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Introduction to Communication Studies (Studies in Culture and Communication) [Hardcover]

John Fiske

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Book Description

30 Sep 2010 Studies in Culture and Communication

This revised edition of a now classic text includes a new introduction by Henry Jenkins, explaining ‘Why Fiske Still Matters’ for today’s students, followed by a discussion between former Fiske students Ron Becker, Elana Levine, Darrell Newton and Pamela Wilson on the theme of ‘Structuralism and Semiotics, Fiske-Style’. Both underline the continuing relevance of this foundational text in communication studies.

How can we study communication? What are the main theories and methods of approach?

This classic text provides a lucid, accessible introduction to the main authorities in the field of communication studies, aimed at students coming to the subject for the first time. It outlines a range of methods of analysing examples of communication, and describes the theories underpinning them. Thus armed, the reader will be able to tease out the latent cultural meanings in such apparently simple communications as news photos or popular TV programmes, and to see them with new eyes.


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Review

`...shows a welcome ability to provide lucid and balanced summaries of a complex and diverse field.' -- British Book News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Fiske is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.


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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting introduction to Communication Studies 31 Oct 2011
By Rachel4890 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book focused on the semiotic school, provided pictures and case studies usually related to journalism and advertising. The writer was obviously aware of the practical value of this book to the average readers.
4.0 out of 5 stars An Introduction into Semiotics and Structuralism 26 Jan 2014
By Ulrich Gdhler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Fiske’s Introduction into Communication Studies while attending a University survey course on Media Theory. The book is actually mostly an introduction into semiotics and Structuralism. Fiske’s strength is his ability to explain quite complex theories in a readable way. The book is motivating as it often shows concrete applications of theoretical notions. To give on example: after explaining the notion of “code” in semiotics, Fiske presents Basil Bernstein’s work on the difference in the speech of working-class and middle-class children. Fiske’s theory history stops somewhere before the poststructuralist turn in the early 1980s. Don’t expect to find much information about the apolitical “pleasure” turn in Media Studies since.
Fiske presents two main schools of communication studies. The first part of the book deals with the “process school” which sees communication as the transmission of messages. Shannon and Weaver, Lasswell , Gerbner and Newcomb consider the meaning as contained in the messages. Fiske explains the notions “Information”, “Redundancy”, “Entropy” and “Noise”. He shows the mechanistic and linear nature of these models.
The larger second part consists of an in depth presentation of semiotics and Structuralism, strongly based on the earlier works of Roland Barthes. Semiotics sees communication as the production and exchange of meaning. It deals with the role of texts in our culture. How do messages in texts interact with people in order to produce meaning? Fiske explains Stuart Hall’s “Encoding/Decoding” Model of Television which shows the consumer as co-producers of meaning.
What is lacking in Fiske’s valuable overview is an account of the relationship between communication and the labour process. Human beings have to communicate because their interaction with nature is always social and not Robinson Crusoe-like. Communication has to deal with the technical and social division of labour. I miss an account of the relationship between semiotics and political economy. How do semiotic and Structuralist theories explain the importance of advertisement in late capitalism and its domineering influence on culture?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little dated, but good intro 17 Dec 2012
By Big Ace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fairly easy read, and comprehensive, though dated, treatment of the subject. May not have been the best one to choose for my purposes, but not bad.
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