SOCIAL SCIENCES

The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society

SAGE. 5 vols. 2019. 2,168p. ed. by ed. by Debra L. Merskin. ISBN 9781483375533. $945. REF
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Merskin (media studies, Sch. of Journalism and Communication, Univ. of Oregon; Sexing the Media) explores the effects of mass media on modern society in this straightforward encyclopedia. Employing a dictionary format and an interdisciplinary approach, more than 400 international contributors present 700-plus entries on everything from Facebook to fake news to legal aspects (CAN-SPAM Act, Freedom of Information Act) to business (advertising, conglomerates) to resources aimed at those from marginalized groups (African American magazines, Hispanic radio programming). Each signed entry offers a basic overview; an explication; a discussion; a short, current bibliography (some include current websites), and see-also references. Each subject appears under at least one of the 16-topic resource guides (which includes advertising, children and media, music, and race and ethnicity). Surprisingly, the United States is not included among the countries discussed.
VERDICT Particularly strong when it comes to highlighting marginalized voices and the technologies used for global communication. While timely and a nice introduction to mass media in today’s society, however, it is not a replacement for more comprehensive titles.

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