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Media Environments 9781935551348

Media Environments

ISBN-10: 1935551345
ISBN-13: 9781935551348
PUBLISHER: Cognella, Inc.
Also available at
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description:
COMING SOON: The Second Edition will be published Fall 2014. ISBN: 978-1-63189-002-4

The readings in "Media Environments" offer an engaging introduction to some of the central questions in media studies. In this well-organized and provocative reader, students will discover how mass media, popular culture and digital technologies support the organization of culture and values, shaping not only personal and social identity, but consciousness itself.-Renee Hobbs, Founding Director, Harrington School of Communications, The University of Rhode Island

This course opened my eyes and blew my mind.-Genevieve Gillespie, Student, Temple University


Media Environments is based on a simple concept: combine movies with texts to critique media and society in the 21st century.

This anthology uses popular film as a gateway to critical readings, culled from the works of a variety of well-known thinkers, scholars, and writers. Authors include Stephen Hawking, Al Gore, Naomi Klein, Carl Sagan, Naomi Wolf, Susan Jacoby, Neil Postman, Henry Jenkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ray Kurzweil, and many others. Their writings are introduced to students through films like The Social Network, Contact, Network, Star Trek, American Beauty, Fight Club, The Truman Show, Slumdog Millionaire, Waking Life, WALL·E, Good Night, and Good Luck, and many others.

Media Environments inspires students to think creatively and critically based on a broad cultural literacy that includes media and society, theory and technology, and the arts and sciences.

Read a Film, View a Text, See the Media

A text for the 21st century, this innovative anthology breaks the mold for books used in "Mass Media and Society" courses. Rather than examine the media as separate industries or technologies, Media Environments explores the media in their totality and provides models for interrogating many universal themes that span media and global culture. The anthology begins with four basic media models -- The Meme, The Network, The Spectacle, and The Hyperreal. These models can then be applied across numerous themes, each with its own chapter, readings, and film:

  • News
  • Sports
  • Science
  • Surveillance
  • Celebrity
  • Social and Mobile
  • Dumbed Down
  • Games and Virtual Reality
  • Theme Parks
  • Consumerism
  • Globalization
  • Counterculture
  • Catastrophe
  • Electronic Consciousness
  • Spaceship Earth

Here are some examples of how films are integrated with texts:

  • The Meme is explained through Douglas Rushkoff and Pulp Fiction.
  • The Network is explained through Kevin Kelly, Stephen Hawking, and Star Trek.
  • The Spectacle is explained through Douglas Kellner, Todd Gitlin, and Network.
  • The Hyperreal is explained through Plato, Jean Baudrillard, and The Matrix.

The remainder of the chapters follow a similar pattern of using films as gateways to texts that provide critical theory. The wide range of readings and films permits professors to tailor the models and theories to fit with their personal interests and expertise in teaching Media and Society or other media-related courses. With its intellectual rigor and thematic diversity, Media Environments is ideal for departments thinking about adopting a single text for their media studies courses.

Teaching Resources

View the author''s Fall 2011 course syllabus

Adopting instructors will receive a FREE copy of Space Times Square, the award-winning documentary film written and directed by Barry Vacker. This 24-minute film illustrates many themes from Media Enviroments and is the perfect film to screen on the first day of class.

Additional Details

PAGES: 546
CATEGORY: Social Science

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