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Anthropological interest in mass communication and media has exploded in the last two decades, engaging and challenging the work on the media in mass communications, cultural studies, sociology and other disciplines. This is the first book to offer a systematic overview of the themes, topics and methodologies in the emerging dialogue between anthropologists studying mass communication and media analysts turning to ethnography and cultural analysis. Drawing on dozens of semiotic, ethnographic and cross-cultural studies of mass media, it offers new insights into the analysis of media texts, offers models for the ethnographic study of media production and consumption, and suggests approaches for understanding media in the modern world system. Placing the anthropological study of mass media into historical and interdisciplinary perspectives, this book examines how work in cultural studies, sociology, mass communication and other disciplines has helped shape the re-emerging interest in media by anthropologists.