Reading YouTube: The Critical Viewers Guide

Reading YouTube: The Critical Viewers Guide

Hardback Digital Formations (Hardcover)

By (author) Anandam P. Kavoori


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  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 195 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 18mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 31 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1433109808
  • ISBN 13: 9781433109805
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition

Product description

How does one make sense of YouTube? There is no reliable sample of videos on YouTube; no easily identifiable way to determine its dominant themes; no way to evaluate quality or impact; no seminal literature. Through genre analysis and digital media criticism, this book presents an accessible, yet critical introduction to reading YouTube. The book identifies certain videos by genre - from The Phenom and The Short to The Morph and The Experiment - and provides a thumbnail textual analysis of the videos - from celebrity culture to identity politics - that make up each of these genres. Each one starts with a brief summary/background followed by a theoretically informed mapping of the key issues. Designed primarily for classroom use, the book develops a conceptual language for students to use as they engage with the complex, interactive texts of YouTube and digital culture more generally.

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Author information

Anandam Kavoori is Professor of Telecommunications at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is author of Digital Media Criticism (Peter Lang, 2010) and Thinking Television (Peter Lang, 2008), and co-editor of The Cell Phone Reader: Essays in Social Transformation (Peter Lang, 2006).

Review quote

'Reading YouTube' makes sense of limitless YouTube stories and provides clarity to the instantaneous and fleeting nature of the YouTube universe. (Pelle Snickars, Co-editor of 'The YouTube Reader') Drawing upon a firm grounding in media theory, and combining it with a savvy taxonomy, 'Reading YouTube' is a handy manual about how to get the most out of the most important audio-visual development since the invention of television itself. (Paul Levinson, author of 'New New Media') In this engaging and accessible book, Kavoori guides us deftly and with an expert vernacular sensibility through the diverse genres of storytelling and practices of participation that make up YouTube's popular culture. Along the way, he provides compelling evidence that close, careful textual analysis can help us to understand the wider dynamics of cultural change in the digital age. (Jean Burgess, co-author of 'YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture')