Glossary Hesmondhalgh has done all students of media and communication a great service by updating this book, which offers a necessary and comprehensive map of the world of cultural industries. It is an indispensable resource for researchers and students across the world. Natalie Fenton Goldsmiths, University of London The Cultural Industries is one of those rare books that is accessible to students and essential for scholars. Hesmondhalgh integrates an analysis of both the changes and continuities within cultural industries in a way that is far too rare in scholarship in this field.
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The Cultural Industries
Most products are consumed when used and have to be bought again, but media products are bought once and continually used — they never wear out. What is the advanced version? Cultural industries follow the normal capitalist pattern of increasing concentration and integration — cultural production is owned and controlled by a few conglomerates who vertically integrate across a range of media to reduce risk. Hence industries rely on repetition through use of stars, genres, franchises, repeatable narratives and so on to sell formats to audiences, then industries and governments try to impose scarcity, especially through copyright laws. The internet has created new powerful IT corporations, and has not transformed cultural production in a liberating and empowering way — digital technology has sped up work, commercialised leisure time and increased surveillance by government and companies. How do both products use star names and conform to genre conventions to produce a safe product which can be sold to an audience successfully?