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The Cultural Industries
The Cultural Industries, Second Edition combines a political economy approach with the best aspects of cultural studies, sociology, communication studies, and social theory to provide an overview of the key debates surrounding cultural production. This new edition of Hesmondhalgh's clearly written, thoroughly argued overview of political-economic, organizational, technolog ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published April 25th 2007 by Sage Publications (CA)
(first published May 24th 2002)
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Read "The Television Will Be Revolutionized" by Amanda Lotz instead. I'll save you the time you would waste by reading this book by giving you a short summary. It is one, long, useless thought experiment with the all-to-familiar, underlying whine of: "socialism can fix the problems within my highly specific, trivial area of concern, and thus the whole world needs a healthy dose of Marxism. Never mind the fantastic historical rate of failure and infringement on human rights!" Aside from that, thi ...more
The greatest strength of this book (its narrow focus) is also its weakness. The industries Hesmondhalgh explores here, text-centred symbol creating industries - broadcasting, film, internet content, music and electronic and print publishing, are without a doubt important but his approach frustratingly marginalises other key industries (so craft based activities such as art, theatre - although he considers it in some contexts) and the like, as well as other areas of cultural activity - advertisin ...more
Although Hesmondhalgh does an excellent job of introducing readers to classic communications theories and the dynamics of the media industries, I found this book very difficult to digest the first time around. I found the examples/case studies used were very specific, making them difficult to understand/contextualize in terms of the `bigger picture`. I also found certain issues were often explained/presented in a way that left readers without a clear understanding of what "the point" was (which, ...more
Rather than cultural industries, this is a media industry book. Packed with a lot of (distilled) references and placing them in historic, cultural and social context, it gives great bigger picture for themes that are analyzed. However, considering all that, it is hard to read. Not written coherently, with several doozies in chapter 9, it sometimes makes you jump from one point in the book to another, not allowing you to consume it in one sitting, or first-to-last page reading. Considering all th ...more
Finally finished this like 5 months later. Very useful general overview of various political economy approaches (critical political economy in particular) that would not be out of place on an upper level undergraduate reading list. Some of the new media discussion is questionable, but since it isn't the main focus of the book I won't hold it against Hesmondhalgh. Great for those new to studying the cultural industries (Frankfurt School followers beware, I suppose) and useful for bibliographic re ...more