Accepted Paper:

Discussion paper: media rewards - some preliminary reflections  
Mark Allen Peterson (Miami University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the contributions of the papers in this panel and places them within the context of emerging theories of media rewards in the 21st century.

Paper long abstract:

Critical analysis of popular culture by scholars is often met with bafflement by consumers of popular culture, who frequently feel that the subtle nuances of textual analysis fail to capture their experiences. "It's just escapism" is a frequent rebuttal of what is seen as scholarly overinterpretation. The pioneering work of Janice Radway (1984) turned this response into a crucial social question: from what are people escaping and to what do they escape? Her investigation showed crucial links between the social worlds of media consumers, the content of the media they consume and their practices of consumption. In the 25 years since this work, media technologies, consumption practices and the nature of media content have all changed dramatically, with some new forms of interactive media fundamentally challenging the distinctions between content, media and consumption assumed by previous work. This paper discusses the contributions of the papers in this panel and places them within the context of emerging theories of media rewards in the 21st century.

Panel W068
Media Anthropology network workshop: the rewards of media