"You live in media. Who you are, what you do, and what all of this means to you does not exist outside of media."
So begins Mark Deuze's critical look at media, society, and culture, Media Life (Polity Press, 2012). Media are everywhere, and like fish in water, most are blissfully unaware of the very surroundings in which they live.
Deuze uses hope to separate his book from many scholarly works on modern media culture. He writes not from fear of the future, but optimism. Media, he writes, isn't something to be avoided or something we need to escape. Rather, media is most effective when it is understood and used to live a better life, or as Deuze writes, "… we have to let go of seeing media as influence machines that will eventually make us disappear, instead considering media as part of our lives to the extent that they will make us visible (again)."
There isn't a wasted moment in Media Life, with each chapter building upon the ideas of the previous. Meticulously researched and seamlessly written, Media Life addresses concerns and hopes, historical context and modern media phenomena. It is an important book that will be cited for years to come.