Baudrillard and the Media
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Baudrillard and the Media : A Critical Introduction

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"Baudrillard and the Media" is the first in-depth critical study of Jean Baudrillard's media theory. Rejecting the common positioning of Baudrillard within the discipline as a postmodernist, it argues instead for the necessity of a fuller reading of his ideas and critical project. Merrin offers an overview and evaluation of his key arguments and themes, focusing especially upon the organizing principle of his work: his theory of symbolic exchange and critique of the semiotic and of simulation. Upon this basis the book also resituates Baudrillard within media theory, developing an original, critical re-reading of his relationship with McLuhanism and arguing for the significance instead of hitherto neglected influences such as Boorstin.Emphasizing his critical value and contemporary relevance, "Baudrillard and the Media" also provides the most detailed exploration yet of Baudrillard's theory of the non-event, considering its applicability through case studies of his controversial analysis of the Gulf War, of 9/11 and the Afghan and Iraq Wars and of his own appearance in the film "The Matrix".
Considering also Baudrillard's discussion of cinema, his theory and personal practice of photography and his critique of new media, the book concludes with an evaluation of his place within media and communication studies and an argument for his importance for this field. Students and scholars of the media, and media theory in particular, will welcome this clear and comprehensive study.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 228 x 20mm | 421.85g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745630723
  • 9780745630724

Back cover copy

'Baudrillard and the Media' is the first in-depth critical study ofJean Baudrillard's media theory. Rejecting the common positioningof Baudrillard within the discipline as a postmodernist it arguesinstead for the necessity of a fuller reading of his ideas andcritical project.





Merrin offers an overview and evaluation of his key argumentsand themes, focusing especially upon the organising principle ofhis work: his theory of symbolic exchange and critique of thesemiotic and of simulation. Upon this basis the book alsoresituates Baudrillard within media theory, developing an original, critical re-reading of his relationship with McLuhanism and arguingfor the significance instead of hitherto neglected influences suchas Boorstin.


Emphasizing his critical value and contemporary relevance, 'Baudrillard and the Media' also provides the most detailedexploration yet of Baudrillard's theory of the non-event, considering its applicability through case studies of hiscontroversial analyses of the Gulf War, of 9/11 and the Afghan andIraq Wars and of his own appearance in the film The Matrix.Considering also Baudrillard's discussion of cinema, his theory andpersonal practice of photography and his critique of new media, thebook concludes with an evaluation of his place within media andcommunication studies and an argument for his importance for thisfield.


Students and scholars of the media, and media theory inparticular, will welcome this clear and comprehensive study.
show more

Table of contents

* Acknowledgements. * Introduction: 'There is No Theory of the Media': Baudrillard and Media Studies. . 1. Television is Killing the Art of Symbolic Exchange: Baudrillard's Theory of Communication. *2. To Play With Phantoms: The Evil Demon of the Simulacrum. *3. Are Friends Electric?: Baudrillard's Critique of McLuhan. * *4. The Delirious Spectacle of the Non-Event. * *5. Shreds of War Rotting in the Desert. * *6. 'Total Screen': 9/11 and The Gulf War: Reloaded. * *7. 'The Matrix Has You': Virtuality and Social Control. * *8. 'The Saving Power': The 'Reflex Miracle' of Photography. * Conclusion: 'Speculation to the Death': Baudrillard's Theoretical Violence. * * Notes. * References. * Index.
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Review quote

'Finally we have a book-length study of Baudrillard's writing from the vantage point of media studies. Merrin is an excellent guide to what is arguably the central thread in the work of the theorist of simulations.' - Mark Poster, University of California, Irvine 'William Merrin has written a significant and original book that will transform conventional understandings of Jean Baudrillard's alleged "postmodern" media theory. His radical Durkheimian interpretation, critique and conclusions will be seriously debated in media and communications studies and deserved so. Baudrillard and the Media is essential reading for anyone interested in Baudrillard or contemporary theories of media and simulation, symbolic exchange and semiotics.' -John Armitage, Northumbria University
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About William Merrin

William Merrin is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies,University of Wales, Swansea.
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
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