Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities

Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities

Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities

Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities

Synopsis

• Are cultural identities socially constructed?

• How are race, nation, sex and gender constructed and represented on television?

• What is the impact of globalization on television and cultural identities?

This introductory text examines issues of television and cultural identities in the context of globalization. It is a wide-ranging volume, exploring many of the central cultural issues in contemporary cultural studies, such as media, globalization, language, gender, ethnicity, cultural politics and identity - perhaps the topic of cultural studies over the past decade. At the core of the book are two critical arguments - that television is a proliferating resource for the construction of cultural identity, and that cultural identity is not a fixed essential 'thing' but a contingent social construction to which language is central.

The book will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on television and cultural identities in the fields of cultural studies, communications, media studies and sociology, with a wider appeal to those with an interest in the television industry. Key concepts are introduced and explained for those new to cultural studies, whilst debates are extended and enriched for those already familiar with them. The text is well structured, links the vocabularies of media studies and cultural studies, and is supported by original case study material.

Excerpt

At a time when the cultural dynamics of television as a medium of mass communication are being decisively recast around the world, Chris Barker's Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities signals an important intervention into a number of pertinent debates in cultural and media studies.

In taking as its principal point of departure the issue of cultural identity, this book examines an extensive range of different conceptual approaches to the study of television within a global context. Barker dispenses with notions of cultural identity as a universal, fixed or essential entity in order to explore the socially contingent ways in which identities are culturally constructed. Special attention is given to understanding how relations of class, gender, sexuality, 'race' and ethnicity shape people's sense of who they are in relation to the world around them. Televisual representations, the author suggests, need to be recognized as a major resource for the construction of cultural identities within the lived experience of everyday life. That is to say, the profuse flow of televisual sounds and images provides viewers with a rich array of materials to enable them to refashion their individual 'identity projects' in highly complex, and typically contradictory, ways. This book thus makes for compelling reading as it succeeds in illuminating the key arguments being made about television in this regard while, at the same time, challenging many of the assumptions that underpin them.

The Issues in Cultural and Media Studies series aims to facilitate a diverse range of critical investigations into pressing questions considered to be central to current thinking and research. In light of the remarkable speed at which the conceptual agendas of cultural and media studies are changing, the authors are committed to contributing to what is an ongoing process of . . .

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