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Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media

Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media Edward Schiappa SUNY Press, 2008

“In this provocative book, Edward Schiappa argues that representational correctness is unproductive, antagonistic to audience research.”

Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media Edward Schiappa SUNY Press, 2008
Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media
Edward Schiappa
SUNY Press, 2008

Representational correctness describes an implicit set of norms, including accuracy, purity, and innocence, that guide much of popular media criticism. In this provocative book, Edward Schiappa argues that representational correctness is unproductive, antagonistic to audience research, and typically disconnected from relevant social psychological or mass communication theories. Analyzing criticisms of such television shows as Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Schiappa argues that the norms of representational correctness can cause critics to miss the positive work such shows perform in reducing prejudice. He contends that too many critics focus on isolated scenes or interactions that perpetuate a stereotype without considering the larger work that films and television shows can accomplish. Schiappa concludes that pop culture critics need to engage in more audience research, draw from relevant research in social psychology, praise positive representations and programming, and promote critical media literacy in both classroom and public pedagogy.

On sale at SUNY Press and Amazon.com.

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Edward Schiappa
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Edward Schiappa

Edward Schiappa conducts research in argumentation, media influence, and rhetorical theory. His latest book is titled The Transgender Exigency: Defining Sex & Gender in the 21st Century, with brings together his long-time interests in definitional controversies and LGBTQ issues.

He has published eleven books, including Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media, Professional Development During Your Doctoral Education, and The Beginnings of Rhetorical Theory in Classical Greece. his research has appeared in such journals as Philosophy & Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Review, Argumentation, Communication Monographs, Communication Theory, and Law & Contemporary Problems.

He has served as editor of Argumentation and Advocacy and received NCA's Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award in 2000 and the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Distinguished Scholar Award in 2006. He was named a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2009.

In 2016, Schiappa and his co-authors of “The Parasocial Contact Hypothesis” received the NCA’s Woolbert Award for work that has stood the test of time and has become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena. Schiappa is former Head of CMS/W and is John E. Burchard Professor of the Humanities.

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Edward Schiappa Written by Edward Schiappa