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Accounts of media research rarely pay attention to the social contexts that give rise to the questions scholars address, and even more rarely do they acknowledge the personal dimensions that draw us to particular questions at particular moments. In contrast, Ruddock's uses the life and work of George Gerbner to illuminate a critical period in 20th Century media research and, while accomplishing this important task, he succeeds as well in placing current media research in the context of contemporary concerns and challenges.
Andy Ruddock’s book is a terrific way to get into the fields of cultivation research and cultural indicators. It provides useful cases that help illustrate both the means and methods of the research approaches, and applies them in specific contexts. It is not the usual social science, exemplifying the blend of empirical research and critical approaches that so characterizes the work under study. Add to that previously unearthed historical and archive findings, and we have a book that will essential for media scholars and students alike.
Linking the past, present and future of media and media studies in a dynamic synthesis of theory and case studies, Andy Ruddock makes a compelling case for George Gerbner’s cultivation analysis in an age of digital media. Using examples such as school shootings, the Trump presidency, Islamophobia, and young women in reality TV, this short book provides a timely argument for the continuing relevance of studying media influence, for both media scholars and other social researchers.
In this lively and engaging work, Andy Ruddock revisits cultivation theory, one of the most influential 20th Century approaches to the study of media effects, and gives it new life in today's hyper-mediatised digital environment.