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.
Chapter 5: Cultural Anthropology and Mass Media: A Processual Approach
Cultural Anthropology and Mass Media: A Processual Approach
Mass Media, Myth, and Ritual
As vast and numerous as the anthropological approaches on mass media may be, in the following paragraphs I will focus on the relationship (rarely approached by classical anthropologists) between media content and the concepts of myth and ritual. My anthropological approach stems from the hypothesis that mass media, like non-modern manifestations studied with the aid of concepts such as myth, rite, sacred, liminality, magic, and so on, create and impose symbolic systems of thinking surrounding reality and of articulating it in cultural constructs that are accessible and satisfying to their audience. In other words, the anthropological view starts with the premise that mass media are a ...