Critical Studies: Practice not Discipline

Authored by: Karen Orr Vered

The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415783682
eBook ISBN: 9780203366981
Adobe ISBN: 9781134060559


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Practising across multiple disciplines and employing a variety of methods, media researchers in a Critical Studies tradition may have formal training in literary criticism, history, film-making, art history, philosophy, aesthetics, anthropology, narratology, pedagogy, linguistics or other fields. Given this diversity, Critical Studies is best understood as an approach to the object of study and a way to practice scholarship rather than a discipline in its own right. The chapter offers a broad background to the tradition of Critical Studies and is informed by my own multi-disciplinary training and its application in practice to the exploration of children’s media use. This chapter focuses on an intellectual heritage with roots in Marxist Critical Theory and a view that the economic, social, political, and cultural are inseparable and mutually constitutive. Media are understood here as cultural forms that express broader social patterns (Williams, 1974) and Critical Studies examine the cultural forms and cultural practices that take shape in the nexus of technology, text, and context.

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