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Media Analysis Techniques
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Media Analysis Techniques

Fourth Edition


June 2011 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In the Fourth Edition of Media Analysis Techniques, author Arthur Asa Berger once again provides students with a clearly written, user-friendly, hands-on guide to media research methods and techniques. The book empowers readers to make their own analyses of the media rather than just accept how others interpret the media.

Media Analysis Techniques begins by examining four techniques of media interpretation—semiotic theory, Marxist theory, psychoanalytic theory, and sociological theory—that Berger considers critical for creative people to acknowledge if they are to understand how their creations translate to the real world. Application chapters then link popular culture to these four theories.

Written in an accessible style that demystifies complex concepts, it includes a glossary, study guides, and the author's own illustrations.

 
PART I. TECHNIQUES OF INTERPRETATION
 
1. Semiotic Analysis
A Brief History of the Subject

 
The Problem of Meaning

 
Social Aspects of Semiotics: The Individual and Society

 
Saussure on the Science of Semiology

 
Signs

 
Forms of Signs

 
Signs and Advertising

 
Material Culture

 
Objects and Identity

 
Signs and Truth

 
Activities and Performances

 
Music and Sound Effects

 
Facial Expressions as Signs

 
Hyperreality

 
Language and Speaking

 
Connotation and Denotation

 
The Synchronic and the Diachronic

 
Syntagmatic Analysis

 
Paradigmatic Analysis

 
Intertextuality

 
Dialogical Theory

 
Metaphor And Metonymy

 
Codes

 
Semiotics of the Television Medium

 
Some Criticisms of Semiotic Analysis

 
A Checklist for Semiotic Analysis of Television

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
Annotated Bibliography

 
 
2. Marxist Analysis
Materialism

 
The Base and the Superstructure

 
False Consciousness and Ideology

 
The Frankfurt School

 
Class Conflict

 
Alienation

 
The Consumer Society

 
John Berger on Advertising

 
Bourgeois Heroes

 
Hegemony

 
The Problem of Media Consolidation

 
The Danger of Being Doctrinaire

 
Grid-Group Analysis

 
Mary Douglas and “Shopping”

 
Marxist Criticism in the Postmodern World

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
Annotated Bibliography

 
3. Psychoanalytic Criticism

 
The Unconscious

 
Sexuality

 
William A. Rossi on Sexual Aspects of the Foot and Shoe

 
The Oedipus Complex

 
On the Importance of Myth

 
Id, Ego, and Superego

 
Freud’s Structural Hypothesis Applied to Culture

 
Symbols

 
Defense Mechanisms

 
Dreams

 
Condensation and Displacement

 
Aggression and Guilt

 
Stereotypes and Aggressive Humor

 
Freud and Beyond

 
Jungian Psychoanalytic Theory

 
Archetypes

 
Psychoanalytic Analysis of Media: A Cautionary Note

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
Annotated Bibliography

 
 
4. Sociological Analysis
Émile Durkheim on Our Social Nature

 
Some Basic Concepts

 
Avarice

 
Bureaucracy

 
Class (Socio-Economic)

 
Culture

 
Deviance

 
Ethnicity

 
Functionalism

 
Lifestyle

 
Marginalization

 
Mass Communication and Mass Media

 
Postmodernism

 
Race

 
Role (Social)

 
Sex (Gender)

 
Socialization

 
Status

 
Stereotypes

 
Values

 
Uses and Gratifications 2

 
Genres and Formulas

 
Content Analysis

 
Leo Lowenthal on Content Analysis

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
Annotated Bibliography

 
 
PART II. APPLICATIONS
 
5. Murderers on the Orient Express
Organizing a Mystery

 
Detectives as Semioticians

 
Social and Political Dimensions

 
Poirot as Revolutionary

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
6. Seven Points on the Game of Football
Football Is a Game of Signs

 
Instant Replay and the Modern Sensibility

 
Football Socializes Us

 
Statistics About Televised Football

 
Why Baseball Is Boring

 
Football as an Alternative to Religion

 
The Marxist Perspective

 
Football and the Psyche

 
Concluding Remarks

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
7. The Maiden With the Snake: Interpretations of a Print Advertisement
Signs in Signs: A Primer on Applied Semiotics

 
The Maiden in Paradise: A Case Study

 
A Paradigmatic Analysis of the Fidji Advertisement

 
Psychoanalytic Aspects of the Fidji Text

 
An Aside on Moisturizers and Anxiety

 
Final Comments on Perfume and Anxiety

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
8. All-News Radio and the American Bourgeoisi
News and Alienation

 
News and Ruling-Class Ideology

 
Commercials and Anxiety

 
Caught in the Middle

 
News from Internet and Social Media

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
9. Video Games: A New Art Form
Are Video Games an Art Form or a Medium?

 
New Technologies and Video Games

 
Janet Murray on Interactivity and Immersion

 
Video Games and Addiction

 
Video Games and the Problem of Violence

 
Social and Physical Problems Caused by Video Games

 
Video Games and Sexuality

 
Conclusions

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
10. Cell Phones, Social Media and the Problem of Identity
Media Use by 8 to 18 Year Olds

 
Social Media

 
A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Youth and Social Media

 
The Cell Phone as Sign: A Semiotic Perspective

 
Marxist Perspectives on Cell Phones

 
Conclusions

 
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion

 
 
Appendix: Simulations, Activities, Games, and Exercises
Anatomy of a Tale

 
Paradigmatic Analysis

 
Dream Analysis

 
Writing a Therapeutic Fairy Tale

 
Origin Tales

 
Radio Scripts

 
Television Narrative Analysis

 
The Propp Game

 
Metaphors

 
Advertising Analysis

 
Playing Aaron Wildavsky

 
Textual Analysis

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Author

This book grew on me during and after the course. I was particularly impressed by the many telling examples (images) and clarifying tables (e.g. connotation vs denotation and metaphor vs metonymy). Therefore, I will suggest to my colleagues to give it 'recommended' status during next course (in January/February 2014).

Mr Leonhardt Van Efferink
Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam
October 6, 2013

The text is a recommended text to accompany the primary text for the course.

Mrs Bethney Wilson
Communication Dept, University of Kentucky
September 16, 2013

I like teaching methods of analysis.

Professor Anthony Villarreal
Social Science Division, Monterey Peninsula College
August 20, 2013

Clear text that helps students consider the increasing role of the media in this discipline

Mrs Joanne Atkinson
Health community and Education Studies, Northumbria University
February 27, 2013

Simple enough for undergrad and complex enough for graduate students (with a supplement).

Dr T Ford-Ahmed
Communications , West Virginia State University
February 8, 2013

The text contained excellent material; however, it was too advanced for my introduction to media and mass communications course. I would adopt this text for a more advanced (upper-undergraduate) course on media and popular culture.

Courtney Feldscher
Sociology Dept, University of Massachusetts
July 10, 2012

interesting book but more suited to research than as a base text

Ms Ciara O'Sullivan
Media and Communcations, Templemore College of Further Education
June 12, 2012

Looks better for a research methods course

Dr Carolyn Cunningham
Communication Arts Dept, Gonzaga University
May 17, 2012

Arthur Asa Berger

Arthur Asa Berger is Professor Emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University, where he taught between 1965 and 2003. He has published more than 100 articles, numerous book reviews, and more than 60 books. Among his latest books are the third edition of Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2013), The Academic Writer’s Toolkit: A User’s Manual (2008), What Objects Mean: An Introduction to Material Culture (2009), Bali Tourism (2013), Tourism in Japan: An Ethno-Semiotic Analysis (2010), The Culture Theorist’s Book of Quotations (2010),... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412987769
$70.00