February Book Review: Media/Society Industries, Images, and Audiences

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 Media/Society Industries, Images, and Audiences by: David Croteau, William Hoynes, Stefania Milan

This is a college textbook but is still good reading for high schoolers and people who want to get a real idea of how media works. I recommend this book to parents as well. The orange cover is the fourth edition (2012) which is the text I am reviewing and the blue cover is the fifth edition which is the current edition (2014). If this is a trend than I suspect a sixth edition is in the works for 2016. This book reads well and provides some great diagrams and charts to give you the visuals that you need to understand the concepts. I will say that when I purchased this book it was not 2014 so the information presented probably needed an update, mainly due to the Clear Channel change into iHeartMedia. If you work in media you obviously know or should know most of the information in this particular book.

The book answers eight vital questions about media that include; how has growth in mass media influenced the political process and how do people use and interpret the mass media? It is rare for a textbook to present facts on such controversial topics. In an early section of the book it mentions the implication of media having “a small group of powerful owners” that use “the media to control the thoughts of the rest of us.” That sentence alone struck me and drew my interest. The book goes on to break down which companies own what and who the conglomerates are. My favorite chapter is chapter six, Social Inequality and Media Representation. Media has been around so long that we forget that media has its own history of racial inequality and stereotyping non-whites and minorities.

The influence media has on music is the main reason I purchased this book. I wanted to understand the media a whole as it conflicts with our own moral and personal values because it does and conforms groups of people resulting in assimilation in many cases. The overall focus on socialization is how the authors were able to bring this book together. This book is easy for you to read because you’re living in a society that increases its media usage every day. Reading this book will answer a lot of the questions you may have about the current state of Rap music.