In 1991, teaching in a BA (Communication) in South Australia, we wrote the following:
Cultural & Media Studies' major concern is with the historical formation, social organisation and cultural communication of meaning (the forms of, say, information and pleasures/ "entertainment") which have definite social and political effects or outcomes for different sorts of audiences of such media as television, film, video, radio, the printed press, magazines, literature, etc. Toput this in another wa:y, Cultural & Media Studies describes and analyses the government or management of the human and technological resources and techniques used in the production of socially effective meanings...
Cultural & Media Studies undertakes specific rather than generalising or universalising work on particular, limited topics concerning the material ways in which people operate and change various cultural and media institutions and technologies. It does not offer, prescribe or claim to explain everything about the entirety of life or the whole of society or culture, or to identify some proposed essences of these. Its intellectual work aims to describe and analyse these in historically informed and socially useful ways. It is a professional field of teaching and research equipping and empowering its practitioners with advanced skills of composition and reading in flexibly specialised ways. It does not claim to be 'objective' in any scientific or absolute philosophical sense but neither is its professional framework 'biased'.
Recommended CitationGreenfield, C. and Williams, P., The importance of social and political literacies: In defence of cultural and media studies, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 4, 1998, 96-100.