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The Cultural Industries

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  6 reviews
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 March 18th 2007 by Sage Publications (CA) (first published May 24th 2002)
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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
David Hesmondhalgh's The Cultural Industries purports to be a guide to the changes in the popular media (TV, movies, music, books, etc.) over the last several decades, in particular how their ownership by conglomerates is affecting their quality. Yet if there is a substantial part of this book, I can't find it.
The first half of the book, nearly every page seems to reference that the important details will be dealt with in the later chapters. Once there, I was being referred back to the first hal
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
Xin Gu
focus exclusively on media content industries rather than the wider cultural industries per say. Other than that, excellent reference book.
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