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Television Truths: Forms of Knowledge in Popular Culture

Television Truths: Forms of Knowledge in Popular Culture

John Hartley

ISBN: 978-0-470-69335-3

Apr 2008

304 pages

$31.99

Description

Television Truths considers what we know about TV, whether we love it or hate it, where TV is going, and whether viewers should bother going along for the ride. This engaging volume, written by one of television's best known scholars, offers a new take on the history of television and an up-to-date analysis of its imaginative content and cultural uses.

  • Explores the pervasive, persuasive, and powerful nature of television: among the most criticized phenomena of modern life, but still the most popular pastime ever
  • Written by John Hartley, one of television’s best known scholars
  • Considers how television reflects and shapes contemporary life across the economic, political, social and cultural spectrum, examining its influence from historical, political and aesthetic perspectives
  • Probes the nature of, and future for, television at a time of unprecedented change in technologies and business plans
  • Provides an up-to-date analysis of content and cultural uses, from the television live event, to its global political influence, through to the concept of the “TV citizen”
  • Maps out a new paradigm for understanding television, for its research and scholarship, and for the very future of the medium itself
List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Acknowledgments.

1. Television Truths (Argumentation of TV).

Part I: Is TV True? (Epistemology of TV):.

2. The Value Chain of Meaning.

3. Public Address Systems: Time, Space, and Frequency.

4. Television and Globalization.

Part II: Is TV a Polity? (Ethics/Politics of TV):.

5. Television, Nation, and Indigenous Media.

6. A Television Republic?.

7. Reality and the Plebiscite.

Part III: Is TV Beautiful? (Aesthetics of TV):.

8. From a “Wandering Booby” to a Field of Cows: The Television Live Event.

9. Shakespeare, Big Brother, and the Taming of the Self.

10. Sync or Swim? Plebiscitary Sport and Synchronized Voting.

Part IV: What Can TV Be? (Metaphysics of TV):.

11. “Laughs and Legends” or the Furniture that Glows? Television as History.

12. Television in Knowledge Paradigms.

References.

Index

“John Hartley’s Television Truths is a complex and engaging work, inspired by an ambitious project of knowledge — a distinctive characteristic of this original and farsighted scholar.” (International Journal of Communication, April 2009)

“Grand in scope, bold, witty, and engaging, Television Truths fashions a provocative new philosophy for the study and appreciation of both TV and a TV polity.” ( Jonathan Gray, author of Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality, co-editor of Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World)

“As always, John Hartley’s provocative arguments and examples push against the boundaries and restrictions of conventional approaches. His focus on the multiple contexts of television adds greatly to our store of key questions about ‘television.’” ( Horace Newcomb, Director, George Foster Peabody Awards, The University of Georgia)


  • Explores the pervasive, persuasive, and powerful nature of television: among the most criticized phenomena of modern life, but still the most popular pastime ever
  • Written by John Hartley, one of television’s best known scholars
  • Considers how television reflects and shapes contemporary life across the economic, political, social and cultural spectrum, examining its influence from historical, political and aesthetic perspectives
  • Probes the nature of, and future for, television at a time of unprecedented change in technologies and business plans
  • Provides an up-to-date analysis of content and cultural uses, from the television live event, to its global political influence, through to the concept of the “TV citizen”
  • Maps out a new paradigm for understanding television, for its research and scholarship, and for the very future of the medium itself