NEW TO THIS EDITION: A new chapter on discourse analysis offers students techniques for analyzing the language in texts. New content on psychological impact of social media shows that there are often negative consequences to using social media. Increased coverage of technology and social media helps readers apply time-tested analysis techniques to the latest media. Updated examples from popular culture bring theory to life. New drawings and photo images illustrate concepts and enhance the visual attractiveness of this book. New material addresses generational differences and presents to students how each generation interacts with media differently, particularly the millennials. New discussions by thinkers who have made major impacts on popular culture, such as Daniel Chandler on semiotic codes Michel Foucault on change in cultures Mark Gottdiener on sign vehicles in semiotic theory Guy Debord on the Society of the Spectacle Mark Thompson et al on Marx's neglect of egalitarian political culture Marcel Danesi on myth and popular culture Ernest Kris on the Oedipus Complex Sigmund Freud on the purposes of jokes Clotaire Rapaille on the new “Global code” Teun van Dyk on discourse analysis and ideology Wolfgang Iser on reception theory KEY FEATURES: End-of-chapter study resources help students practice media analysis and focus on and retain important topics. Vivid applications from popular culture link theory to practice through teaching games and activities that show readers how to apply theories and concepts to various kinds of texts. A comprehensive glossary serves as a ready reference for students.



Arthur Asa Berger

Shmoos and Analysis

In 1960, when I was about to enter graduate school to work on a doctorate in American studies, my brother Jason, an artist, suggested I not bother. “American studies is like a Shmoo,” he said. (For those who don’t know what Shmoos are, let me explain. They are mythical creatures that love more than anything else to do things for people, including offering themselves as food. Fried, they taste like steak; baked, like ham; roasted, like roast beef. Their whiskers can be used for toothpicks and their skin for leather. And they multiply like crazy. They are the invention of Al Capp, and they appeared in Li’l Abner—one of the most important comic strips ever ...

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