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Lecture 10

SOC101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Media Create, Cave Painting, Satellite Television

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Barry Mc Clinchey

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SOC 101 Lecture 10: Mass Media
Mass Media Through Time
Mass communication
o The transmission of messages by a person or group through a device to a large
Mass Media
o Any medium designed to communicate messages to a mass audience
Prehistoric Cave Art
Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics and the alphabet
Block Printing and Movable Type: focus on literacy
o Share info
o Whose version of the story is being shared?
The Telegraph
o Address geographic locations issues in transmitting messages
The Phonograph
Moving Pictures
o News real before movies to show you what’s going on in the world
o Information and entertainment
The Internet
Mass Media Today
Satellite television and radio
o Changing work experience and work relations
o Phone always on: night weekend, vacations
o Changing communications with one another
Text Messaging, Twitter, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, YouTube, Social Networking Sites
Harold Innis
Every society need to transcend what he called the problems of space and time
o Record experiences and pass them on to help them out share what we learned
Time Biased Media: media that have longevity but whose form prevents their
transmission over physical distances (e.g. cave art and hieroglyphics)
Space Biased Media: can convey messages readily over physical distance
Our understanding is confined by our own culture’s bias toward specific forms of media
Marshall McLuhan
Media influences the ways in which individuals societies and cultures perceive and
understand their environment
Make visible what is invisible
The medium is the message
o The packaging in which the message comes in is important
o Distinction between information and knowledge
o What is reliable information? E.g. Wikipedia
o Each medium influences the mind, not just the message that is important but also
the manner in which it is conveyed
o Look beyond simple messages to the social influence of the medium itself
Hot media
o High definition, contain a great deal of information but usually involve a single
sensory organ
o E.g. newspapers, lectures
Cool media
o Low definition involves less information and demand more participation from the
o E.g. talking on the phone
Canadian Content Legislation
Canadian content guidelines (CanCon):
1. Provide a wide range of programming that reflect Canadian attitudes opinions,
ideas, values and artistic creativity
2. Display Canadian talent in entertainment programing
3. Offering information and analysis concerning Canada
For Music to quality as Canadian content is must fulfill at least 2 of the 4 criteria:
1. The music is composed by a Canadian
2. The artist who performs the music is Canadian
3. The production of the music in Canada or the music is performed in Canada and
broadcast in Canada
4. The lyrics are written by a Canadian
Television content is treated in much the same way a program must meet all three of the
following criteria:
1. The producers are Canadian
2. Key creative personal are Canadian
3. 75% of service costs are post-production lab costs are paid to Canadians
Television stations and networks must achieve an annual Canadian content level of:
1. 60% overall measured during the day (6am-12pm)
2. 50% measured during evening broadcasting period (6pm-12pm)
The CanCon Debate
Some argue that CanCon regulations are unreasonable and intrusive in respect to
Satellite Radio Licences
Government subsidizes Canadian media
Help foster creation of Canadian content
Sociological Approaches to Mass Media
o Socialization Function: achieved by mass media
Values, beliefs, traditions transmitted from one generation to the next level
o Surveillance Function: understood as the needs for society to have a mechanism
in place that gathers information for the population
o Correlation Function: present difficult and complex issues in a way that most
people can understand
o Entertainment Function: allows people to rest, relax and escape daily pressures
Conflict Theory
o Mass media are vehicles used by the rich and powerful to control the masses and
to reinforce their false consciousness
o Dominant class ideology
o Promote corporate interests
o Propaganda model
Symbolic Interactionism
o Explore how media influences our perceptions of the social world
o E-audience: those who use electronic communication technologies
Feminist Theory
o Highlights the use of images of women
o Gauge Tuchman (1978) symbolic annihilation of women
o Critique media portrayals of women
o Issues surrounding pornography
o Jen Baudrillard: postmodern societies focus on simulation and the creation and
interplay of images and signs
o Simulation: media create what we see as real through reinforcement of certain
images and signs
o Hyperreal: defining experience based on a perception of the world that has been
simulated and constructed by the media
The Future of Mass Media
Homogenization of culture
o Culture diversity will decline
o Culture less complex and more alike
Internet addiction/cell phone
o Heavy internet users can suffer withdrawal when without access leads to isolation
poor achievement depressing and fatigue
Internet pornography
o Moral boundaries broaden
Increased mobility and access to information
o Greater ability to move wherever they like and remain connected
Potential to build online communities
o Wikis, blogs, podcasts etc. potential to bring people together
Democratic Potential
o Media technologies are enabling people to capture and post images to the internet
that could challenge existing power structures and lead to progressive social