You are here

Media Imperialism

Media Imperialism

December 2014 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How does control of media resources serve political and economic ends? What is the impact of media concentration and monopoly in the era of technology convergence, with not just traditional and ‘new’ media but also consumer electronics, telephony and computing industries?

Revisiting the classic concept of media imperialism, Oliver Boyd-Barrett presents a thorough retake for the 21st century, arguing for the need to understand media and empires and how structures of power and control continue to regulate our access to and consumption of the media. It's no longer just Disney and Dallas - it's also now Alibaba, Apple, Facebook, Google, Samsung and Huawei.

Examining the interplay between communications industries and the hierarchies and networks of political, corporate and plutocratic power in a globalized world, the book explains:

  • the historical context of the relationship between media and imperialism;
  • contestation and collaboration among new media empires;
  • the passion for social justice that inspired the original theories of media and cultural imperialism, and how it has been embraced by a new generation.

Digging deeply into the global landscape and emerging media markets to explore how media power works across transnational boundaries, this book gives a clear and sophisticated argument for why media imperialism still matters.

Redefining the Field
Territorial and “Free Trade” Empire Building: War by Media-Sanctioned Pretext
Classic Approaches to Media Imperialism: Three Models
Colonial Communication Reframed
Selling Pretexts for Imperial War
Media and the Hybrid Pretexts for War in Libya and Syria
Western Media Propaganda and Iran’s Non-Existent Nukes
Towards Digital Media Empires
Other Media Empires
Media Resisting Imperialism

Combining new evidence with old, Oliver Boyd-Barrett's masterful exploration of the history and contemporary status of media imperialism highlights the fact that its obituary was premature. Its specific contours may have changed but Disney and Time Warner along with Google and Facebook and a smattering of regional media behemoths exercise the power to make agendas including the legitimisation of conquest through war and other means. This is a significant and timely book.

Pradip Ninan Thomas
University of Queensland

Boyd-Barrett brings together a remarkably wide array of media experiences and practices from around the planet, and invites us to look closely at their power, viewed on differing levels through the critical lens of ‘imperialism’.

John D.H. Downing
Professor Emeritus & Founding Director, Global Media Research Center, Southern Illinois University

Oliver Boyd-Barrett's Media Imperialism is both a sweeping and accessible introduction to the topic as well as a highly provocative assessment of a large range of issues concerning media and politics. As absurd as this sounds for a book of this nature, I found it difficult to put down. This is an ideal book for students.

Robert W. McChesney
University of Illinois

An excellent account of the use fo media by political and economic actors.

Mr Michael Parsons
Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales
April 17, 2015

An excellent account of the use of media by political and economic actors.

Mr Michael Parsons
Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales
April 17, 2015

This is an extremely readable, up-to-date account of the role of the media in globalisation and imperialisms. The author gives a necessarily selective but coherent account of major theories in the field of media imperialism, a field of which he defends the ongoing relevance. The book will give students useful insights into the geopolitical and economic dimensions of the struggle to control information through the media.

Dr Alex Frame
UFR Langues & communication, University of Bourgogne
March 27, 2015

Still reading this - but there is some good material which is relevant to those students looking at the media's impact on politics.

Dr Mark Shanahan
Politics, Economics and International Relations, Reading University
February 19, 2015

The book is proving to be a wonderful resource for my Political Economy of the Media module. It is well structured and my students find it easy to follow

Dr Bevelyn Dube
Mass Communications , University of Venda
February 18, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Media Imperialism: Redefining the Field

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781446268711
ISBN: 9781446268704

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.