Žižek and the Media
Žižek and the Media
Slavoj Žižek reaches the parts of the media that other theorists cannot. With sources ranging from Thomas Aquinas to Quentin Tarantino and Desperate Housewives to Dostoyevsky, Žižek mixes high theory with low culture more engagingly than any other thinker alive today. His prolific output includes such media friendly content as a TV series (The Pervert's Guide to Cinema) a documentary movie (Žižek!) and a wealth of YouTube clips. A celebrity academic, he walks the media talk.

<i>Žižek and the Media</i> provides a systematic and approachable introduction to the main concepts and themes of Žižek's work, and their particular implications for the study of the media. The book:

  • Describes the radical nature of Žižek's media politics
  • Uses Žižekian insights to expose the profound intellectual limitations of conventional approaches to the media
  • Explores the psychoanalytical and philosophical roots of Žižek's work
  • Provides the reader with Žižekian tools to uncover the hidden ideologies of everyday media content;
    Explains the ultimate seriousness that underlies his numerous jokes.

As likely to discuss Homer's Springfield as Ithaca, Žižek is shown to be the ideal guide for today's mediascape.

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  • December 2010
  • 192 pages
  • 145 x 216 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $62.25
  • 9780745643670
  • Paperback $23.75
  • 9780745643687
  • Open eBook $19.00
  • 9780745658612
Table of Contents

Preface: The Dog’s Bollocks . . . at the Media Dinner Party viii

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction: ‘The Marx Brother’, ‘The Elvis of Cultural Theory’, and Other Media Cliches 1

1 The Mediated Imp of the Perverse 6

2 Žižek's Tickling Shtick 34

3 Big (Br)Other: Psychoanalysing the Media 63

4 Understanding Media: The Sublime Objectification of Ideology 91

5 The Media’s Violence 120

6 The Joker’s Little Shop of Ideological Horrors 149

Conclusion: Don’t Just Do It: Negative Dialectics in the Age of Nike 176

Notes 183

Bibliography 189

Index 202

About the Author
Paul A. Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds
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"An eloquent and compelling insight into the worldview of Žižek and his contribution to the fields of medi and cultural analysis … It is nothing less than a myth-busting exposition of how, in the age of media saturation, we are directed to live and perceive."
Media, Culture & Society

"Ask not for whom theory waits, motionless - it waits for all of us in Paul Taylor's excellent Žižek and the Media."
Media Education Research Journal

"Taylor does a superb job of showing how electrifying and profound the media current that flows through Žižek's work really is."
Joan Copjec, University at Buffalo

"Paul Taylor's Žižek and the Media provides a thorough introduction to the paradoxes and subtleties of Slavoj Žižek's thought, and at the same time it articulates a compelling theory of how the contemporary media functions in unforeseen ways. Taylor's originality derives from his vigilant attention to forms. He is the first to explain fully how the idiosyncratic form in which Žižek presents his philosophy emerges out of its content. And in the process, he grasps what makes Žižek's such a penetrating critique of our media universe. Taylor's book goes beyond being a book about Žižek and becomes one that enacts Žižek's mode of thinking on its readers."
Todd McGowan, University of Vermont

"All jokes aside, this is a seriously serious book. Žižek is one of the most media-savvy of all contemporary philosophers, and medium in the form of the concrete universal is one of his most important concepts. Paul Taylor does a terrific job putting together these two sides of Žižek to produce a provocative parallax view."
Rex Butler, University of Queensland

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