246 pages, no illustrations
You will never look at your cell phone, TV, or computer the same way after reading this book. Maxwell and Miller not only reveal the dirty secrets that hide inside our beloved electronics; they also take apart the myths that have pushed these gadgets to the center of our lives. With an astounding array of economic, environmental and historical facts, Greening the Media debunks the idea that information and communication technologies (ICT) are clean and ecologically benign.
In this compassionate and sharply argued book, the authors show how the physical reality of making, consuming, and discarding them is rife with toxic ingredients, poisonous working conditions, and hazardous waste. But all is not lost. As the title suggests, Maxwell and Miller dwell critically on these environmental problems in order to think creatively about ways to solve them. They enlist a range of potential allies in this effort to foster greener media-from green consumers to green citizens, with stops along the way to hear from exploited workers, celebrities, and assorted bureaucrats.
Maxwell and Miller rethink the status of print and screen technologies from a perspective unique in media studies, one that enables them to open new lines of historical and social analysis of ICT, consumer electronics, and media production. This original and highly readable book is for anyone who marvels at the high tech goodies surrounding us and wonders "How have they been made?," "By whom?," "Where?," and "Under what conditions?"
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Richard Maxwell is professor and chair of Media Studies at Queens College, City University of New York.
Toby Miller is Distinguished Professor of Media & Cultural Studies at the University of California Riverside and Director of the UC Study Abroad program in Mexico. In May 2012 he becomes Director of the City University of London's Centre for the Study of Cultural and Creative Industries.