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The Inclusive Vision

Essays in Honor of Larry Gross

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Edited By Paul Messaris and David W. Park

Larry Gross is one of the most influential figures in the history of media studies. In this collection of original essays, his former students reflect on his groundbreaking contributions to three major developments: the emergence of visual studies as a distinct field of media theory and research; the analysis of media fiction as a symbol of power structures and a perpetuator of social inequalities; and the growing scholarly attention to the relationships between mass media and sexual minorities.

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Introduction (Paul Messaris)

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Introduction

PAUL MESSARIS

Few people have had as much impact on the field of communication studies as Larry Gross has had. Over the course of his long and distinguished academic career, Gross has played a central role in three major scholarly movements. He was a prominent member of the generation that founded visual studies as a graduate research discipline within the field of communication. He was a principal investigator in the Cultural Indicators Project, which, in its time, was perhaps the most influential investigation of the cultural ramifications of the mass media. He was, and remains, one of the most eloquent, illuminating, and productive commentators on the media’s portrayal of sexual and other minorities.

The influence of Gross’s work as a scholar has been amplified by his extraordinary contributions to the field as a mentor of graduate students and by his tireless participation in editorial activities and administrative service. At the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1968 to 2003, he was the primary advisor on more than 180 masters theses and doctoral dissertations—a record that is not likely to be surpassed. At the University of Southern California, he was the Director of the Annenberg School of Communication from 2003 to 2014. He has served multi-year terms at the helm of two journals, Studies in Visual Communication and the International Journal of Communication, and he remains the principal editor...

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