TV Living: Television,
Culture and Everyday Life
David Gauntlett and Annette Hill
Published by Routledge, 1999
TV Living: Television, Culture and Everyday Life
presents for the first time the findings of a project run by the British Film
Institute in which 500 people completed detailed questionnaire-diaries over five
years. From 1991 to 1996 these individuals collectively wrote some three and a
half million words on television, their lives, and the relationship between the
With the benefit of one
of the most substantial and rich sets of sociological data ever collected, Gauntlett
and Hill are able to explore a broad range of the most fundamental questions in
media and cultural studies, as well as opening up entirely new avenues and areas
of debate. TV Living focuses on issues of gender, identity, new technologies
and life change. The study reveals further new findings with regard to the elderly
audience, and what people think to sex and violence on television. The longitudinal
study is able to follow changes as audiences approach the new media age of the
21st century, and go through various life transitions of their own.
For the first time, audiences
from all over Britain reflect candidly on their television viewing. We see that
television may be the most popular leisure activity, but everyday life is more
powerful than the media. This clear and engaging book, based on the kind of substantial
qualitative data set which cultural studies frequently calls for but rarely has
access to, presents an exciting, literate and thoughtful picture of the complex
and fascinating relationship between mass media and people’s lives today.
was launched at the Groucho club, London, on 29 April 1999, and received coverage
in all major UK newspapers. The project was co-ordinated by the BFI and sponsored
by the ITC, Channel Four, the BBC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, and
"In its scope, this book
can be compared to George Comstock's Television and Human Behavior (1978)...
both works stand, on either side of the Atlantic, as impressive pillars of research
encompassing broad overviews of the place of television in each culture's fabric...
[TV Living] provides valuable insights [and] a dynamic empirical record
of a significant slice of the British viewing public." -- James C. Morrison in
Technology and Culture, vol. 42, no. 1 (2001), pp. 176-178.
What I found particularly useful was the way in which each chapter reviewed existing
work... then carefully measured its own findings against those claims... This
is a well-written and well-crafted book which can be mined for many purposes"
-- Martin Barker, Framework, vol. 40 (1999)
is clearly a significant new contribution to our understanding of media consumption"
-- Graeme Turner in British Cultural Studies (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2002).
"TV Living is not
only very well written, and a remarkable insight into viewer's attitudes to television,
but also a fascinating social history of these islands... A vital antidote to
the simple-minded commercialism and careerism of many broadcasters" -- Roger Bolton,
presenter of Channel Four's Right to Reply
"Television is enormously
important in all parts of the world, and the study of the reactions programmes
produce in the public is valuable. TV Living will be very useful to those
interested in this subject." -- La Prensa Libra, 1 March 2001, p.12.
"I very much enjoyed
TV Living. A ton of very useful primary data - and a wonderfully sly sense
of humour that was all the more enjoyable given the very serious and sombre methodological
approach. Good job." -- Alan McKee, President of the Cultural Studies Association
of Australia, University of Queensland.
ISBN 0 415 18485
ISBN 0 415 18486 X (pbk)