Since its original publication in 1987, Channels of
has provided the most comprehensive consideration of
commercial television, drawing on insights provided by the major
strands of contemporary criticism: semiotics, narrative theory,
reception theory, genre theory, ideological analysis,
psychoanalysis, feminist criticism, and British cultural
The second edition features a new introduction by Robert Allen that
includes a discussion of the political economy of commercial
television. Two new essays have been added--one an assessment of
postmodernism and television, the other an analysis of convergence
and divergence among the essays--and the original essays have been
substantially revised and updated with an international audience in
mind. Sixty-one new television stills illustrate the text.
Each essay lays out the general tenets of its particular approach,
discusses television as an object of analysis within that critical
framework, and provides extended examples of the types of analysis
produced by that critical approach. Case studies range from
and Twin Peaks
to soap operas, music
videos, game shows, talk shows, and commericals.
Channels of Discourse, Reassembled
suggests new ways of
understanding relationships among television programs, between
viewing pleasure and narrative structure, and between the world in
front of the television set and that represented on the screen. The
collection also addresses the qualities of popular television that
traditional aesthetics and quantitative media research have failed
to treat satisfactorily, including its seriality, mass production,
and extraordinary popularity.
The contributors are Robert C. Allen, Jim Collins, Jane Feuer, John
Fiske, Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, James Hay, E. Ann Kaplan, Sarah
Kozloff, Ellen Seiter, and Mimi White.