Theorizing media production: the poverty of political economy

Dwyer, P. 2015. Theorizing media production: the poverty of political economy. Media, Culture & Society. 37 (7), pp. 988-1004. doi:10.1177/0163443715591667

TitleTheorizing media production: the poverty of political economy
AuthorsDwyer, P.
Abstract

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.

Keywordsflexible, Fordism, genre, Hollywood, markets, mass, media, production, project, theory
JournalMedia, Culture & Society
Journal citation37 (7), pp. 988-1004
ISSN1460-3675
Year2015
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscriptDwyer_ MC&S_2015.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0163443715591667
Publication dates
Published30 Jun 2015

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