We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Apprehending Politics

News Media and Individual Political Development

Marco Calavita

Publication Year: 2005

This groundbreaking book examines the significance of the news media for the political beliefs and behavior of contemporary Americans. Relying on original, in-depth interviews with members of the group known as Generation X, Marco Calavita analyzes the memories and understandings of these individuals’ political development dating back to childhood. Specifically, he focuses on the developmental significance of news media engagement in the context of institutions and phenomena like family, peers, schooling, and popular culture. Calavita succeeds where others have failed at exploring the inevitably contextualized and ecological nature of individual political development, and the specific roles of news media in that development. Apprehending Politics illuminates the subtle but fundamental power of news media in who we are politically, and how we got that way.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies


pdf iconDownload PDF

p. c

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF

p. v

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vi

Portions of this book come from the transcripts of interviews the author conducted with fifteen “comtemporary Americans.” In the interest of authenticity, the interview passages...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

First and foremost, this book owes its existence to the fifteen people who agreed to talk with me for hours on end about their lives and about politics and news media. They were unfailingly accommodating and forthcoming when there was little pressing reason for them to be, other than their kindness...

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-15

When Whitney, a 26-year-old Euro-American college graduate living in a small Midwestern town, told me that “crime among our adolescents” was one of the biggest problems facing...

read more

2. Contemporary American Political Culture and News Media

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 17-55

Often left out of the exploration of how individual politics develop are the structural outlines of American political culture and news media that form the backdrop—or, more to the...

read more

3. Portraits of Individual Political Development

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 57-126

The people I interviewed for this study were part of the same generation and shared the experience of at least some college education, but this was a diverse group. This was apparent in terms of: age (ranging from 22 to 33 years old as...

read more

4. The Ecology of Individual Political Development and News Media: Relationships, Institutions, and Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-188

This chapter details the relationships, institutions, and phenomena involved in individual political development, and how they share contexts and interact with news media engagement. In this discussion of the complex interrelationships—the ecology—of individual political...

read more

5. The Contours of Political Ideology and Orientation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-221

Do particular political ideologies and orientations predominate among college-educated Americans who have come of age over the last thirty-plus years? My study of these fifteen people, however...

read more

6. Conclusion: Recontextualizing Politics and News Media

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-231

There is a blizzard of data presented in this book. As a qualitative study of individuals, based on in-depth interviews, this volume of data is to some extent an end in itself. One reason I wanted...


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-253


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 255-274


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 275-285

E-ISBN-13: 9780791484081
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791462799
Print-ISBN-10: 079146279X

Page Count: 292
Publication Year: 2005

Series Title: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Series Editor Byline: Dudley D. Cahn See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 62750474
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Apprehending Politics

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Press and politics -- United States.
  • Political socialization -- United States.
  • Journalism -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Press and politics -- United States.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access