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Media critique derives from two major concerns: the content of the media and its impact on audiences. It is no surprise, then, to find that the social sciences and the media share a great deal of history and a number of preoccupations to do with modernity, technical innovation, and the complexification of daily life. The social sciences have divided and refashioned people and societies, as have media practice and critique, and frequently in related ways. Each operates in the context of divisions of labor and commercial and governmental determinations.

In the twentieth century, with the maturation and standardization of social science method and its uptake by the U.S. military, commercial, and governmental worlds, media audiences have come to be conceived as empirical entities that can be ...

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