In recent years cultural studies perspectives have proliferated through a range of traditional academic disciplines and have been a fertile source of new ideas beyond the sphere of the academy; at the same time, cultural studies has been subject to critical scrutiny. Cultural Studies in Question is a major new text that offers a critical reappraisal of the contemporary practice of cultural studies. Focusing on the contribution of cultural studies to understanding media, communication, and popular cultures in contemporary societies, the authors offer a major reassessment of the domain of cultural studies. Elements examined include: + different strands of cultural studies, their sources, and whether there is a coherent project in cultural studies today + tensions and debates within cultural studies, and between cultural studies and alternative or related approaches to contemporary media and society + the movement by cultural studies revisionists toward more empirical and sociological modes of analysis Drawing on an outstanding group of internationally acclaimed scholars representing a broad cross-section of perspectives in media theory and communication studies, Cultural Studies in Question will provide a benchmark for substantive reflection on the state of the field of media and cultural analysis for academics and researchers and will stimulate reflection, understanding, and insight among students of media, communications, journalism, popular culture, and cultural studies.

Theoretical Orthodoxies: Textualism, Constructivism and the ‘New Ethnography’ in Cultural Studies

Theoretical Orthodoxies: Textualism, Constructivism and the ‘New Ethnography’ in Cultural Studies

Theoretical orthodoxies: Textualism, constructivism and the ‘new ethnography’ in cultural studies

My concern here is to offer an overview of some recent debates concerning ethnographic audience research within the field of cultural studies. Substantively, one of the major issues concerns the extent to which ‘active audience theory’ has produced an improperly romanticized image of the media consumer, which tends to ignore institutional questions of cultural power. Its critics have variously dismissed this work as a form of ‘new revisionism’ (Curran, 1990) or even as ‘pointless populism’ (Seamann, 1992). In the recent backlash against ‘cultural populism', critics such as Frith (1991), Harris (1992) and McGuigan (1992) have tended towards a ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ structure of ...

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