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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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1 Beaverton Sociology- Media

This title in other editions

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Our World and the Way We Live in It

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Mediated: How the Media Shapes Our World and the Way We Live in It Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this utterly original look at our modern “culture of performance,” de Zengotita shows how media are creating self-reflective environments, custom made for each of us. From Princess Dianas 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 blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on an original and astonishing tour of every department of our media-saturated society. The implications are personal and far-reaching at the same time.

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.
Winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology
 
Just when it seemed 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 different 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 on every last department of our media-saturated society. What emerges is a portrait of a populace immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness—and obligated by these circumstances to transform lives into performances.
"A fine roar of a lecture about how the American mind is shaped by (too much) media . . . De Zengotita . . . is an adventurer of the digitized American psyche."—The Washington Post Book World
"A fine roar of a lecture about how the American mind is shaped by (too much) media . . . De Zengotita . . . is an adventurer of the digitized American psyche."—The Washington Post Book World

"A spectacular widescreen critique of contemporary American culture."—The Christian Science Monitor

"Reading Thomas de Zengotita's Mediated is like spending time with a wild, wired friend, the kind who keeps you up late and lures you outside your comfort zone with a speed rap full of brilliant notions."—O, The Oprah Magazine

"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

Synopsis:

If you drive into any American city with the car stereo blasting, youand#8217;ll undoubtedly find radio stations representing RandB/hip-hop, country, Top 40, adult contemporary, rock, and Latin, each playing hit after hit within that musical format. American music has created an array of rival mainstreams, complete with charts in multiple categories. Love it or hate it, the world that radio made has steered popular music and provided the soundtrack of American life for more than half a century.

Inand#160;Top 40 Democracy, Eric Weisbard studies the evolution of this multicentered pop landscape, along the way telling the stories of the Isley Brothers, Dolly Parton, AandM Records, and Elton John, among others. He sheds new light on the upheavals in the music industry over the past fifteen years and their implications for the audiences the industry has shaped. Weisbard focuses in particular on formatsand#151;constructed mainstreams designed to appeal to distinct populationsand#151;showing how taste became intertwined with class, race, gender, and region. While many historians and music critics have criticized the segmentation of pop radio, Weisbard finds that the creation of multiple formats allowed different subgroups to attain a kind of separate majority statusand#151;for example, even in its most mainstream form, the RandB of the Isley Brothers helped to create a sphere where black identity was nourished. and#160;Music formats became the one reliable place where different groups of Americans could listen to modern life unfold from their distinct perspectives. The centers of pop, it turns out, were as complicated, diverse, and surprising as the cultural margins. Weisbardand#8217;s stimulating book is a tour de force, shaking up our ideas about the mainstream music industry in order to tease out the cultural importance ofand#160;alland#160;performers and songs.

Synopsis:

In this utterly original look at our modern "culture of performance," de Zengotita shows how media are creating self-reflective environments, custom made for each of us. 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 blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on an original and astonishing tour of every department of our media-saturated society. The implications are personal and far-reaching at the same time.

About the Author

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596910324
Author:
De Zengotita, Thomas
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Weisbard, Eric
Author:
de Zengotita, Thomas
Author:
Thomas de Zengotita
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Sociology-Media
Subject:
Popular
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 halftones
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

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

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Our World and the Way We Live in It Used Trade Paper
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596910324 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
If you drive into any American city with the car stereo blasting, youand#8217;ll undoubtedly find radio stations representing RandB/hip-hop, country, Top 40, adult contemporary, rock, and Latin, each playing hit after hit within that musical format. American music has created an array of rival mainstreams, complete with charts in multiple categories. Love it or hate it, the world that radio made has steered popular music and provided the soundtrack of American life for more than half a century.

Inand#160;Top 40 Democracy, Eric Weisbard studies the evolution of this multicentered pop landscape, along the way telling the stories of the Isley Brothers, Dolly Parton, AandM Records, and Elton John, among others. He sheds new light on the upheavals in the music industry over the past fifteen years and their implications for the audiences the industry has shaped. Weisbard focuses in particular on formatsand#151;constructed mainstreams designed to appeal to distinct populationsand#151;showing how taste became intertwined with class, race, gender, and region. While many historians and music critics have criticized the segmentation of pop radio, Weisbard finds that the creation of multiple formats allowed different subgroups to attain a kind of separate majority statusand#151;for example, even in its most mainstream form, the RandB of the Isley Brothers helped to create a sphere where black identity was nourished. and#160;Music formats became the one reliable place where different groups of Americans could listen to modern life unfold from their distinct perspectives. The centers of pop, it turns out, were as complicated, diverse, and surprising as the cultural margins. Weisbardand#8217;s stimulating book is a tour de force, shaking up our ideas about the mainstream music industry in order to tease out the cultural importance ofand#160;alland#160;performers and songs.

"Synopsis" by ,
In this utterly original look at our modern "culture of performance," de Zengotita shows how media are creating self-reflective environments, custom made for each of us. 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 blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on an original and astonishing tour of every department of our media-saturated society. The implications are personal and far-reaching at the same time.

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