24 books like Media Scandals

By Alan Bisbort,

Here are 24 books that Media Scandals fans have personally recommended if you like Media Scandals. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of On Scandal: Moral Disturbances in Society, Politics, and Art

Igor Prusa Author Of Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual

From my list on scandal and why it matters.

Who am I?

I'm a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies who became spontaneously interested in the way media scandals unfold in Japan. For ten years, I was studying Japanese scandals at The University of Tokyo (Ph.D. 2017), and I developed a new approach to Japanese scandal as a highly mediatized social ritual that tends to preserve the status quo while generating commercial profit. After my return from Japan, I continued my scandal research at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and I'm currently teaching media & communication theory at Ambis University Prague. In 2023, Routledge finally published the results of my decade-long research in my new book titled Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual.

Igor's book list on scandal and why it matters

Igor Prusa Why did Igor love this book?

I discovered this book more than ten years ago, when I was still a stressed PhD student in Tokyo, and reading the book gave me some great relief.

The book was the first to show me that scandals can indeed reveal a lot about the society that produces them. Further, it taught me how to approach scandal as “moral disturbance” (the author’s term), and it updated my knowledge on the role of scandals in the art world (Oscar Wilde).

I love the book because it provides great insights into how the social structure defines individual agency, and what happens when structure and agency clash in a form of scandal.

Despite dealing with somewhat difficult concepts, the book is easy to read and has a clear, compelling, and engaging narrative. Highly recommended!   

By Ari Adut,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scandal is the quintessential public event. Here is the first general and comprehensive analysis of this ubiquitous moral phenomenon. Taking up wide-ranging cases in society, politics, and art, Ari Adut shows when wrong-doings generate scandals and when they do not. He focuses on the emotional and cognitive experience of scandals and the relationships among those who are involved in or exposed to them. This perspective explains variations in the effects, frequency, elicited reactions, outcomes, and strategic uses of scandals. On Scandal offers provocative accounts of the Oscar Wilde, Watergate, and Lewinsky affairs. Adut also employs the lens of scandal to…


Book cover of Political Scandal: Power and Visability in the Media Age

Igor Prusa Author Of Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual

From my list on scandal and why it matters.

Who am I?

I'm a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies who became spontaneously interested in the way media scandals unfold in Japan. For ten years, I was studying Japanese scandals at The University of Tokyo (Ph.D. 2017), and I developed a new approach to Japanese scandal as a highly mediatized social ritual that tends to preserve the status quo while generating commercial profit. After my return from Japan, I continued my scandal research at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and I'm currently teaching media & communication theory at Ambis University Prague. In 2023, Routledge finally published the results of my decade-long research in my new book titled Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual.

Igor's book list on scandal and why it matters

Igor Prusa Why did Igor love this book?

The author of this book, John B. Thompson, is one of my favorites.

I love his 1995 masterpiece Media and Modernity which offers a general social theory of the media. In 1997, Thompson published a chapter on the social theory of scandal, and finally in 2000, he published the book I am now recommending here.

What I love about Political Scandal is that the book is both incisive and disturbing, and that the author succeeds in showing us how scandal unlocks essential secrets about power and politics today. This book is a very useful source for the students in media, political, and critical discourse analysis.    

By John B. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Political Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Political scandals have become a pervasive feature of many societies today. From Profumo to the cash-for-questions scandal, from Watergate to the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, scandals have come to play a central role in politics and in the shaping of public debate. What are the characteristics of political scandals and why have they come to assume such prominence today? What are the social and political consequences of the preoccupation with political scandal in the public domain?

In this major new book Thompson develops a systematic and wide-ranging analysis of the phenomenon of political scandal. He shows that the rise of political scandal…


Book cover of Media Scandals: Morality and Desire in the Popular Culture Marketplace

Igor Prusa Author Of Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual

From my list on scandal and why it matters.

Who am I?

I'm a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies who became spontaneously interested in the way media scandals unfold in Japan. For ten years, I was studying Japanese scandals at The University of Tokyo (Ph.D. 2017), and I developed a new approach to Japanese scandal as a highly mediatized social ritual that tends to preserve the status quo while generating commercial profit. After my return from Japan, I continued my scandal research at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and I'm currently teaching media & communication theory at Ambis University Prague. In 2023, Routledge finally published the results of my decade-long research in my new book titled Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual.

Igor's book list on scandal and why it matters

Igor Prusa Why did Igor love this book?

This book is a must for those who want to explore the social phenomenon of media scandal.

What I liked about the book was that it is not only about theory – the authors discuss scandals and controversies revolving around Kurt Cobain to Michael Jackson, and from O.J. Simpson to Magic Johnson. In this volume, I personally loved John B. Thompson’s chapter “Scandal and Social Theory”, which was an eye-opener to me, and later it contributed to building my own theoretical framework.

The book taught me a lot about what happens when personal desire goes beyond moral boundaries in the lives of social elites worldwide. The book was written in 1997, but it still stimulates much discussion about this fascinating subject.         

By James Lull (editor), Stephen Hinerman (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Media Scandals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are scandals a form of legitimate journalism, or are they a sign of a society in moral degeneration? These questions are addressed and assessed in Media Scandals, the first book to take a comprehensive look at how scandals are produced and played out in modern culture.


Book cover of The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal

Igor Prusa Author Of Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual

From my list on scandal and why it matters.

Who am I?

I'm a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies who became spontaneously interested in the way media scandals unfold in Japan. For ten years, I was studying Japanese scandals at The University of Tokyo (Ph.D. 2017), and I developed a new approach to Japanese scandal as a highly mediatized social ritual that tends to preserve the status quo while generating commercial profit. After my return from Japan, I continued my scandal research at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and I'm currently teaching media & communication theory at Ambis University Prague. In 2023, Routledge finally published the results of my decade-long research in my new book titled Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual.

Igor's book list on scandal and why it matters

Igor Prusa Why did Igor love this book?

I strongly recommend this book to all those scholars and students who aim to take “scandalogy” seriously. I discovered this book just when I was finishing my own book on Japanese scandals, and it helped me overcome all my doubts and uncertainties about scandal research.

There are 50 chapters in this edited volume, and they constitute pretty much the best you can find in the scandalogy discourse today. I found this book particularly useful and enlightening because the chapters cover practically every single detail related to the topic of scandal, and they are written in a very accessible way by prominent scholars from various fields beyond scandalogy.   

By Howard Tumber (editor), Silvio Waisbord (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Howard Tumber is Professor in the Department of Journalism at City, University of London, UK. He is a founder and co-editor of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. He has published widely in the field of the sociology of media and journalism.

Silvio Waisbord is Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, USA. He was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Communication, and he has published widely about news, politics and social change.


Book cover of Other People's Clothes

D.M. Pelletier Author Of Cold Dresses

From my list on exposing the dark side of fashion.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the world of fashion for more than a decade. Back in 2012, a serious bike accident left me incapacitated for the best part of six months. By the time I recovered from my injuries, a chance encounter with a Russian dressmaker would change everything; I decided to learn how to sew. I sat in front of my sewing machine, made my own clothes, and expanded into making dresses for my friends. Since I’ve always enjoyed reading gritty mysteries, it was only natural for me to incorporate my art into my writing. Cold Dresses was born out of a passion for fashion and dark thrillers. 

D.M.'s book list on exposing the dark side of fashion

D.M. Pelletier Why did D.M. love this book?

It’s been a while since I have read a book that I not only didn’t want to put down, but I wanted to speed through!

Ah, to be a young art student in Berlin in 2008 (or probably not!) It has it all: love triangles, murder mysteries, doppelgängers, crazy parties, and a lot of paranoia against a backdrop of the art of fashion.

Twisted and ingeniously plotted, it got me hooked until the very last word.

By Calla Henkel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Other People's Clothes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Full of delicious layers . . . I felt drunk reading it.' Emma Jane Unsworth

Intoxicating, compulsive and blackly funny, Other People's Clothes is the thrilling debut novel from Berlin-based American artist Calla Henkel.

2009. Berlin.

Two art students arrive from New York, both desperate for the city to solve their problems.

Zoe is grieving for her high school best friend, murdered months before in her hometown in Florida.

Hailey is rich, obsessed with the exploits of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears and wants to be a Warholian legend.

Together they rent a once-magnificent apartment from eccentric crime writer Beatrice…


Book cover of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

Hayley Quinn Author Of Do This, Not That: Dating

From my list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single.

Who am I?

 I was the nerdy kid at school, so when I stumbled upon the world of pick-up artists, and the fact you could learn how to get better at dating, I was all over it! In time my coaching and my company grew with the ideology that we wanted to teach practical skills for dating in a way that was inclusive and ethical. 

Hayley's book list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single

Hayley Quinn Why did Hayley love this book?

Penetrating? Secret Society? Pick Up Artists? Okay you’re going to have to trust me, that despite its nebulous reputation Strauss’ voyage into the underworld of the “pua” community has some merits. Firstly, it’s a fantastically funny, twisted story. Secondly, whilst every “technique” the book advocates to hone your seduction skills is squarely on the side of skeezy, just the idea that you can learn skills for dating is cool. It gripped me 15 years ago, and started me on my quest in the dating industry. 

By Neil Strauss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Neil Strauss a self-proclaimed AFC (average frustrated chump) withdraws $500 and signs-up for a workshop with notorious pick-up artist Mystery, he embarks upon a life-changing journey into the bizarre underworld of 'players'. Creating their own vernacular and codes of honour, these are men that have devoted their lives to perfecting techniques of seduction. In the course of the next two years, Neil transforms himself from a frustrated, insecure journalist into the quick thinking, smooth talking Style, a character irresistible to women. Then, as he is voted The World's Number One Pick-up Artist, he falls for a woman who could…


Book cover of 99 Red Balloons

Lorna Dounaeva Author Of The Family Trap

From my list on reads to keep you awake all night.

Who am I?

I am the author of a number of psychological thrillers including The Perfect Family and The Wrong Twin. I like this genre because it really makes your blood pump. For the most part, these are ordinary people who get caught in extraordinary situations so it’s easy to relate. Once you start reading a really good thriller you can’t stop, it’s like riding a roller coaster. It feels exhilarating but it’s totally safe. And the really good ones get you thinking. What would I do in that situation? How would I react?

Lorna's book list on reads to keep you awake all night

Lorna Dounaeva Why did Lorna love this book?

A child is taken. A family is shattered. But this plays out a little differently than most missing child cases. I definitely did not expect that epic twist. It’s well written and you’ll tear through the pages with the song 99 Red Balloons playing in your head the whole time.

By Elisabeth Carpenter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 99 Red Balloons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

Eight-year-old Grace is last seen in a sweetshop. Her mother Emma is living a nightmare. But as her loved ones rally around her, cracks begin to emerge. What are the emails sent between her husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is there more to the disappearance of her daughter than meets the eye?
Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Sharples sees a familiar face in the newspaper. A face that jolts her from the pain of her…


Book cover of Sing Me to Sleep: A Series of Sacrilegious Events Novel

Aveda Vice Author Of Feed

From my list on short monster romances doing things differently.

Who am I?

Monsters intrigue me. I’ve always enjoyed the weird and obscure – the creatures who are recognizably not human. Being a queer, autistic person, I’ve often felt as if I didn’t understand the world…or the world didn’t understand me. Reading and writing about monsters sheds a new light on the parts of myself that I was taught are undesirable. By conventional standards, the monsters in these stories are horrifying, yet they find people who love them and their monstrosity. Monsters get their happy endings – and I can get mine, too.

Aveda's book list on short monster romances doing things differently

Aveda Vice Why did Aveda love this book?

What I wouldn’t give for my sleep hallucinations to fuck me instead of terrifying me. Even in this novella-sized package, Sing Me to Sleep has tons of world building to kick off the upcoming series in this universe. If you struggle with nightmares or just want to read about an Indian American woman overcoming trauma and falling for her monstrous sleep paralysis demon, do yourself a favor! (There’s tail action.)

By RM Virtues,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sing Me to Sleep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penelope has lost so much in six months.

Her father, her sense of security, her ability — and willingness— to sleep. Her family is most concerned about the latter at the moment, and when her sister Jenna leaves her alone in their shared home for the first time since The Incident, Penelope finally accepts some help. The only problem? There are side effects. Well, one: sleep paralysis.

And the demon who came for her fear.

Fear is the only thing that matters to the demons of the Somni Dae, and as long as they deliver it back to Hell, they…


Book cover of Consuming Religion

Chad E. Seales Author Of Religion Around Bono: Evangelical Enchantment and Neoliberal Capitalism

From my list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by the ways religion reconciles contradiction. Both of my parents were public school teachers in the panhandle of Florida, and I now work at a public university in Texas, yet the culture in which I was raised, of white evangelicalism, supported economic policies of neoliberalism that defunded public life. My interest in American religion is motivated by the question of why we participate in systems that harm us. This is an economic question, but sufficient answers must address the power of religion to shape what we see as morally good and bad. These books all do that.

Chad's book list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion

Chad E. Seales Why did Chad love this book?

If you want to understand how corporations and not churches became the most powerful institutions of moral influence in America, capable of taking away an employee's personal choice outside the workplace and denying their access to healthcare based on the owners’ biblical beliefs, legally protected by the U.S. government as a religious freedom, then you need to read this book.

By Kathryn Lofton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Consuming Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What are you drawn to like, to watch, or even to binge? What are you free to consume, and what do you become through consumption? These questions of desire and value, Kathryn Lofton argues, are at bottom religious questions. Whether or not you have been inside of a cathedral, a temple, or a seminary, you live in the frame of religion. In eleven essays exploring soap and office cubicles, Britney Spears and the Kardashians, corporate culture and Goldman Sachs, Lofton shows the conceptual levers of religion in thinking about social modes of encounter, use, and longing. Wherever we see people…


Book cover of How I Became Hettie Jones

Alice Sparberg Alexiou Author Of Devil's Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery

From my list on terrible, beautiful New York.

Who am I?

I’m a second-generation Jewish New Yorker. I love my city passionately, and I know that it loves me back. Some two million Jews left Russia for New York at the turn of the 20th century. They landed at Ellis Island, headed for the Lower East Side, and made the city theirs. My immigrant grandparents were among them. It’s impossible to conceive of New York without Jews. Lenny Bruce once said: In New York, even if you’re Catholic, you’re Jewish.

Alice's book list on terrible, beautiful New York

Alice Sparberg Alexiou Why did Alice love this book?

Hettie Cohen defied the stifling conventions of her middle-class Jewish Queens upbringing to live the life with her husband, the poet LeRoi Jones in a Bowery loft. When the Black Power movement beckoned, he changed his name to Amiri Baraka and left her. Hettie Jones’ memoir brings to life the Village of the late 1950s and 60s, complete with the beats, their women, jazz spots, and the rich literary scene. A little-known gem about a very specific cultural moment in New York, told in a clear, honest voice. 

By Hettie Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How I Became Hettie Jones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Greenwich Village in the 1950s was a haven to which young poets, painters, and jazz musicians flocked. Among them was Hettie Cohen, who'd been born into a middle-class Jewish family in Queens and who'd chosen to cross racial barriers to marry the controversial black poet LeRoi Jones. Theirs was a bohemian life in the awakening East Village of underground publishing and jazz lofts, through which drifted such icons of the generation as Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, and Franz Kline.


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