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.

The Promise of Media Anthropology

The promise of media anthropology
MihaiComan and Eric W.Rothenbuhler

Media anthropology grows out of the anthropology of modern societies, on one hand, and the cultural turn in media studies, on the other. It turns its attention from “exotic” to mundane and from “indigenous” to manufactured culture but preserves the methodological and conceptual assets of earlier anthropological tradition. It prepares media studies for more complete engagement with the symbolic construction of reality and the fundamental importance of symbolic structures, myth, and ritual in everyday life.

Even though it does not have to invent new theories and methods, media anthropology is not a mere exercise of mechanically applying anthropologists' concepts and techniques to media phenomena. The identity of anthropology among the disciplines is based on ...

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