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 Public Sphere: Linking the Media and Civic Cultures

The public sphere: Linking the media and civic cultures

The history of modernity is inexorably related to the emergence of the media; ours is a “mediatized” society, where ever more modes of social contact take place through mediated communication. One of the consequences of mediatization is what Thompson (1995) terms an increased “publicness” or “visibility” in society, an enhanced transparency in regard to politics, the power structure, and “society” more generally. Certainly among that which has been rendered more visible is the public itself: We are offered ongoing symbolic constructions that portray who we are and how we think. Factual, fictional, and mythic renderings in the media have contributed to a collective sense of who we are—a ...

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