• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies examines the theories, practices, and future of this fast-growing field. Editor John Downing and associate editors Denis McQuail, Philip Schlesinger, and Ellen Wartella have brought together a team of international contributors to provide a varied critical analysis of this intensely interesting field of study. The Handbook offers a comprehensive review within five interconnected areas: humanistic and social scientific approaches; global and comparative perspectives; the relation of media to economy and power; media users; and elements in the media mosaic ranging from popular music to digital technologies, from media ethics to advertising, and from Hollywood and Bollywood to alternative media.


Any effort to assess, analyze, or even describe “Hollywood” inevitably begins with a definitional dilemma. The term Hollywood refers to an actual place, of course—a community north of Los Angeles that emerged, nearly a century ago, as a primary base of operations for the burgeoning American film industry. But the industry involved far more than the Hollywood environs even then, and as it continued to develop, the meanings associated with the term Hollywood became increasingly complex and multivalent.

Most fundamentally, the term Hollywood refers to three interrelated aspects of American cinema: the industrial, the institutional, and the formal-aesthetic. As an industry, Hollywood is a vast, integrated commercial enterprise with specific business practices and standard operating procedures geared primarily to producing and distributing feature-length films (“Hollywood ...

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