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Media Rituals: a critical approach

Nick Couldry
Routledge (December 2002)

Media Rituals rethinks our accepted concepts of ritual behaviour for a media-saturated age. It connects ritual directly with questions of power, government, and surveillance and explores the ritual space which the media construct and where their power is legitimated.

Drawing on sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of ritual, Nick Couldry applies the work of theorists such as Durkheim, Bourdieu and Bloch to a number of important media arenas: the public media event; reality TV; webcam sites; talk shows and docu-soaps; media pilgrimages; the construction of celebrity. In a final chapter, he imagines a different world where the media's ritual power is less, because the possibilities of participation in media production are more evenly shared.