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Making Media Studies

The Creativity Turn in Media and Communications Studies


David Gauntlett

In Making Media Studies, David Gauntlett turns media and communications studies on its head. He proposes a vision of media studies based around doing and making – not about the acquisition of skills, as such, but an experience of building knowledge and understanding through creative hands-on engagement with all kinds of media. Gauntlett suggests that media studies scholars have failed to recognise the significance of everyday creativity – the vital drive of people to make, exchange, and learn together, supported by online networks. He argues that we should think about media in terms of conversations, inspirations, and making things happen. Media studies can be about genuine social change, if we recognise the significance of everyday creativity, work to transform our tools, and learn to use them wisely. Making Media Studies is a lively, readable, and heartfelt manifesto from the author of Making is Connecting.
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I’m hopefully getting better at collaborations—the secret, it turns out, is just to pick your collaborators really, really carefully—and this book has been helped, more than my previous ones, by things I’ve done with other people. And to come at it from the other angle, book-writing remains a solitary occupation, so the support of others is much needed. Therefore: acknowledgments.

Authors typically thank partners and children last, but that doesn’t seem quite right, or certainly not in this case, as they deserve much the biggest slice of the acknowledgments pie-chart. So first of all, I offer my love and unwavering gratitude to Jenny, Finn, and Edie, without whose inspiration and support none of this would be possible.

For prompting me to write some of these things in the first place, I thank Henry Jenkins, Gillian Youngs, Mark Wolf, and Nelson Zagalo. And for encouraging me to turn it all into a book, and their fantastic support in the publishing process, thank you to Mary Savigar, Steve Jones, and Sophie Appel.

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