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On Television
On Television

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Manufacturer: New Press, The
Publisher: New Press, The
Author(s): Pierre Bourdieu

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Product Description:
Binding: Paperback
Brand: Brand: New Press, The
EAN: 9781565845121
Feature: Used Book in Good Condition
ISBN: 1565845129
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: New Press, The
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: New Press, The
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 112
Publication Date: 1999-04-01
Publisher: New Press, The
Studio: New Press, The
Product Features:
Used Book in Good Condition
Editorial Review:
"On Television" exposes the invisible mechanisms of manipulation and censorship that determine what appears on the small screen. Bourdieu shows how the ratings game has transformed journalism -- and hence politics -- and even such seemingly removed fields as law, science, art, and philosophy. Bourdieu had long been concerned with the role of television in cultural and political life when he bypassed the political and commercial control of the television networks and addressed his country's viewers from the television station of the College de France. "On Television," which expands on that lecture, not only describes the limiting and distorting effect of television on journalism and the world of ideas, but offers the blueprint for a counterattack.
Television permeates our culture like no other medium. Sitcoms, sports, murder trials, fast-food commercials, and distant wars are beamed into our homes in an endless stream. Given its pervasiveness, and the ways in which it shapes our view of the world outside our homes, it is vital that a rigorous critical apparatus exists to help us understand what all this TV means. On Television is a transcript of two lectures given by French critic Pierre Bourdieu, in which he expresses his concern that television in its current form is "a threat to political life and to democracy itself." He argues that television provides only the illusion of freedom, and that almost every image that reaches the screen is thoroughly mediated by corporate and political interests. The desire for larger audiences results in a medium that caters to the shortest attention span, and the news is reduced to a series of prepackaged sound bites and sensational video footage. On the networks, if it bleeds it leads.

Bourdieu's critique may be dismissed by some as excessively pessimistic, and he offers few solutions to the problems that he describes. Yet although the end may not be as nigh as Bourdieu imagines, the influence of television continues to grow, and this is a fascinating contribution to an increasingly important debate.--Simon Leake

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