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Edited by Alison Wilde and Murray Simpson

Forthcoming
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Binge Watching

Motivations and Implications of Our Changing Viewing Behaviors

Bridget Rubenking and Cheryl Campanella Bracken

This book situates binge watching as one of several new television viewing behaviors which collectively contribute to a fundamental change in the way we view television today. Simply put, binge watching changes, or has the potential to change, everything: Engagement, immersion, attention to content and other devices, identification with characters and social engagement with fellow viewers, as well as content choices, and cable and over-the-top (OTT) subscription rates. Binge watching has quickly become a new norm in television viewing across audiences.

Binge Watching reviews historically significant advancements in the television industry and in technology that better enable binge watching, such as timeshifting, increasing quantity and (sometimes) quality of content, as well as distribution strategies and suggestions algorithms employed by OTT providers. We situate binge watching as human-centered, that is, driven by innate human needs and wants, such as a desire to consume well-constructed stories and to connect with others. We also review the current state of academic binge watching research—from motives and habituation to the (over-pathologizing) addiction-based studies. This text concludes with a synopsis of the central arguments made and identifies several areas for future research.

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The Genes of Culture

Towards a Theory of Symbols, Meaning and Media, Volume 1

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Christine L. Nystrom

Edited by Carolyn Wiebe and Susan Maushart

Christine L. Nystrom’s provocative work offers up a fresh approach to ongoing—and increasingly urgent—questions about the role of symbols and technology in shaping human experience. In lucid, lively and always-accessible prose, she examines an eclectic range of topics—from Hopi grammar to the etiquette of beach-going to the primal allure of the horror film—to uncover the principles that structure the way we make meaning of our world. A cross-disciplinary tour-de-force, The Genes of Culture integrates insights from philosophy, the physical sciences, social psychology and cultural criticism to pose challenging questions for today’s students of media. An exemplary foundation reader for graduates or undergraduates in communication and media studies.

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Speaking to Reconciliation

Voices of Faith Addressing Racial and Cultural Divides

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John B. Hatch

In North America, Africa, and across the globe, many societies are deeply divided along racial, ethnic, political, or religious lines as a result of violent/oppressive histories. Bridging such divides requires symbolic action that transcends, reframes, redeems, and repairs--often drawing upon resources of faith. Speaking to Reconciliation showcases this tradition through speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Ireland's President Mary McAleese, and others. Some of these speeches set forth principles or spiritual practices of reconciliation. Others acknowledge injustice, make apologies for historical wrongs, call for reparations, or commend the power of forgiveness. Speaking to Reconciliation presents a conceptual framework for doing analysis and critique of reconciliation discourse and applies this framework in introductions to the speeches, offering readers a springboard for further study and, potentially, inspiration to promote justice and reconciliation in their own spheres.

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Adolescent Fans

Practices, Discourses, Communities

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Pilar Lacasa

Owing to the proliferation of screens and networked culture, young fans have moved beyond being simply media consumers. Today they are content interpreters and creators—living in a remix culture, reconstructing transmedia narratives, and interacting with culture industries. Young fans’ relationship to technology has transformed their discourses, interpersonal relationships, and the way they participate in communities. This book delves into these issues, looking at social and cultural approaches to human development to study the identities and activities of fan communities among young people. The book explores communities related to Harry Potter, One Direction, Fortnite, Warhammer, TikTok, and television programs. Drawing on an ethnographic approach and big data analysis, Adolescent Fans demonstrates how digital technology has changed not only fan behavior, but also research practices used to understand what it means to be a young fan.

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Aziz Douai

Terrorism inspires intense emotions of fear, vulnerability, victimization, and helplessness that breed humiliation and shame and demands for redress by the victims—restoring the wounded honor through revenge and military action. The post-9/11 environment of the "global war on terrorism" has exacerbated these vicious cycles of conflict. It also created a media battleground in which conflating Islam with terrorism and deploying a religious lexicon of jihad, martyrdom, and sacrifice have become routine.

Yet, scholarship on the relationship between Arab media and terrorism is sparse—despite the salience of terrorism and other forms of politically motivated violence in the greater Middle East and North Africa region. How does Arab news cover "home-grown" or domestic terrorism in comparison to terrorist incidents that might be geographically distant? How does globalization influence the mediation of terrorism in Arab news?

This book addresses these lacunae and features a wide range of studies examining coverage of terrorism in Arab media. The case studies investigate technological, political, sociological, and legal infrastructures influencing the ways Arab media make sense of terrorism and international conflict events. The research contributes to the understanding of news frames as central to how terrorism news operates, construct and thereby explain the social world through familiar master narratives drawn from the region’s culture and history.

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Alkoholismus im DDR-Dokumentarfilm – Regie Eduard Schreiber

Eine filmhistorische Mikrostudie zur (ost-)deutschen Mediengeschichte  

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Tobias Sachsenweger

Die Studie bearbeitet ein Kapitel der Dokumentarfilmgeschichte der ehemaligen DDR. Im Mittelpunkt steht dabei das noch weitgehend unbekannte dokumentarische Werk des Regisseurs Eduard Schreiber vor und nach 1989. Anhand der beiden Dokumentarfilme Abhängig (1983) und Rückfällig (1988) liefert der Autor eine filmgeschichtliche Mikrostudie zu den visuellen, künstlerischen und rhetorischen Strategien sowie den konkreten Produktions-, Zensur- und Rezeptionskontexten. Vor dem Hintergrund der ostdeutschen Sozialgeschichte, Kulturpolitik und Öffentlichkeit sowie der internationalen Entwicklung in der dokumentarischen Filmrepräsentation richtet er ein besonderes Augenmerk auf den nicht-fiktionalen Umgang mit der Alkoholismusthematik. Ein Interview mit dem Regisseur, eine detaillierte Filmografie sowie ein umfangreicher Quellenapparat zum DDR-Dokumentarfilm runden den Band ab.

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Beyond Post-Communication

Challenging Disinformation, Deception, and Manipulation

Jim Macnamara

While many analyses have examined disinformation in recent election campaigns, misuse of ‘big data’ such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and manipulation by bots and algorithms, most have blamed a few bad actors. This incisive analysis presents evidence of deeper and broader corruption of the public sphere, which the author refers to as post-communication. With extensive evidence, Macnamara argues that we are all responsible for the slide towards a post-truth society. This analysis looks beyond high profile individuals such as Donald Trump, Russian trolls, and even ‘Big Tech’ to argue that the professionalized communication industries of advertising, PR, political and government communication, and journalism, driven by clickbait and aided by a lack of critical media literacy, have systematically contributed to disinformation, deception, and manipulation. When combined with powerful new communication technologies, artificial intelligence, and lack of regulation, this has led to a "perfect data storm". Accordingly, Macnamara proposes that there is no single solution. Rather, he identifies a range of strategies for communication professionals, industry associations, media organizations and platforms, educators, legislators, regulators, and citizens to challenge post-communication and post-truth.

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Edited by Andrew R. Spieldenner and Satoshi Toyosaki

Intercultural Health Communication brings together the fields of health and intercultural research in new work from leading communication scholars. This book is based on two premises: neither health nor culture is a neutral concept. The authors of this collection employ critical, qualitative, and interpretive research methodologies in order to engage the political and intersectional nature of health and culture simultaneously. Changing notions of healthy behaviors (or ill health) are not just a matter of knowledge; they live inside discourses about the body, aesthetics, science, and the world. We see this book as an important step towards developing a more transnational view of health communication. Intercultural Health Communication ties together the critical public health with critical intercultural communication. Through these connections, the authors engage the health research in, amongst others: HIV, cancer, trauma, celiac disease, radioactive pollution, food politics, and prenatal care. Intercultural Health Communication emerges from a broad need to address connections and challenges to incorporating health communication with intercultural communication approaches. After compiling this book, we see ready connections to public health, global studies, gender and sexuality studies and ethnic studies. In this day and age, nation states have to be considered within the broader frameworks of globalization, transnationalism and global health. We recognize that the contemporary health issues require an understanding of culture as integral towards eliminating health disparities.

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William L. Benoit and Andrew C. Billings

Mass communication theories were largely built when we had mass media audiences. The number of television, print, film or other forms of media audiences were largely finite, concentrating people on many of the same core content offerings, whether that be the nightly news or a popular television show. What happens when those audiences splinter? The Rise and Fall of Mass Communication surveys the aftermath of exactly that, noting that very few modern media products have audiences above 1-2% of the population at any one time. Advancing a new media balkanization theory, Benoit and Billings neither lament nor embrace the new media landscape, opting instead to pinpoint how we must consider mass communication theories and applications in an era of ubiquitous choice.