 1980. He is the author of six books and editor of two concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, cultural memory, and the history of civic and political participation in the United States. He has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA, and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow. His latest work, The Sociology of News (2003), distills much of what he has written about the press over the past 20 years. His chapter here is adapted from it.

    Dov Shinar holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is, at present, Professor and Dean of the School of Communication, College of Management in Tel Aviv, and Professor of Communication at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, as well as Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, Montréal. Shinar's teaching and research interests include the cultural significance of the media, media and collective identity, war and peace in the media, peace journalism, and the social impact of new media. His most recent publications are Internet: Communication, Society and Culture (A Book of Readings) (2001, in Hebrew); “Constructing Collective Identities and Democratic Media in a Globalizing World: Israel as a Test Case” (in Democratizing Global Media: One World Many Struggles, edited by R. A. Hackett and Y. Zhao, forthcoming in 2005); two entries in the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East andNorth Africa, “Printed Press in Israel” and “Broadcast Media in Israel” (2004); and two articles in the journal Conflict and Communication Online, “Peace Process in Cultural Conflict: The Role of the Media” (2003) and “Media Peace Discourse: Constraints, Concepts and Building Blocks” (2004).

    Günter Thomas is Professor of Protestant Theology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. He holds a Th.M. in Theology from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in Theology from Heidelberg University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tübingen University. His research interests include systematic theology in the 20th century, North American theology, media studies, ritual studies, and theory of religion. He has published a number of papers and several books, including Medien-Ritual-Religion: Zur religiösen Funktion des Fernsehens [Media, Ritual, Religion: The Religious Function of Television] (1998); Implizite Religion: Theoriegeschichtliche und theoretische Untersuchungen zum Problem ihrer Identifikation [Implicit Religion: Historical and Theoretical Studies of the Problem of Its Identification] (2001); and, as editor, Religiöse Funktionen des Fernsehens? Medien-, kultur- und religionswissenschaftliche Perspectiven [Religious Functions of Television? Perspectives from Media, Cultural, and Religious Studies] (1999).

    Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. A former journalist, Zelizer's books include Taking Journalism Seriously: News and the Academy (2004); Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime (with Stuart Allan, 2004); Journalism After September 11 (with Stuart Allan, 2002); and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye, which won three awards (1998). Zelizer has received a Fellowship from the Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, a John H. Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and a Media Studies Center Research Fellowship for her work on journalism as cultural practice, collective memory, and images in crisis.

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