Media Anthropology represents a convergence of issues and interests on anthropological approaches to the study of media. The purpose of this reader 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. Based on original articles by leading scholars from several countries and academic disciplines, Media Anthropology provides essays introducing the issues, reviewing the field, forging new conceptual syntheses.
Theory into Practice
What is the point of media anthropology? What is it good for? To study the world, of course, and to improve it, maybe, as well. A world that is better understood is already a better world, for it contains more knowledge, a larger range of useful perspectives, richer questions, deeper understandings. This is the faith of academics, and we share it. Media anthropology, though, beyond improving our understandings of the media, holds promise for improving the media practices of our world.
Susan Allen (1994) provided a history and topography for one version of a field of media anthropology that would, in principle, include the training of journalists in anthropological theories and methods (see also Bird, 1987). Discussed in more detail elsewhere ...