|Theorizing media production: the poverty of political economy
This article argues that the Political Economy of Communication (PEC) has generally failed to develop theories of media production. Such theory as exists has been heavily influenced by accounts of mass production and flexible specialization in Hollywood. Hollywood film production has been viewed as paradigmatic of media production in general, in the same way as Ford was for manufacturing, and these theories continue to influence accounts of production across media and cultural industries. The article tests the mass production/flexible specialization paradigm against both the evidence of the Hollywood case and Ford’s mass production system. An alternative paradigm, the theory of craft media production, is also examined. The article then attempts to show how applying organization theory and media economics can provide a more convincing explanation of media production and of the Hollywood case. Finally, the article briefly attempts to show how we might develop rich theoretical explanations of media production by exploring the relationships between economic, organizational and media-specific cultural elements.
|flexible, Fordism, genre, Hollywood, markets, mass, media, production, project, theory
|Media, Culture & Society
|37 (7), pp. 988-1004
|Accepted author manuscript
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)