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Synopsis

How do visitors immersing themselves in material places such as shopping malls or video sites online make sense of the experience, enabling criticizing - or consenting to content? How is this evident in behaviour? Reflecting on accounts by Chinese, Indian, Malay and Indigenous members of Malaysian society, this book addresses these questions from a practices perspective increasingly adopted by scholars in marketing and media studies.

The volume provides an account of practices theory from its origins in critical hermeneutics (such as Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur), as reflecting on the processes of embodied understanding, developing alongside interpretive and reception theory. Part I draws upon authors as diverse as Heidegger and Henry Jenkins, with a practices perspective on media and mall consuming shown as developing from forty years of theorizing about audience activity. An empirical study of Malaysian blogging and branding on YouTube exemplifies this approach. Part II considers Malaysians absorbed in social media sites, as everyday visitors and the subjects of consumer research. The book then returns to the material world, exploring the horizons of understanding from which Malaysians enter their mediated malls, and concludes by positioning media practices theory within a spectrum of philosophical ideas.

Recognizing the current (re)turn in Consumer and Media Studies to employing hermeneutics as an account of our embodied human understanding, this book presents its major philosophical proponents, showing how close attention to their writing can now inform and shape research on ubiquitous screen users. As such, it will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Media Studies, Asian Studies and Marketing Studies.

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