How does television function within society? Why have both its programmes and its audiences been so widely denigrated? Taking inspiration from Richard Hoggarts classic study The Uses of Literacy , John Hartleys new book is a lucid defence of the place of television in our lives, and of the usefulness of television studies. Hartley re-conceptualizes television as a transmodern medium, capable of reuniting government, education and media, and of creating a new kind of cultural teaching which facilitates communication across social and geographical boundaries. He provides a historical framework for the development of both television and television studies, his focus ranging from an analysis of the early documentary Housing Problems, to the much-overlooked cultural impact of the refrigerator.