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Lecture 3

Week 3 Lecture Guide

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 202
Professor
Nicole Neverson
Semester
Winter

Description
Week 3 Historical Overview of the Field of Popular Culture and Media Effects In our last lecture, we looked at: 1) culture as folk culture (created by people) 2) culture as mass culture (meditated to large audiences) 3) culture as mass consumption (what we buy, listen to, and eat, etc.) 4) culture as the everyday (what we do) Hegemony (Gramsci, 1981) • how people accept/understand culture • he spoke against the dominant ideology of the italian government why do people not speak out in larger numbers when they know that the • government is treating them wrong? Because people consent to being dominated, being treated inhumanely and to social injustices.  We are not brainwashed. We are not passive.  The communication and interpretation of cultural messages involves acceptance and consent. Ways people can be dominated: 1) Force - dominated by police. ex: police using their power incorrectly. At G20 summit, police using pepper spray, rubber bullets. 40 people put in a cell made for 10 people.. not very humane. 2) use of ideology in major civil institutions - to control ways of thinking, to control thought. ex: church/religion, educations institutions, economy, politics, mass media. • If the same government can control all of these things they can control the thoughts of the people. If people are consistently bombarded with the same way of thinking about the social world, then they will begin to think that way. If certain groups and individuals can have control over these institutions that • teach us, then the government will have absolute control over the masses. ¨ Therefore hegemony is… subordinate groups accept or consent to being dominated by dominant groups. • we accept it because we feel powerless to change it. 1  Examples: Defining the popular as what makes profit • if it makes money it is legitimate. • itunes, stores & sizes. • ex: what types of sizes will be appropriate for certain markets. (a woman buying a size 11 shoe, and people staring at her, plus many stores won’t have those large shoes) o TV content • You don’t call Rogers and Bell asking them to play a certain program because a lot of people will like it.. You are accepting what is already played on TV. o Social justice movements Occupy Movement. 99% against the 1%. But why didn’t you go down and • protest at the St. James Cathedral? Didn’t want to miss class/work, didn’t think it would make a difference, didn’t want to get involved with cops. • hegemony says that you make these reasons. We think we’re powerless so we choose to do nothing. Interpellation (Althusser, 1971)  What cultural texts do • the process that occurs when a cultural text calls out to us/ to our emotions/ to our identities. it’s what happens when a text makes connections with us. • think about it as being targeted.  Conditioning (the creation of subjects) • when we see and interpret texts, they make us into something (robots). • when a text attracts us, it is conditioning us. • it makes us into subjects because it makes us follow those things we are attracted too. • it suggests or recommends how you should behave, what you should like, and what you should take value/interest in. • for example: hailing someone. ex: a teacher standing at the front yelling “hey you! stop texting” hey you is the interpellation, it could be you. • when you hail a taxi, you are interpreting it. you are calling out to it. you want to make it your subject. stop for me not the guy down the street. 1  Example: your favourite television show or cultural product the things we don't like also interpellate us. just as the things we like do. • • ex: taser use in canada. it interpolates in a negative way. they are mostly new men to the country. Culture is class and capital:Alook at Bourdieu (1984) • the class you are born into determines your capital. Cultural tastes • you buy things at a store(clothes), you are buying things based on your/parents class. • you watch things on TV based on your class. • everything leads back to class.  Class as a determining factor • CLASS: your income, the neighbourhood in which you live, the things you access • class determines the choices of consumption that we make and what we consume determines our behaviours.  Capital: economic, social, and cultural • does your class determine your cultural taste? • economic: your financial power. (access to internet) (all the things that your smartphone can do) • social: the things that you own (your computer/cellphone). It has to do with your ability to make connections and make relationships. So it has to do with all the people you are connected too. (Facebook/Twitter,All the people that you know and all the people that those people know) • cultural: tastes, values and judgements. Do you know what’s valuable in our society? Do you know what the trends are? Do you know what is meaningful in a community? • We get our capital from our parents according to him. He thinks our class determines our ability to consume things. • We get our tastes from our parents. and each of these things mean different things depending on the 3 types of capital’s you have, and how much of them you have. 1 • ex: You can use your economic capital to expand your social capital. (Use your money to know more people/expand) • ex: You need a job. You tell your parents and friends. You post it on many walls around the school. You post online. (Using your social network to possibly expand your economic) Media and Cultural Effects • interpretation in audiences 1) Effects of Content: What does popular culture content say about our values? What is the influence of what is being communicated? What do we do with messages? when people go on gun rampages. (How music can be blamed for influencing • this) • what media does to us. 2) Audience interpretation: How do we make sense of popular culture? How are our values influenced by popular culture? What do our consumption choices say about who we are? • what do we do with the media Direct Effects Approaches 1) Hypodermic Needle Theory (Magic Bullet Theory)  Media Messages are injected ... like a needle or a bullet from a gun • no matter what the message is, all members of audience receive it in the same way and the MEANING is also the same. It also assumes that messages produce a direct or immediate response •  Example: Orson Welles – War of the Worlds (1938) • He created a radio story. The story was about an alien invasion in the eastern sea board of the US. (Boston/New YorkArea). • People listened to the broadcast and thought it was real. They called the police. Panic ensued even though it was fictional.
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