How does television function within society? Why have both its programmes and its audiences been so widely denigrated? Taking inspiration from Richard Hoggarts classic study The Uses of Literacy, John Hartleys new book is a lucid defence of the place of television in our lives, and of the usefulness of television studies.Hartley re-conceptualizes television as a transmodern medium, capable of reuniting government, education and media, and of creating a new kind of cultural teaching which facilitates communication across social and geographical boundaries. He provides a historical framework for the development of both television and television studies, his focus ranging from an analysis of the early documentary Housing Problems, to the much-overlooked cultural impact of the refrigerator.

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