Skip to main content

Television and Society

Television and Society

Nicholas Abercrombie

ISBN: 978-0-745-61436-6 May 1996 Polity 240 Pages


In Stock



Television and Society is a textbook designed to introduce students to the role of television in contemporary society. It explores the structure of the television text, the way in which that text is produced and the way it is consumed.

The first section deals with the analysis of television programmes as texts. It covers, for example, the issues of realism, narrative, genre and ideology, the domestication of television programming and the nature of soap opera and news. The section on the production of television deals firstly with the structure of the industry as a whole - the ways in which television is financed and distributed, the globalization of television and media imperialism, and the political economy of television. This is followed by a consideration of the internal workings of television organizations, including the role of the producer, the functioning of the production team, the television personality and the producer's perceptions of the audience. The final section investigates theories of the television audience and combines qualitative and quantitative studies. There is discussion on the history of audience research, methods of measuring the audience, the domestic context of viewing, and television talk.

Clearly written, Television and Society will be an ideal textbook for students in media studies, cultural studies and the sociology of culture.

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

List of Boxes.

1. The Importance of Television.

2. Television as Text.

3. The Genres of Television.

4. The Television Industry.

5. Television Production.

6. The Importance of Audiences.

7. Watching Audiences.

8. Postscript: Text, Producer, Audience.



"This is a well-organized textbook which presents the relationship between television and society in terms of production, programmes and audiences. It cogently reviews the present state of research into and discussion of the social impact and effect of television in local, national and global contexts." Paddy Scannell, Department of Media Studies, University of Westminster
  • A comprehensive introduction to the nature of television and its role in contemporary society
  • Provides an examination of the structure of the television text, the changing nature of the television industry, and current theories of the television audience
  • Clearly written and up to date, an ideal textbook for students in media studies, cultural studies and the sociology of culture.