Jonathan Gray, "Dislike-Minded: Media, Audiences, and the Dynamics of Taste" (NYU Press, 2021)


In this episode, our host Sim Gill discusses the book Dislike-Minded: Media, Audiences, and the Dynamics of Taste (NYU Press, 2021) by Jonathan Gray.

You’ll hear about:

  • A brief history of the book and its connection to global studies of media and communication;
  • The role of media and cultural studies in amplifying the voices of dislikers, and how can scholars in these fields better understand and appreciate the register of dislike;
  • The method of refractive audience analysis as a way to understand how adaptations of media texts affect people's perceptions of the original texts;
  • How paratexts can shape audience perceptions and understanding of a media product;
  • How the gendered norms may hinder women from expressing dislike, and how this relates to larger cultural systems of dislike, including political contexts;
  • Some recent developments that have added to or changed the initial arguments/findings in the book.

About the book

Dislike-Minded draws from over two-hundred qualitative interviews to probe what the media’s failures, wounds, and sore spots tell us about media culture, taste, identity, representation, meaning, textuality, audiences, and citizenship. The book refuses the simplicity of Pierre Bourdieu’s famous dictum that dislike is (only) snobbery. Instead, Jonathan Gray pushes onward to uncover other explanations for what it ultimately means to dislike specific artifacts of television, film, and other media, and why this dislike matters. You can find the book here by NYU Press.

Author: Jonathan Gray is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work examines how media entertainment and its audiences interact, and examines how and where value and meaning are created. He is now Chief Editor of The International Journal of Cultural Studies, co-editor, with Aswin Punathambekar and Adrienne Shaw, of NYU Press’ Critical Cultural Communication book series, and I was recently nominated as an International Communication Association Fellow.

Host: Sim Gill is a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests concern the social and subjective effects of discourse and institutional politics as well as the interrelationships between discourse, epistemology, and subjectivity. Her master's thesis evaluated the meaning-making behind the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), commonly used to describe minority ethnic communities in Britain.

Editor & Producer: Jing Wang

Keywords: Dislike, audience studies, media cultures, identity, representation, citizenship

Our podcast is part of the multimodal project powered by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. At CARGC, we produce and promote critical, interdisciplinary, and multimodal research on global media and communication. We aim to bridge academic scholarship and public life, bringing the very best scholarship to bear on enduring global questions and pressing contemporary issues.

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Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication

The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication produces and promotes scholarly research on global media, communication, and public life. Our work brings together “area studies” knowledge with theory and methodology in the humanities and social sciences to understand how local, lived experiences of people and communities are profoundly shaped by global media alongside cultural and political-economic forces.

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