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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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Media Studies

The Interdiscipline of the Present and the Future

Angharad N. Valdivia

Media studies is a rapidly growing, widely relevant, and evolving field – an interdiscipline (Valdivia, 2003). The release of the final volume on Research Methods in Media Studies highlights the tone of this International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. DeFleur (1998) bemoaned the loss of focus on process and effects, especially on milestone studies, yet this methods volume of the encyclopedia illustrates that milestones and focus on processes and effects are alive and well. Sterne (2005) correctly finds the porosity and dynamism in the field to be one of its greatest strengths. Between 1998 and the present, there has been a huge growth in interpretive and critical approaches, as illustrated in all of the volumes in this encyclopedia. Nonetheless qualitative approaches have flourished in the margins as the effects paradigm – the stuff of milestones – has firmly retained its central place in the field, at least in the United States and the Netherlands. As Darling-Wolf in this latest volume of the encyclopedia, Research Methods in Media Studies, attests, “the formidable question of method” is an indication of the relevance, dynamism, and evolution of the field. Indeed, efforts to map out the diversity of research and methods in the field of communication (Craig, 1999, 2001), which we might call the broader umbrella for media studies, yield a multiplicity of sometimes overlapping and other times mutually ...

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