chapter  2
22 Pages

Decentering Media Research: Social “Order,”

WithKnowledge, and Agency

It seems simple: the focus of media research is media, in the term’s usual double usage, media texts and the institutions that produce those texts. Certainly, while media texts and institutions were ignored by traditional academic disciplines, things were that simple. A great deal of the achievements of media and communication research in the 1970s and 1980s consisted in showing, in great detail, why media (in both senses) mattered as a social reference point; as a reproducer of ideology; as an economic force, and, of course, as a source of pleasure, information, and mystification in people’s daily lives. These achievements of media studies (from the analysis of news discourse to the political economy of media to the important extension of audience research) will not disappear and will no doubt continue to be developed.