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Lecture One.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Michael Petit

Lecture One Tuesday, January 07, 2014 11:00 AM • Media has always been new and evolving • Media is “Socially realized structures of communication, where structures include both technological forms and their associated protocols, and where communication is a cultural practice, a ritualized collocation of different people on the same mental map, sharing or engaged with popular ontologies of representation. [representations of ideas, beliefs, etc. that form our common reality] ○ Facebook for example • A much more sophisticated school bell, is like the wrist watch, that can be counted for as media • Media are both technologies and the cultural practices of people engaged with these technologies. ○ Is Facebook our savior or our destroyer ○ Messy controversial ○ This classroom is a representation of media • The history of media and technology cannot be told solely through the stories of their inventors, or through how one technology development leads to the next. • The form of any medium cannot be separated from its social and cultural contexts, and any full historical accounting of media and technology requires “an embrace of multiplicity, complexity and even contradiction if sense is to be made” of the full meaning of media. • Media Ecology ○ Key theorist: Neil Postman ○ Media ecology looks at how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value. ○ The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people. We live in environments, and media, like air, is part of our environment and as such imposes on human beings certain ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. ○ Media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival. ○ Media structures what w
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