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Media Analysis Techniques

Media Analysis Techniques

Sixth Edition

April 2018 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

This book provides a concise, thought-provoking, and cleverly-written introduction to major theories in media analysis, and it gives students new perspectives on the media they use.”

—Donna Halper, Lesley University

In the Sixth Edition of Media Analysis Techniques, author Arthur Asa Berger once again provides students with a clearly written, user-friendly, hands-on guide to media criticism. 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 basic 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, Media Analysis Techniques includes learning exercises, a glossary, study guides, and the author’s own illustrations.

New to the Sixth Edition:

  • A new chapter on discourse analysis offers students techniques for analyzing the language in texts.
  • New content on psychological impact of social media shows that there are often negative consequences to using social media.
  • Increased coverage of technology and social media helps readers apply time-tested analysis techniques to the latest media.
  • Updated examples from popular culture bring theory to life.
  • New drawings and photo images illustrate concepts and enhance the visual attractiveness of this book.
  • New material around generational differences describe to students how each generation interacts with media differently, particularly the millennials.   
  • New discussions by thinkers who have made major impacts on popular culture, such as
    • Daniel Chandler on semiotic codes
    • Michel Foucault on change in cultures
    • Mark Gottdiener on sign vehicles in semiotic theory
    • Guy Debord on the Society of Spectacle
    • Mark Thompson et al on Marx’s neglect of egalitarian political culture
    • Marcel Danesi on myth and popular culture
    • Ernest Kris on the Oedipus Complex
    • Sigmund Freud on the purposes of jokes
    • Clotaire Rapaille on the new “Global code.”
    • Teun van Dyk on discourse analysis and ideology
    • Wolfgang Iser on reception theory

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Part I. Techniques of Interpretation
Chapter 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  
Forms of Signs  
Signs and Truth  
Facial Expressions as Signs  
Language and Speaking  
Connotation and Denotation  
The Synchronic and the Diachronic  
Syntagmatic Analysis  
Paradigmatic Analysis  
Dialogical Theory  
Metaphor and Metonymy  
Culture Codes  
Michel Foucault on Codes  
Semiotics of the Television Medium  
Some Criticisms of Semiotic Analysis  
A Checklist for Semiotic Analysis of Television  
Chapter 2: Marxist Analysis
The Base and the Superstructure  
False Consciousness  
The Frankfurt School  
Class Conflict  
The Consumer Society  
John Berger on Advertising  
Bourgeois Heroes  
The Problem of Media Consolidation  
The Society of the Spectacle  
The Danger of Being Doctrinaire  
Grid-Group Analysis  
Marxist Criticism in the Postmodern World  
Analyzing a Text From a Marxist Perspective  
Study Questions and Topics for Discussion  
Annotated Bibliography  
Chapter 3: Psychoanalytic Criticism
The Unconscious  
William A. Rossi on Sexual Aspects of the Foot and Shoe  
The Oedipus Complex  
On the Importance of Myth  
Media and the Oedipus Complex  
Id, Ego, and Superego  
The Structural Hypothesis Applied to Culture  
Defense Mechanisms  
Martin Grotjahn on Horror Films  
Condensation and Displacement  
Aggression and Guilt  
Stereotypes and Aggressive Humor  
Freud and Beyond  
Jungian Psychoanalytic Theory  
Psychoanalytic Analysis of Media: A Cautionary Note  
Chapter 4: Sociological Analysis
Émile Durkheim on Our Social Nature  
Some Basic Concepts  
Herbert Gans and Taste Cultures  
Uses and Gratifications  
Genres and Formulas  
Content Analysis  
Chapter 5: Discourse Analysis
Defining Discourse Analysis  
Teun A. Van Dijk on Discourse Analysis  
Spoken and Written Discourse  
Styles and Written Discourse  
Political Ideologies and Discourse Analysis  
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)  
Advertising and Critical Discourse Analysis  
Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA)  
Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA)  
A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of an Advertisement  
Part II. Applications
Chapter 6: Murderers on the Orient Express
Organizing a Mystery  
Detectives as Semioticians  
Social and Political Dimensions  
Poirot as Revolutionary  
Chapter 7: Seven Points on the Game of Football (And Some Interesting Statistics)
Football Is a Game of Signs  
Instant Replay and the Modern Sensibility  
Football Socializes Us  
Statistics on Televised Football  
Why Baseball Is Boring  
Football as an Alternative to Religion  
The Marxist Perspective  
Football and the Psyche  
Concluding Remarks  
Chapter 8: 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  
Using the Myth Model  
Psychoanalytic Aspects of the Fidji Text  
An Aside on Moisturizers and Anxiety  
Final Comments on Perfume and Anxiety  
Chapter 9: All-News Radio and the American Bourgeoisie
News and Alienation  
News and Ruling-Class Ideology  
Commercials and Anxiety  
Caught in the Middle  
News and Conversation  
News from the Internet and Social Media  
Chapter 10: Video Games: A New Art Form
An Investigation of MMO’s  
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  
Chapter 11: Cell Phones, Social Media, and the Problem of Identity
An Epiphany  
The Internet  
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  
Epilogue: Shmoos and Analysis
Appendix: Simulations, Activities, Games, and Exercises
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Author

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1- Semiotic Analysis

Chapter 2- Marxist Analysis

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ISBN: 9781506366210