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MASS MEDIA-SOC103.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 103
Professor
Tonya Davidson
Semester
Fall

Description
MASS MEDIA  “Any medium designed to communicate messages to a mass audience” (Ravelli, Webber &Patterson, 444) Theodor and Horkheimer - Media is capitalist superstructures - Cultural productions things that we enjoy music and art we don’t enjoy is because of their aesthetics, its more because of industries - Interested in media related to fascism - More in depth critique of ‘superstructure’ CULTURE INDUSTRY THESIS: 1. Standardization - Culture packaged in small number of predictable forms and genres - Produced by small number of large corporations - There is simultaneously nothing new and always something new (media monopolies...big film company maximizes profit by telling same stories in different ways and its a form of risk reduction) - The capitalism system works because they switch it up a little but and they still love 2. Pseudo-Individualization - The audience response is built into the product - Our culture is pre-digested for us - Audiences are passive - Choice is an illusion 3. Maintenance of status quo - Media lulls the public into passivity - Distracts from big social issues e.g. American idol - Maintains social class ideas reproduce: race, gender, class. E.g. the film “class dismissed” and Disney films 4. Absorption of dissent - The corporations are going to swallow up the negative comments about capitalism and make profit out of it somehow - E.g. fight club (movie) Critiques of culture industry thesis 1. Its elitist 2. Historically specific 3. Disregards alternative uses/readings of culture 4. Totalizing i.e. “resistance is futile” MARSHALL MCLUHAN - 1911-1980 - ‘The medium is the message’ - We live in a ‘global village’ *How you choose to say something is as much of the message as what you are saying  Oral cultures *COOL MEDIA - We communicate with our whole body - Nothing is privileged - Sight, ears, body language etc. - Also tribal cultures e.g. st
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