Social Action Media Studies: Foundational Arguments and Common Premises
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 93–116, May 1995
How to Cite
Schoening, G. T. and Anderson, J. A. (1995), Social Action Media Studies: Foundational Arguments and Common Premises. Communication Theory, 5: 93–116. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.1995.tb00100.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Media scholars claiming a “social action” perspective advance their work on the grounds of hermeneutic/interpretive empiricism that privileges ethnographic methods. Such scholarship tends only to allude to its theoretical influences (e.g., symbolic interactionism, phenomenology). In an effort to extrapolate principles by which social action media approaches (or their critiques) can be analyzed, this paper turns to a broad base of philosophical writings in the social action tradition that social action media scholars have identified as seminal influences. Six premises extrapolated from these works direct social science researchers to examine forms of collective signifying behaviors—or routines—through which media content is subsumed and interpreted. How signifying action gets interpreted and performed (and, hence, how “reality” is constructed and sustained) determines the “effects” associated with media content.