Launches in the UK magazine industry: interrogating Archer’s morphogenetic approach.

Mole, Miranda (2013). Launches in the UK magazine industry: interrogating Archer’s morphogenetic approach. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explored launches in the UK magazine industry. The majority of the existing literature surrounding magazines concerned the message and ideology that magazines provided. However, this thesis was concerned with the interaction between the structural context and the agents who produce the launch of a magazine.

The thesis interrogated Archer’s (1982,1995) morphogenetic approach using magazines as an example. Mixed methods were used in the study which were substantiated as congruent with a crucial realist framework, including interviews with participants in magazine launches, and secondary data covering that period from 1980-2008.

The secondary data inferred that magazines have a natural lifecycle; therefore, launches rejuvenated the magazine market. The study further explored the causal mechanisms that influenced the events of the launch through the interrogation of Archer’s theory of morphogenesis. The application of Archer’s morphogenetic cycle stressed the importance of the interaction between structure, agency, and culture and demonstrated that magazine launches were more than the sum of one person. Consequently, challenging the myth of the star producer.

Having used Archer’s morphogenetic approach to explain the magazine launch process, the thesis argued that further theorization was necessary. It offered a modification to Archer’s cultural morphogenetic cycle as a possible solution.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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