Television: Critical Methods and Applications, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover


Critical Methods and Applications, 4th Edition

By Jeremy G. Butler

© 2012 – Routledge

494 pages

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Paperback: 9780415883283
pub: 2011-11-17
Hardback: 9780415883276
pub: 2011-11-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203845240
pub: 2012-02-20
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For nearly two decades, Television: Critical Methods and Applications has served as the foremost guide to television studies. Designed for the television studies course in communication and media studies curricula, Television explains in depth how television programs and commercials are made and how they function as producers of meaning. Author Jeremy G. Butler shows the ways in which camera style, lighting, set design, editing, and sound combine to produce meanings that viewers take away from their television experience. He supplies students with a whole toolbox of implements to disassemble television and read between the lines, teaching them to incorporate critical thinking into their own television viewing. The fourth edition builds upon the pedagogy of previous editions to best accommodate current modes of understanding and teaching television.

Highlights of the fourth edition include:

  • New chapter and part organization to reflect the current approach to teaching television—with greatly expanded methods and theories chapters.
  • An entirely new chapter on modes of production and their impact on what you see on the screen.
  • Discussions integrated throughout on the latest developments in television’s on-going convergence with other media, such as material on transmedia storytelling and YouTube’s impact on video distribution.
  • Over three hundred printed illustrations, including new and better quality frame grabs of recent television shows and commercials.
  • A companion website featuring color frame grabs, a glossary, flash cards, and editing and sound exercises for students, as well as PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi and other materials for instructors. Links to online videos that support examples in the text are also provided.

With its distinctive approach to examining television, Television is appropriate for courses in television studies, media criticism, and general critical studies.


"This is, quite simply, the best book out there for teaching introductory TV courses. The text is well-conceived and engaging, and Butler does a superb job of illustrating the formal and aesthetic structures of television in a clear and readable manner."

--Tara McPherson, Associate Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

"Written with clarity and wit, Television surveys a range of ways of analyzing a medium which young people, although they consume it voraciously, seldom scrutinize. It can help make students more sensitive and critical consumers of the major mass medium of our time."

--David Bordwell, Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"Television is a terrific book with wide student appeal. Butler explains critically sophisticated ideas in clear, accessible language, with concrete examples that bring those ideas to life. The book's substance, structure and 'user-friendly' design make it the best all-around book for teaching students how to think about television."

--Kathleen Rowe Karlyn, Professor, University of Oregon

Table of Contents

    Part I: Television Structures and Systems

    1. An Introduction to Television Structures and Systems: Ebb and Flow in the Postnetwork Era
    2. Narrative Structure: Television Stories
    3. Building Narrative: Character, Actor, Star
    4. Beyond and Beside Narrative Structure
    5. The Television Commercial
    6. Part II: Television Style: Image and Sound

    7. An Introduction to Television Style: Modes of Production
    8. Style and Setting: Mise-en-Scene
    9. Style and the Camera: Videography and Cinematography
    10. Style and Editing
    11. Style and Sound
    12. Part III: Television Studies

    13. An Introduction to Television Studies
    14. Textual Analysis
    15. Discourse and Identity

About the Author

Jeremy G. Butler is Professor of Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama. He has taught television, film, and new media courses since 1980 and is active in online educational resources for television and film studies.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies