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Lecture 2

CMN 2101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Harold Lasswell, Walter Benjamin, Understanding Media


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMN 2101
Professor
unknown
Lecture
2

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Isabella Santoro Jan 21st, 2012
CMN: LECTURE 2
MEDIA: THE WINDOWS OF OUR WORLD
Understanding media studies:
1. How were our present media shaped by the events, trends, policies and
characteristics of society? Ex: Historical reflection of the present.
2. How do our media select, process, and disseminate various categories of
content?
3. What assumptions and forecasts can we make about the media we will have
in the future, and what they will offer to their audiences in the years ahead?
Functions/roles of the mass media in society:
“Functionalist” approach to mass media Harold Lasswell and Charles
Wright
Mass media as “institutions” in our society
The 4 Roles (or functions) and dysfunctions of media:
1. Surveillance of the social environment (recent news)
a. Dysfunction: Could cause panic, the passivity/apathy
2. The correlation of the parts of society in responding to the environment.
a. Dysfunction: Manufacture of images and personalities by the media.
(Daniel J. Boorstin) Man made events (pseudo events)
3. Social heritage (norms, language, culture, values from one generations to
another)
a. Dysfunction: Depersonalization. (Spiderman, batman is unrealistic,
stereotypical views)
4. Entertainment
a. Dysfunction: Ruining the culture/fine arts, and promoting loser
public taste. (Walter Benjamin)
Perspective of mass media theory:
1. Macroscopic Approach: generalize, want to have something they can apply
to everything; create ground theory.
2. Microscopic Approach: analyze individualistic levels of media
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