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Class 32 - Mass Media II

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SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

In Class (32) Notes 11-23-2012 Media Audiences Audience Effects  What do the media do to people?  Hypodermic needle o Audience injected with message o Linear cause and effects of relationship o Current media examples? Problems with Perspective  Difficult to isolate effects of media  Other social influences act on people  E.g. gender roles, social class Cultural Studies  What do people do with the media?  Stuart Hall: Encoding and Decoding o Values and identities encoded into media products o Audiences decode messages Three Audience Positions  Stuart Hall: o Dominant – easily accept the message the media is sending o Negotiated – accepted with some hesitation o Oppositional – reject message the media is trying to give Active Audience Theory  Reject hypodermic needle approach  Argue media content has "preferred meaning" - favored through structure  Viewer are not blank slates but are active agents of interpretation and criticism  Limitations: o By focusing on micro choices made in interpretation o Lose sight of macro structures shaping overall agenda o E.g. Chinese trade deal - not a lot of people know about it though it will have an incredible impact on our society Balanced Media Analysis  Acknowledge power of meanings inscribed by media producers  Recognize how meanings are challenged and changed in act of reception  E.g. protesters Violence in the Media  Audiences learning from the media?  Relationship between simulated violence and actions/beliefs  Does media violence promote real-life violence?  Do media representations act as "models" to be acted upon in right circumstances? Copy-cat Crimes  Concerns about "vulnerable" audiences (children and teens)  E.g. "Natural Born Killers" - Columbine school shooting (quoted movie)
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