Critical Ideas in Television Studies

By John Corner | Go to book overview

2
Institution

THE word 'institution' primarily indicates a widely acknowledged aspect of television rather than a critical idea about it. Nevertheless, despite this straightforward descriptive meaning, 'institution' has also often carried an analytic and sometimes a polemical inflection in the academic literature. There are three related reasons for this. First of all, an emphasis on television's institutionality has often been set against other research concerns, sometimes with the implication of applying a corrective or at least a balance to the directions in which these other concerns lead. Secondly, the way in which institutional factors should relate, causally and consequentially, to other aspects of television has caused considerable debate. Thirdly, the very question of what should be taken into account in considering television as an institution, and how it should be taken into account, has been found a challenge even amongst those who have wished to give the institutional dimension priority in their studies. In this chapter, then, I want to explore what is involved in the consideration of television as institution.

To regard television institutionally is to regard it within the forms of its historical and social establishment and organization. Television, unlike poetry, say, cannot exist non-institutionally since even its minimal resource, production, and distribution requirements are such as to require high levels of organization in terms of funding, labour, and manufacturing process. As I shall suggest later, there are contrary shifts both towards aggregation and dispersal in the current pattern of international television. Among other things, these may have the effect of altering the relationship between what we now think of as the public processes of 'television' and what we think of as the more privatized processes of 'video' (e.g. home, surveillance, and corporate). However, television has become installed in most modern societies in terms of an institutional ecology--major national corporations, networks, international corporate giants, small independents, local stations--which will retain its basic features for some time to come.

A more abstract and analytic way of seeing television institutionally, rather than simply pointing to the fact of corporations, companies, production houses, etc., is to focus on the way in which institutional forms act as a matrix for, and a nexus between, the various constituents of television. Institutions give the processes of television (including viewing experience) their specificity, a specificity with a historical, national character which is the product of given political, social, and cultural factors interacting with available technology. Whilst it is by no means possible to trace all the processes of television by holding an institutional focus, there is a sense in which such a focus serves to condense many features of process--identified elsewhere in

-12-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Critical Ideas in Television Studies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction: Research and Criticism 1
  • 2 - Institution 12
  • 3 - Image 24
  • 4 - Talk 37
  • 5 - Narrative 47
  • 6 - Flow 60
  • 7 - Production 70
  • 8 - Reception 80
  • 9 - Pleasure 93
  • 10 - Knowledge 108
  • 11 - Television 2000: The Terms of Transformation 120
  • References 129
  • Index 137
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 146

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.