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Joshua A Braun

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197501

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197501.001.0001

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Why Media Distribution Matters

Why Media Distribution Matters

A Critical Interlude

(p.19) 2 Why Media Distribution Matters
This Program Is Brought To You By...

Joshua A. Braun

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the potential of media distribution, and the balance of structure and agency enacted in different approaches to it, to inform our view of a wide array of major social and scholarly concerns. In particular, it considers the key role played by the technologies and practices of media distribution in the conditions under which people congregate and imagine their communities. It first explores the impact of distribution on the conditions of media work in the media industries, paying attention to media ownership models and their effect on media distribution strategies. It then discusses the ability of online distribution networks to spur social change by cutting across social and regional boundaries and helping to reconfigure them; how distribution renders societal groups and subcultures visible; how states impinge on distribution as a form of political oppression; and how distribution platforms can promote public participation. It also analyzes the implications of distribution platforms for political activism as well as for film and literary culture.

Keywords:   media, distribution, media work, media industries, media ownership, online distribution, social change, political oppression, public participation, political activism

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