One of the things which struck me about both final readings for class involves these authors' wishing to legitimize the literary field in scientific ways. In class discussion was raised the idea of a certain insecurity which tugs at the consciousness of the literary-minded, a need to situate artistic merit, especially of the non-pop-culture sort, amid the more imposing technological goliaths, which tend to garner appeal from monied sources.
This comes into focus particularly in the academic arena, in which English departments the nation over come under fire for usefulness (or alleged lack thereof) in the modern world, especially an American one, driven by markets and demand. Perhaps we can benefit from considering what is perhaps a little too sparse these days, at least from a mass media perspective: careful scientific method at work in all fields. Then the tension between the fine arts and fine sciences can reunite as they creatively tended to begin in inception, and the arts will not have to justify themselves into existence quite so anxiously.
If one remembers that the great money-making filmss of Hollywood begin overwhelmingly in the creative minds of literary talents, the truth remains that while the talent may not garner its due attention in a timely manner (or at least from the perspective of the author/artist), its influence is indisputable.
If students of magazine research systematically and thoughtfully approach their subject matter, great psychological and sociological finds are thus sure to emerge from these seemingly maddeningly inconsistent fields of data--even if the results become only unhazy from research progeny; it requires due faith.