Journal Articles

Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Journal articles can act as an ideal resource to help support your assignments and studies.

Click on the following links, which will open in a new window.

Article 1: Gray, Jonathan. 2008. “Television pre-views and the meaning of hype.” International Journal of Cultural Studies. 11(1): 33-49.

Abstract: Although commonsense notions of interpretation and the meaning-making process dictate that such practices begin following consumption of the text, this article argues that, through hype and previews, texts are pre-decoded before a text even exists. By focusing on marketing and previews surrounding two television programs, prior to release, the article examines how such paratexts create meaning, genre, style, tone and audience, and hence it argues for the significant primary power that these supposedly secondary intertexts hold over consumption. Not ‘judging a book by its cover’ and not ‘believing the hype’ are clichéd virtues, but this article argues that covers and hype are not so easily ignored, nor, given their considerable powers to conjure the text, should they be so easily ignored by media and cultural studies analysts.

  1. How does the author think hype, synergy and “paratexts” influence how audience ultimately experience and interpret media texts? What does he base his findings on?
  2. How does his argument connect Chapter 8 to Chapter 2: The Economics of the Media Industry?
  3. Why does the author think this study is important to studying audience interpretation? Do you agree?


Article 2: Marwick, Alice and Danah Boyd. 2011. “To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter.” Convergence. 17(2): 139-158.

Abstract: Social media technologies let people connect by creating and sharing content. We examine the use of Twitter by famous people to conceptualize celebrity as a practice. On Twitter, celebrity is practiced through the appearance and performance of ‘backstage’ access. Celebrity practitioners reveal what appears to be personal information to create a sense of intimacy between participant and follower, publicly acknowledge fans, and use language and cultural references to create affiliations with followers. Interactions with other celebrity practitioners and personalities give the impression of candid, uncensored looks at the people behind the personas. But the indeterminate ‘authenticity’ of these performances appeals to some audiences, who enjoy the game playing intrinsic to gossip consumption. While celebrity practice is theoretically open to all, it is not an equalizer or democratizing discourse. Indeed, in order to successfully practice celebrity, fans must recognize the power differentials intrinsic to the relationship.

  1. How does a technology like Twitter change the relationship between celebrities and audiences?
  2. What sorts of interpretive strategies do audiences who follow celebrities on Twitter use? Are these different or similar to ones described in Chapter 8?
  3. What do the authors take from each of their case studies: Mariah Carey, Perez Hilton and Miley Cyrus?


Article 3: DeVane, Ben and Kurt Squire. 2008. “The Meaning of Race and Violence in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.” Games and Culture. 3(3-4): 264-285.

Abstract: This research study investigates how youths actually play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and what meanings they make from it. This study finds that players use their own experiences and knowledge to interpret the game—they do not passively receive the games’ images and content. The meanings they produce about controversial subjects are situated in players’ local practices, identities, and discourse models as they interact with the game’s semiotic domain. The results suggest that scholars need to study players in naturalistic settings if they want to see what “effects” games are having on players.

  1. Before reading this article, what effect do you think violent video games have on the youths who play them? How did this article affect your opinion?
  2. What sorts of meanings do the authors find young people make of the games they play? How are these meanings situated in social practices?
  3. What were the different groups of gamers the authors sorted their subjects into? How did the different groups interpret race in the game?


Article 4: Meyers, Erin A. 2012. “Blogs give regular people the chance to talk back’: Rethinking ‘professional’ media hierarchies in new media.” New Media & Society. 14(6): 1022- 1038.

Abstract: New media technologies have reshaped practices of production, distribution and consumption of media, in part, by blurring the lines of distinction between the role of producer and consumer of media. This shift has enabled the rise of a new class of ‘audience/producer’ that exists outside the traditional professional media producer class yet is increasingly threatening the professional’s commercial position and ability to control the creation of content and the cultural production of meaning. This article examines the rise of the celebrity gossip blogger as an example of this sort of audience/producer intervention into an established media industry.

  1. How are the lines between audiences and producers blurring and breaking down due to new media technologies?
  2. Why does the author study the rise of the celebrity gossip blogger as an example of audience intervention in the media and celebrity industry?
  3. How do the bloggers studied break the circuit of celebrity production? What does the author mean that they are “autonomous outliers”?
  4. How has new media and technology altered how celebrity gossip is done?
  5. In what ways does this article reflect Chapter 8’s discussion of audience interpretation, active audiences, and the pleasures of media?