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In defense of textual analysis: Resisting methodological hegemony in media and cultural studies


Phillipov, M, In defense of textual analysis: Resisting methodological hegemony in media and cultural studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 30, (3) pp. 209-223. ISSN 1529-5036 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 National Communication Association

DOI: doi:10.1080/15295036.2011.639380


Media and cultural studies are currently experiencing a renewed and intensified engagement with sociology and sociological methods, with studies of popular music especially affected by attempts to make media and cultural research "more sociological." This paper explores recent methodological debates in media and cultural studies by critiquing the ‘‘ethnographic turn’’ in popular music studies, as well as the growing antipathy toward textual analysis methods. It argues that while sociological popular music studies may rhetorically privilege "real" experience over abstract textualism, its methods are often limited to the dimensions of experience that can be readily observed and verbalized, or resort to the kind of abstract theorizing its practitioners claim to reject. Using examples from heavy and extreme metal music, this paper argues that while all research methods are inevitably partial, textual analysis can offer creative ways to articulate experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible to empirical research methods, and that the use of text-based approaches can improve, rather than weaken, our understanding of popular media and culture.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:media studies, cultural studies, textual analysis, methodology, metal music
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Phillipov, M (Dr Michelle Phillipov)
ID Code:72258
Year Published:2013 (online first 2012)
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2011-08-24
Last Modified:2018-03-16

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