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Lecture 2

Fall 2012 CMNS 130 Reading Questions Week 2.docx

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CMNS 130
Kathleen Cross

CMNS 130 Reading Questions Week 2 Introducing Critical Media (Ott and Mack) 1. What are the four sub-categories of mass media?  Print media  Motion picture and sound recording  Broadcast media  New media 2. In what way did print media change society? How did broadcasting influence media consumption?  Print media changed society as social power now hinged upon literacy and ownership of print media. The unprecedented circulation of knowledge allowed for information from outside one’s immediate context to be accessible and thus tore down social boundaries.  Broadcasting influenced media consumption a lot, since media could now be brought to the audience (and their home). In 2004 99% of US households had a radio (avg. 8 per household) and 98.2 % of US households had a TV (avg. 2.5 per household). Furthermore, the number of US households with cable TV from increased from 7 to 70% from 1970 to 2004. 3. Define: convergence, mobility, fragmentation, globalization, simulation, and socialization.  Convergence: the tendency of formerly diverse media to share a common, integrated platform.  Mobility: the tendency of media to become portable and be accessible everywhere and anytime  Fragmentation: the tendency of media to become more specialized and tailored to the individuals needs, therefore requiring a high number of diverse outlets and content  Globalization: The tendency of media to be available on a global market, with the potential for eradication of cultural differences.  Simulation: the tendency of the media to give a distorted representation of reality, thus no longer representing but constructing our social world.  Socialization: The process by which persons (individually and collectively) learn, adopt and internalize cultural beliefs, values, and norms of a society. 4. Give three reasons why media content matters? Why is media form also important?  Media content matter because it shapes  What issues we care about  The perspective from which we view those issues  What attitudes we adopt towards the issue  Media form matters because it shapes how we process the content of a message. (“The medium is the message.”) 5. Define the four characteristics of critical studies.  Sceptical attitude: to approach the media with scepticism to understand pressures and practices that constrain it; to adopt a mode of close analysis with a deep distrust of surface appearances and “common-sense” explanations  Humanistic approach: to aim to understand the media by interpretive and analytical means with the goal of improvement of society  Political Assessment: to find practical and political implications of findings and judge them politically; to evaluate the media’s role in constructing and maintaining particular relationships of power.  Social activism: to identify injustice in the media, confront and challenge it. McQuails Mass Communication Theory (McQuail) 1. What were two of the indications that the media had significant power in society?  Social integration: mass media blamed as contributors to declining morality, individual crime, impersonality, lack of attachment to community, etc. but also as a potential force for social cohesion, connecting scattered individual
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