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Lecture 2

CMN 3104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Gustave Le Bon, Feminist Theory, Cybernetics

Course Code
CMN 3104
Dina Salha

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Lecture 2
Theories and Approaches to Media and Communication
!Before: Rule of the father
!Now: Domination and exploitation
Theory is a particular perspective that uses a particular way to explain a
particular phenomena.
A theory is suppose to bring us to a particular conclusion of what we think is
Science gives conclusive evidence that if you repeat a phenomena so many
times that it gives you the same results.
Truth is very subjective.
Particular perspectives that can prove maybe 1% of sometimes – theories.
Critical theory
!Feminist theory to be critical theory.
!A critical theory is a theory that actually identifies that’s wrong or
something that’s interesting, diagnoses that phenomena
!Critical theory is not just about thinking in your head.
!Critical theory has to identify an issue in the society.
!It can be applied in society in order to make changes.
Early Theories of the media
!The direct effect theory assumes that media messages directly
impact behaviour (clinical psychology – Pavlov). Influenced by the
studies of crowd mentality by Gustave Lebon.
o!Behaviour conditioning
!!Stimulus response
o!Based on message being direct and very effective.
o!Gustave Le Bon’s theory
!!Members of the crowd are feminine
!!They are uneducated
!Content can provide an environment in which certain belief systems
become acceptable
!Mathematical theories of the media (cybernetics) consider the
media as a part of a system of meta-stability and they facilitate the
equilibrium of social organization and control.
o!This theory considers the media as a part of larger system
called meta-stability.
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