The mass media and popular culture mediate the world for us by providing the images, information, stories, templates and categories we use to see and understand everything around us. Understanding Media Studies is a lively and thought-provoking text that looks at how and why the field of the media has taken on such a central role in contemporary society and culture. Using an up to date framework and current examples, this book guides students from square one to a complex understanding of the key concepts of media analysis. Focusing on the relations between the media and its audiences and users, the book examines the forms of address, strategies, literacies, and practices that characterize those relations. The authors have used recurrent case studies across the chapters to illustrate different concepts, helping students to view forms of media in a number of contexts.FEATURES* A clear structure and good sign-posting of key concepts allows students to easily navigate the text.* Case studies are integrated into the text to create a strong narrative flow.* Contemporary examples are used to demonstrate the relationship between bodies of theory and socio-cultural practices.* Glossary terms are included in margin notes throughout the text (with a full glossary at the end), making the material more accessible to students.* An integrated Companion Website accompanies the book--providing further information, case studies, and annotated weblinks.