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Lecture 9

SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Vertical Integration, Horizontal Integration

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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Lecture 9 – Culture and Media
A look at cultural change from a limited perspective.
The electronic revolution:
Effects of electronic revolution:
Consequences of the mass media and electronic revolution: nothing is obvious or certain!
Mass society hypothesis (1950s) (Globalization) :
-Media breakdowns local barriers and homogenizes everyone
e.g. Dallas(TV show) vs. the Soviet Union: TV show that portrayed a really high class family. People
says that it was instrumental in bringing down the USSR because it showed that people could have a
higher standard of living
-Barack Obama: first world-president
-Reactions against Western dominations:
1.In France really hard to show Hollywood movies.
2.US fastfood (McDonalds, Burger King ...) is a global winner the slow food movement (started in
Possible Consequences of Electronic Revolution
-TV/Video mediates reality
-information overload
-fear culture (cocoon)
-empowerment (Inglehart)
TV Mediates Reality
-There are more TVs than people in the average houses 2.73 TVs vs. 2.55 people
-TVs in buses, elevators, airports, lobbies.
-TVs ubiquity as appliance
-Conspicuous consumption
-If not on TV, it never happened. TV validates reality.
-If you cannot do in 30 seconds it never makes it to TV, sound bites
Sound Bites News*
YEAR Average Sound bite
1968 43 seconds
1972 25
1976 18
1980 12
1988 9
* From Jr. of Communication, Spring 1992
-White noise of modern life
-History as a black hole. Young people won’t watch black and white TV, no one watches old movies.
Beyond TV new connectivities
-At the beginning cell phones were used a lot by drug dealers because they couldn’t tap the line and
because of the mobility

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-Cell phone and party and revolts, the text messaging revolution e.g. SARS started in China, but China
was denying it and controlling the information leaking into the internet. The world found out because of
text messaging. e.g. during manifestations, acts of repression and such people snap pictures with cell
Informational Overload
-On the 1960s there were more scientific papers published than in all previous human history and the
numbers keep proliferating. The number of journals has increased dramatically.
-Overload is distressing you feel rushed, so much to swallow in a single bite
-Overload vs. semi attentive attitude (things we tune out e.g. commercials)
-At height of bird flu there were sometimes as much as 4000 internet articles a day about it
-Someone said that computers would create paperless offices, and yet quite the opposite has happened
-Fear of culture
-The more you watch TV news the more you fear news
-Working at home
-Suburbanization and gated communities
- Home entertainment systems begin to rival theatres. 1988 expenditure: Home video rental 1.6 billion,
vs. movies 446 million
-Choice: 100s of satellite channels, information on the internet
-Control: remote control. VCRs ended real time” now theres fast forward, play back, record...
Empowerment model
System level Individual System level
changes level changes consequences
Satisfy basic Increased
Needs need for
Rising levels of Rise of elite challenges
Education Increased
Expansion of skills
Examples of Elite Challenges
-challenge to president: picture of Clinton on fake bike add with impotence seat
-challenge to doctors: AIDSs activists changed medicine by pushing drug cocktails
-Mitch Lake changed constitution, Charlottetown accords
Postmodernism (from text)
-Postmodernism involves the eclectic mixing of cultural elements from various times and places
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