Review by Choice Review
An important literature review and critique of international scholarship about communication and mass communication theory. Two French scholars discuss development in communication studies in Western Europe and in the Americas, with a particular emphasis on French structuralism and poststructuralist studies in the past two decades. The authors find that European and American approaches to media studies reflect a healthy diversity, but that contemporary researchers have reached unfounded and hasty conclusions about the impact of media on culture. The Mattelarts assert that media studies should become more anthropological and that scholars should better understand the dynamics of social exchange, or the role of media in everyday life. The social roles and functions of the news media are less discussed than scholarship about how media help persons form social and cultural identities. North American readers may be surprised by the authors' splendid effort to justify the intellectual importance of media studies only recently accepted as a scholarly discipline outside the US. This excellent translation of Penser les m'edias (Paris, 1986) adds occasional updates about recent political changes in Europe and the Americas. Ample footnotes are provided, but the text will be difficult for undergraduates and general readers. Highly recommended for communication and mass communication theory collections serving graduate students and faculty. R. A. Logan; University of MissouriDSColumbia
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.