PERLS104 Lecture Notes - Conflict Theories, Consumerism, Intensify

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Chapter 12 Sports and The Media
Characteristics of the Media
Print media: words and images on paper (ex. Papers, mags, books etc.)
Electronic media: words, commentary, and images transmitted by audio
and/or video devices and technologies (ex. Radio, video games, tv, etc.)
Media Differences in Coverage Of Sports
Emphasizes info and interpretation primarily
Offers previews and summaries of events
Provides written representation of events
Success depends on credibility
Highlights facts and dominant ideology
Provides criticism of sports and sport personalities
Emphasizes entertainment primarily
Offers play-by-play images and narratives
Provides real-time representations of events
Success depends on hype and visual action
Highlights heroic plays and dominant ideology
Provides support for sports and sport personalities
Characteristics of the Internet
Extends and radically changes (potentially) our connections with the world
Isn’t limited to sequential programming
Enables each of us to be the “editors” of our own media experiences, if we
Gives us the potential to create our own sport realities and experiences as
spectators and virtual athletes
Media provides Info, Entertainment, and interpretation
Functionalist Theory
Functionalism identifies the main social effects of the mass media:
coordination, socialization, social control, and entertainment. By
performing these functions, the mass media help make social order
Conflict Theory
Conflict theory offers a qualification. As vast moneymaking machines
controlled by a small group of increasingly wealthy people, the mass
media contribute to economic inequality and maintaining the core
values of a stratified social order
Interactionist Theory
Interactionist approaches offer a second qualification: audience
members filter, interpret, resist, and sometimes reject media
messages according to our own interests and values
Feminist Theory
Feminist approaches offer a 3rd qualification. They highlight the
misrepresentation of women and members of racial minorities in the
mass media
Media Content
Is always edited and “re-presented” by those who control media organizations
Editing decisions are based on one or more of these goals: making
profits, sharing values, providing a public service, building artistic and
technical reputations, expressing self
Media And Power
The media often serve the interests of those with power and wealth in
As corporate control of media has become more concentrated, media
content highlights: consumerism, individualism, competition and class
inequality as natural and necessary in society
Global economic Factors in the Sports-Media Relationship
Global economic factors intensify the sport-media relationship; large corporations
need vehicles for developing
Global name recognition
Global cultural legitimacy
Global product familiarity
Global support for a way of life based on consumption, competition, and
individual achievement
Images And Messages In Media Sports
Media coverage is constructed around specific themes and messages:
Success themes
Emphasis on winners, loser, and scores
Emphasis on big plays, hits, and sacrificing self for team success
Masculinity and Femininity Themes
Coverages privileges men over women
Heterosexuality is assumed; homoness is erased and ignored
Coverage reproduces dominant ideas about manhood, but may challenge
ideas about femininity
Images and Messages In Media Sports
Race and ethnicity themes: racial ideology has influenced coverage of
minority athletes in Canada, especially males. Whiteness is erased in
coverage; it is assumed as the standard
Nationalism is emphasized: “we” – “they” distinctions are common
Individualism is highlighted
Aggression glorified; athletes are presented as warriors