Class Context: Douglas Kellner and others have called for critical media industry studies, combining a cultural studies approach that considers cultural context and ideological content with the study of industry practices and political economy. We have looked at the dynamics of emerging communication industries throughout the 20th century (considering innovation and diffusion, and disruption and commercialization), and traced how government regulation has responded. For this paper, you will apply a critical media industry studies approach to a particular contemporary emerging media industry. You will examine its history and spread, consider the cultural context and political economy, and question how new regulation might affect your chosen industry.

Paper Instructions: Select an emerging industry (sample topics are listed below). Your paper will consist of the following sections:


★ Introduce your topic

★ Introduce an argument about how critical media industry studies allowed you to observe a connection between 1) ideology and cultural context, and 2) political and economic context of your chosen emerging industry

Emerging Industry: Explain the political and economic context of your industry

★ Where are the primary actors in your industry located? What kind of businesses make up your industry?

★ Who are the users in your industry? How do they contribute to the companies through free labor or through subscription fees? How do the companies in your emerging industry make money?

★ Identify the history of the industry. How did it begin and how was the innovation diffused across a community of users? Was a disruptive technology eventually commercialized or was it commercialized from the start?

★ Identify any aspects of global politics or economics that might influence the popularity of this industry, and any aspects of global politics or economics that might influence the regulation.

★ Identify any efforts to introduce regulation to this industry in the United States. Are there prominent voices in the government who have called for regulation? Have any hearings already been held? Are there voices in academia that are calling for regulation?

Emerging industry: Cultural context

★ Explain the cultural context of the emerging industry

★ Describe the content. What is your chosen media industry used for? Describe the type of content that is produced, with specific examples.

★ Describe the demographic of users in greater detail, and the cultural role of your chosen media industry for this community

★ Consider any ideological messages that are supported by your industry: valorization of surveillance, importance of freedom of expression, value of self-branding, emphasis on shock and virality, participatory culture, any ideas about gendered labor?

Critical Media Industries Analysis

★ Explore the relationship between the two previous sections. How might the political or economic context have shaped context? How might particular ideologies support the economics of the emerging industry?


★ Reflect on the challenges and opportunities of the critical media industries approach

Citation Requirements:

★ Include at least two scholarly texts

★ Cite any facts presented throughout your paper using a consistent citation style. Many of your sources might come from internet research or from the popular press. Use a citation guide to make sure you cite these correctly.

Possible topics:


Influencer Industry

Augmented Reality

Automated facial recognition

Self-driving cars

Streaming music services


6 pages

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