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Popular Communication

Debra Merskin

Subject Philosophy
Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Culture » Popular Culture

Key-Topics entertainment

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Popular communication is an interdisciplinary, multi-theoretical, multi-methodological philosophy of media and audiences. It has evolved as a nonhierarchical perspective that emphasizes the value of objects, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs associated with everyday life. Gunn and Brummett (2004 , 705) ask provocative questions about popular communication that capture the difficulty of defining the term: “Whose child is it, and who invented it? What sort of side dish did it contribute to the feast?” In many ways, the term defies definition because of the resistance to categorization inherent in a postmodern vision, which values all products of human endeavor (→  Postmodernism and Communication ). Popular communication research is often critical of systems of power. A philosophy behind popular communication research is a “skepticism toward dominant institutions (including the university), ideologies, and social relations and an implicit commitment to a more democratic, egalitarian, and humane social order” ( McChesney 1994 , 340). It is the ideology inherent in mass communicated messages that is of the utmost importance to popular communication scholars (→  Critical Theory ). Through three related processes, “domination, contradiction, and struggle,” the global arena of popular communication research focuses on the role of media and the construction of meaning in capitalist and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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