July 30, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— In the recently released book Thinking Through Television ($54.95 cloth, $19.95 paper, 544 pp., Cambridge University Press, New York 2001), Ron Lembo, associate professor of sociology at Amherst College, confronts the social criticism that claims television is merely a form of capitalist control over the masses, and argues that individuals may indeed profit from their discourse with television.

A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1990, Lembo investigates American television viewing habits as a distinct cultural form. Based on an empirical study of the day-to-day use of television by working people, he integrates cultural sociology, postmodernism and the literature of media effects to explore the way in which people give meaning to their viewing practices.

“A life-long viewer who admittedly enjoys watching commercial television,” Lembo has a personal interest in TV. “Among my family and friends, television viewing was a source of pleasure. It also served as an important way of knowing the world; and, on occasion, it provided me with insights that were unobtainable elsewhere. But in the world of middle-class values and tastes, a world that we inevitably had to enter, television viewing often resonated with numerous hidden injuries of class and ethnicity.”

Lembo received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, his M.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara and his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.