on 24 February 2004
This book is a splendid introduction to theories about visual culture. It opens up the sociological / psychodynamic / anthropological theories that exist about the visual media to laymen. Another good thing is that they do not focus on high culture visual media, but also on film, television, advertising, etc. This is what makes the book valuable to people who are specialized in neighbouring fields and who wish to know more about visual media (for instance, marketeers, perception psychologists, therapists, people studying politics, etc.). On every topic the background literature is made accessible by good references and a short introduction to these references. This is really helpful! For instance, i always wanted to know more about Barthes theorizing about myths, and how that applies to advertising, with this book i have a good introduction, but also a good guide that tells me how to find the relevant and more up to date literature on this topic.
on 20 November 2003
This book is easy going introductory reading for undergraduate courses on the subject. It's relatively short, has lots of pictures and photos and is mostly about advertising, tv, and popular culture. It makes a nice change from weighty pompous academic essays and it's engaging and intelligent.