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Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It

by

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A provocative, eye-opening look at the way media shapes every aspect of our lives.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way. From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness — and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted and reintroduces us to it all as if for the first time. You'll laugh, you'll squirm, you'll agree, you'll object — but you'll find more Aha! moments packed into fewer pages than you've ever come across before.

Review:

"In a deceptively colloquial, intellectually dense style, de Zengotita posits that since the 1960s, Americans have belonged to a culture of reflexivity, and the media in all their forms have put us there. We're bombarded from childhood with so many images putting 'us' — the individual person — at the center of the universe that we cannot help thinking that this is where we belong. We live in a Times Square world, says the Harper's contributing editor, and thus we become the ultimate Descartesians: media think only of us, therefore we think only of ourselves. The result of this self-centeredness is that we become increasingly numbed by the bombardment of images and, in a variation on the 'if a tree falls in the woods' query, we can no longer imagine our premediated lives. Media imagery has given us an omniscient perspective — we can be on the grassy knoll, by the Twin Towers, on the beach as the tsunami hits — while never having to incur the horrors of being there. 'Mediation' inevitably closes us off to the unmediated world, home of those victims of the tsunami whose lives are hideously hard and where no media put them front and center. This provocative, extreme and compelling work is a must-read for philosophers of every stripe." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Lots of self-contained fascinating thoughts about matters such as the impact of TV on viewers, but too often de Zengotita offers seemingly random ideas in search of a lucid thesis." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] spectacular widescreen critique of contemporary American culture....De Zengotita's book may be just the 'real entity' to make us flinch — and think." Jonathon Keats, The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Analyzing car commercials, cell-phone usage, the social art of teenagers, and other aspects of modern culture, with keen detail and wit, de Zengotita offers an amazing look at how media affects our culture, our choices, and our responses to our media-filtered lives. Completely absorbing, amusing and insightful." Booklist

Book News Annotation:

A contributing editor at Harper's Magazine, De Zengotita (New York U.) offers a fast-paced, conversational analysis of ways that modern media shapes every aspect of our lives. He considers childhood, teenagers, heroes, identity politics, time, nature, and technology. The book is not indexed.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A provocative, eye-opening look at the way media shapes every aspect of our lives.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way. From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness-and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted and reintroduces us to it all as if for the first time. You'll laugh, you'll squirm, you'll agree, you'll object-but you'll find more Aha! moments packed into fewer pages than you've ever come across before.

Thomas de Zengotita is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. He teaches at the Dalton School, and at the Draper Graduate Program at New York University.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way. From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from the hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every last department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness—and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, and ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted—and reintroduces us to all of it as though for the first time.

"Mediated has the same liveliness and intense intellectuality as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, which is a way of saying there are anywhere from three to ten stimulating ideas on every page. As McLuhan presented us with the realization that modernism was coming to an end, so de Zengotita has a great deal to say about the saturation of postmodernism in our existence today. Let me offer my salute to Thomas de Zengotita."—Norman Mailer

"Mediated has the same liveliness and intense intellectuality as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, which is a way of saying there are anywhere from three to ten stimulating ideas on every page. As McLuhan presented us with the realization that modernism was coming to an end, so de Zengotita has a great deal to say about the saturation of postmodernism in our existence today. Let me offer my salute to Thomas de Zengotita."—Norman Mailer

"If the world as we perceive it is made by, for, and of the media, Thomas de Zengotita is our Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus. He sets out to discover what we see and how we know and the result is a brilliant book, as entertaining as it is insightful."—Lewis Lapham, author of Waiting for the Barbarians

"A conversation with Thomas de Zengotita is about the most engaging and enlightening experience a thinking person can have. This book feels as natural and personal as having Tom in your own living room, drawing you out, considering your responses, and then bringing you to new levels of awareness. Here's a man who understands both the media and his medium so completely that the connections he makes across the vast landscapes of popular culture end up feeling like spontaneous discoveries by the reader. Invite Tom into your head and heart by all means, and try walking around the world really seeing for a while. You may decide to stay that way."—Douglas Rushoff, author of Media Virus! and ScreenAgers

"Read Thomas de Zengotita's Mediated for a brilliant reflection on postmodern culture and our peculiar, performing, contemporary selves and the media that make and reflect us. It's a great read, and you'll never feel the same about your kids, your friends, or yourself again."—Frances Fox-Piven, author of Poor Peoples Movements and The War at Home

"De Zengotita's style is both reflective and sardonic as he delves into the ways the media has shaped our individual reactions to modern culture and events. Influenced by the media-inspired 'culture of performance,' we now live our lives as if we are performers practicing method acting, he maintains. We go through the motions of expected reactions to everything from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to Princess Diana's death to documentaries of the Kennedy assassination and the civil rights movement. The Internet, satellite television, and a host of technological products and services now give us the impression of participating in current and historical events to such an extent that we can barely distinguish the varying levels of what de Zengotita categorizes as ranging from the real-real to the unreal-real. Analyzing car commercials, cell-phone usage, the social art of teenagers, and other aspects of modern culture, with keen detail and wit, de Zengotita offers an amazing look at how media affects our culture, our choices, and our responses to our media-filtered lives. Completely absorbing, amusing, and insightful."—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

"In a deceptively colloquial, intellectually dense style, de Zengotita posits that since the 1960s, Americans have belonged to a culture of reflexivity, and the media in all their forms have put us there. We're bombarded from childhood with so many images putting 'us'—the individual person—at the center of the universe that we cannot help thinking that this is where we belong. We live in a Times Square world, says the Harper's contributing editor, and thus we become the ultimate Descartesians: media think only of us, therefore we think only of ourselves. The result of this self-centeredness is that we become increasingly numbed by the bombardment of images and, in a variation on the 'if a tree falls in the woods' query, we can no longer imagine our premediated lives. Media imagery has given us an omniscient perspective—we can be on the grassy knoll, by the Twin Towers, on the beach as the tsunami hits—while never having to incur the horrors of being there. 'Mediation' inevitably closes us off to the unmediated world, home of those victims of the tsunami whose lives are hideously hard and where no media put them front and center. This provocative, extreme, and compelling work is a must-read for philosophers of every stripe."—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Thomas de Zengotita is a contributing editor at Harper's and the Nation, and holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. He teaches at the Dalton School and at the Draper Graduate Program at NYU.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582343570
Subtitle:
How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It
Author:
De Zengotita, Thomas
Author:
de Zengotita, Thomas
Author:
Thomas de Zengotita
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Mass media
Subject:
Influence
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20050302
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It Used Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582343570 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In a deceptively colloquial, intellectually dense style, de Zengotita posits that since the 1960s, Americans have belonged to a culture of reflexivity, and the media in all their forms have put us there. We're bombarded from childhood with so many images putting 'us' — the individual person — at the center of the universe that we cannot help thinking that this is where we belong. We live in a Times Square world, says the Harper's contributing editor, and thus we become the ultimate Descartesians: media think only of us, therefore we think only of ourselves. The result of this self-centeredness is that we become increasingly numbed by the bombardment of images and, in a variation on the 'if a tree falls in the woods' query, we can no longer imagine our premediated lives. Media imagery has given us an omniscient perspective — we can be on the grassy knoll, by the Twin Towers, on the beach as the tsunami hits — while never having to incur the horrors of being there. 'Mediation' inevitably closes us off to the unmediated world, home of those victims of the tsunami whose lives are hideously hard and where no media put them front and center. This provocative, extreme and compelling work is a must-read for philosophers of every stripe." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Lots of self-contained fascinating thoughts about matters such as the impact of TV on viewers, but too often de Zengotita offers seemingly random ideas in search of a lucid thesis."
"Review" by , "[A] spectacular widescreen critique of contemporary American culture....De Zengotita's book may be just the 'real entity' to make us flinch — and think."
"Review" by , "Analyzing car commercials, cell-phone usage, the social art of teenagers, and other aspects of modern culture, with keen detail and wit, de Zengotita offers an amazing look at how media affects our culture, our choices, and our responses to our media-filtered lives. Completely absorbing, amusing and insightful."
"Synopsis" by ,
A provocative, eye-opening look at the way media shapes every aspect of our lives.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way. From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness-and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted and reintroduces us to it all as if for the first time. You'll laugh, you'll squirm, you'll agree, you'll object-but you'll find more Aha! moments packed into fewer pages than you've ever come across before.

Thomas de Zengotita is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. He teaches at the Dalton School, and at the Draper Graduate Program at New York University.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way. From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from the hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every last department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness—and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, and ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted—and reintroduces us to all of it as though for the first time.

"Mediated has the same liveliness and intense intellectuality as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, which is a way of saying there are anywhere from three to ten stimulating ideas on every page. As McLuhan presented us with the realization that modernism was coming to an end, so de Zengotita has a great deal to say about the saturation of postmodernism in our existence today. Let me offer my salute to Thomas de Zengotita."—Norman Mailer

"Mediated has the same liveliness and intense intellectuality as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, which is a way of saying there are anywhere from three to ten stimulating ideas on every page. As McLuhan presented us with the realization that modernism was coming to an end, so de Zengotita has a great deal to say about the saturation of postmodernism in our existence today. Let me offer my salute to Thomas de Zengotita."—Norman Mailer

"If the world as we perceive it is made by, for, and of the media, Thomas de Zengotita is our Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus. He sets out to discover what we see and how we know and the result is a brilliant book, as entertaining as it is insightful."—Lewis Lapham, author of Waiting for the Barbarians

"A conversation with Thomas de Zengotita is about the most engaging and enlightening experience a thinking person can have. This book feels as natural and personal as having Tom in your own living room, drawing you out, considering your responses, and then bringing you to new levels of awareness. Here's a man who understands both the media and his medium so completely that the connections he makes across the vast landscapes of popular culture end up feeling like spontaneous discoveries by the reader. Invite Tom into your head and heart by all means, and try walking around the world really seeing for a while. You may decide to stay that way."—Douglas Rushoff, author of Media Virus! and ScreenAgers

"Read Thomas de Zengotita's Mediated for a brilliant reflection on postmodern culture and our peculiar, performing, contemporary selves and the media that make and reflect us. It's a great read, and you'll never feel the same about your kids, your friends, or yourself again."—Frances Fox-Piven, author of Poor Peoples Movements and The War at Home

"De Zengotita's style is both reflective and sardonic as he delves into the ways the media has shaped our individual reactions to modern culture and events. Influenced by the media-inspired 'culture of performance,' we now live our lives as if we are performers practicing method acting, he maintains. We go through the motions of expected reactions to everything from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to Princess Diana's death to documentaries of the Kennedy assassination and the civil rights movement. The Internet, satellite television, and a host of technological products and services now give us the impression of participating in current and historical events to such an extent that we can barely distinguish the varying levels of what de Zengotita categorizes as ranging from the real-real to the unreal-real. Analyzing car commercials, cell-phone usage, the social art of teenagers, and other aspects of modern culture, with keen detail and wit, de Zengotita offers an amazing look at how media affects our culture, our choices, and our responses to our media-filtered lives. Completely absorbing, amusing, and insightful."—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

"In a deceptively colloquial, intellectually dense style, de Zengotita posits that since the 1960s, Americans have belonged to a culture of reflexivity, and the media in all their forms have put us there. We're bombarded from childhood with so many images putting 'us'—the individual person—at the center of the universe that we cannot help thinking that this is where we belong. We live in a Times Square world, says the Harper's contributing editor, and thus we become the ultimate Descartesians: media think only of us, therefore we think only of ourselves. The result of this self-centeredness is that we become increasingly numbed by the bombardment of images and, in a variation on the 'if a tree falls in the woods' query, we can no longer imagine our premediated lives. Media imagery has given us an omniscient perspective—we can be on the grassy knoll, by the Twin Towers, on the beach as the tsunami hits—while never having to incur the horrors of being there. 'Mediation' inevitably closes us off to the unmediated world, home of those victims of the tsunami whose lives are hideously hard and where no media put them front and center. This provocative, extreme, and compelling work is a must-read for philosophers of every stripe."—Publishers Weekly

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