SOC100H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Heritage Minutes, Junk Food, Mass Media

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14 Feb 2016
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Lecture 12 - Technology and Media
Media is any format or vehicles that carry, present, or communicate information.
Mass media refers to large audiences, which we usually think of as a first reaction to
media. Ex. television, magazines, newspapers, internet, radio, etc. Back in the days it was
the runner who'd run between cities to deliver messages. The first form of media was the
printing press - which triggered mass production of books and newspapers.
Short term intended effects:
Ex. a child watching Saturday morning cartoons.
The producers know that the audience is young
children at the time, so they air commercials about
toys and junk food which would appeal to them. If
the child goes to the grocery store with their
parents a few hours later, they will remember these
products and ask for them. The child became a
consumer in this way.
Long term intended effects:
A single theme repeated over and over. Mostly
campaigns about the government or public service
announcements about health, such as a drinking and driving commercial from the
government to stick into the heads of the viewers. Ex. 'heritage minute' where they show
Canadians helping slaves run away and be free. Associated with Canada being a free
country, develops pride for our own country and its history.
Long term unintended effects:
Becoming desensitized to graphic and sexual content. These things would have been
banned and not even aired back in the days, but now we see them all the time and think
nothing of it. Ex. seeing drugs on TV and thinking it's normalized even though it's illegal.
Short term unintended effects:
Ex. video game: Doom, a first-person shooter video game, full of violence and
aggression. People connected it the first school shootings and the video game was
blamed. These games are widely available, so there was a widespread concern of its
consequences on children.
Correlation is when there's a relationship between variables (ex. video game and school
shootings. The player might get aggressive while and a little after playing the game, but
this is a very short term effect. So we cannot conclude that video games cause violence).
Causation is when one variable causes or leads to another (ex. eating unhealthy will
cause health problems).
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