Media and Self-Construction: Theoretical Issues

  • Steve Bailey


In the introduction, I pointed to the tendency for both popular and academic analyses of mass media to fall into one side of a binary of activity/passivity in describing the relationship of the audience to forms of mass media. Secondly through the work of Morley I identified the issue of subjectivity — and the inadequate theorization of the same — as the source of at least some of this tendency toward oversimplification, and pointed to the challenges of such theorization in a postmodern cultural context. In this chapter, I want to elucidate a theoretical model, the ‘hermeneutic social subject’, that may meet some of these challenges. This model, rooted in the neo-pragmatist philosophical tradition, can provide the foundation for a more coherent and nuanced understanding of the power of mass media for practices of self-construction and self-reflection, topics rendered nearly invisible in the move toward ‘de-subjectified’ analytical approaches.


Media Audience Popular Culture Symbolic Structure Social Subject Hermeneutic Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Steve Bailey 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Bailey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations