While production is most often associated (and seen as almost synonymous) with industry and the specific study of media industries, more careful reflection on the scope of the word reveals a significantly more dynamic concept. Despite its utility in delimiting specific industrial sectors, identifying discrete labor practices and communities, as well as articulating scholarly methodologies, the notion of production holds greatest value for its potential to support intellectual inquiry across different cultural, industrial, and academic boundaries. Although we often limit study of production to specific industrial sites of cultural creation and circulation, it more usefully theorizes media industry in direct relationship to media engagement, use, and participation in less formal, everyday settings. In media studies, production can be understood as the link between industry studies and audience studies that recognizes the meaning, communities, identities, and above all the power involved in making culture.

This essay may be found on page 149 of the printed volume.

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