Marxism and Media Studies


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Although media studies is a popular academic discipline, there are remarkably few books that analyse it from a specifically Marxist perspective. Mike Wayne’s book is ideal for all students of media studies who are interested in bringing a radical political methodology to bear on their work. He presents an accessible guide to key Marxist concepts and shows how to apply them to contemporary cultural analysis. Drawing on Marx, Lukacs, Gramsci, Habermas, Jameson and other writers, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of the key concepts required for a Marxist analysis of the media and current cultural trends. Retooling and redeeming such concepts as class, mode of production, culture industries, the state, base-superstructure, ideology, hegemony, knowledge and social interests, and commodity fetishism, this book ranges across film, television, the internet and print media.The analysis is carefully grounded in case studies ranging from digital file swapping to Disney, from reality TV show Big Brother to the spirits and spectres in such films as The Others, The Devil’s Backbone and Dark City, which illuminate the fetishisms of culture and society under capital.Exploring the relevance of each concept to understanding the media, Wayne explains why Marxism is an important critical methodology for the media student to engage with. He foregrounds the theoretical and political shifts that have led to its marginalisation in recent years, and highlights how and why these trends are changing as once more, people return to Marx and Marxism to understand the world around them.        Table of Contents Preface: From the small screen to the big picture. / 1. Class and Creative Labour. / 2. Mode of Production: Technology and New Media. / 3. The Powers of Capital: Hollywood’s Media-Industrial Complex. / 4. The State. / 5. Base and Superstructure: Reconstructing the Political Unconscious. / 6. Signs, Ideology and Hegemony. / 7. Commodity Fetishism and Reification: The World Made Spectral. / 8. Knowledge, Norms and Social Interests: Dilemmas for Documentary. / 9. Conclusion: Reflections on Key Concepts and Contemporary Trends. / Bibliography / Index

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