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Theorising Media and Practice

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Volume 4

Anthropology of Media

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Theorising Media and Practice

Edited by Birgit Bräuchler and John Postill

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352 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-741-9 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (November 2010)

ISBN  978-1-84545-745-7 25% OFF! $34.95/£24.00 $26.21/£18.00 Pb Published (November 2010)

eISBN 978-1-84545-854-6 eBook

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“This book is extremely thought provoking and makes an important contribution to current debates about the nature and scope of media ethnography. It includes the work of some of the most outstanding scholars working at the intersection of media studies and media ethnography, and many of the individual chapters make important contributions to the field.”  ·  Virginia Nightingale, University of Western Sydney

“This is a worthy, potentially important book, very likely to have a substantial influence in the growing interdisciplinary fields of media studies and media anthropology. It is a well conceived and timely contribution to a set of ongoing conceptual debates and is successful in both representing those debates and participating in them. It deserves to be widely read.”  ·  Eric W. Rothenbuhler, Texas A&M University


Although practice theory has been a mainstay of social theory for nearly three decades, so far it has had very limited impact on media studies. This book draws on the work of practice theorists such as Wittgenstein, Foucault, Bourdieu, Barth and Schatzki and rethinks the study of media from the perspective of practice theory. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from places such as Zambia, India, Hong Kong, the United States, Britain, Norway and Denmark, the contributors address a number of important themes: media as practice; the interlinkage between media, culture and practice; the contextual study of media practices; and new practices of digital production. Collectively, these chapters make a strong case for the importance of theorising the relationship between media and practice and thereby adding practice theory as a new strand to the study of anthropology of media.

Birgit Bräuchler is Lecturer in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Frankfurt. She is author of Cyberidentities at War (Berghahn, forthcoming), editor of Reconciling Indonesia (Routledge, 2009) and has published several articles and book chapters on cyberanthropology, the globalisation of local conflicts, religion and the Internet and on the revival of tradition. Her current research is on the cultural dimension of reconciliation in Indonesia.

John Postill received his Ph.D. in anthropology from University College London. He is Senior Lecturer in Media at Sheffield Hallam University and the author of Media and Nation Building (Berghahn, 2006) and Localizing the Internet (Berghahn, forthcoming). He has published widely on the anthropology of media and is the founder of the EASA Media Anthropology Network.

Related Link:
Read John Postill's blog Media Anthropology
Subject: Media Studies Theory & Methodology in Anthropology


List of Figures

Introduction: Theorising Media and Practice
John Postill


Chapter 1. Theorising Media as Practice
Nick Couldry

Chapter 2. What Do We Mean by ‘Media Practices’?
Mark Hobart

Chapter 3. Media as Practice: A Brief Exchange
Nick Couldry and Mark Hobart


Chapter 4. From Fan Practice to Mediated Moments: The Value of Practice Theory in the Understanding of Media Audiences
S. Elizabeth Bird

Chapter 5. Thick Context, Deep Epistemology: A Meditation on Wide-Angle Lenses on Media, Knowledge Production and the Concept of Culture
Debra Spitulnik

Chapter 6. ‘But It Is My Habit to Read the Times’: Metaculture and Practice in the Reading of Indian Newspapers
Mark A. Peterson

Chapter 7. Embedded/Embedding Media Practices and Cultural Production
Ursula Rao


Chapter 8. Communication, Cognition and Usage: Epistemological Considerations of Media Practices and Processes
Guido Ipsen

Chapter 9. Language-games, In/dividuals and Media Uses: What a Practice Perspective Should Imply for Media Studies
Jo Helle-Valle

Chapter 10. A Barthian Approach to Practice and Media: Internet Engagements among Teleworkers in Rural Denmark
Jens Kjaerulff

Chapter 11. Can Practice Theory Inspire Studies of ICTs in Everyday Life?
Toke H. Christensen and Inge Røpke


Chapter 12. Playful Practices: Theorising ‘New Media’ Cultural Production
Elisenda Ardèvol, Antoni Roig, Gemma San Cornelio, Ruth Pagès and Pau Alsina

Chapter 13. Theorising the Practices of Free Software: The Movement
Christopher Kelty 1
Chapter 14. Cinematography and Camera Crew: Practice, Process and Procedure
Cathy Greenhalgh

Notes on Contributors
List of Figures

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