This original and engaging book investigates American television viewing habits as a distinct cultural form. Based on an empirical study of the day-to-day use of television by working people, it develops a unique theoretical approach integrating cultural sociology, post modernism and the literature of media effects to explore the way in which people give meaning to their viewing practices. While recognising the power of television, it also emphasises the importance of the social and political factors which affect the lives of individual viewers, showing how the interaction between the two can result in a disengagement with corporately produced culture at the same time as an appropriation of the images themselves into people's lives.
• Fascinating empirical study of day-to-day use of television by ordinary people • Unique interdisciplinary theoretical analysis • Accessible and engaging
Introduction; Part I. Conceptions of Television Use: 1. Social theory; 2. Social science; 3. Cultural studies; Part II. Reconceptualising Television Use: 4. Sociality and the problem of the subject; 5. Components of a viewing culture; Part III. Documenting the Viewing Culture: 6. Methodology and the turn to television; 7. The practice of viewing; 8. A typology of use; Conclusion: the politics of television reconsidered.