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Lecture

Chapter 18 - Brym

8 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar

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CHAPTER 18: THE MASS MEDIA
THE SIGNIFCANCE OF THE MASS MEDIA
Illusion Becomes Reality
The turn of the twenty first century was thick with movies about the blurred line
separating reality from fantasy.
-- an example of this isThe Matrix” (1991) Keanu Reeves plays Neo who finds
that his identity and his life are illusions.
--in The Truman Show, Jim Carrey is an insurance agent who discovers that
everyone in his life is an actor.
The movies today suggests that the fantasy worlds created by mass media are
increasingly the only realities we know. They are quite pervasive and influential just as
religion was 500 or 600 years ago.
-- we spend close to 40 percent of our time interacting with mass media--more
than we do sleeping, working or going to school. ( This is in relation to the time we spend
going to the movies, using the internet, listening to Cds, playing video games, ect.)
Where do we get most of our ideas about how to dress, how to style our hair, and what
music to listen to? Where do our hopes aspirations and dreams come from?
--much of reality is media generated
Canadian media guru Marshall McLuhan who coined the term global village in the
early 1960s, said the media are extensions of the human body and mind.
--it is relatively true today that the human body and mind are extensions of the
mass media.
What Are the Mass Media?
The Mass media are print, radio, television, and other communication technologies.
-- The word mass implies that the media reach many people
-- The word media signifies that communication does not take place directly
through face to face interaction. ( instead technology intervenes or mediates in
transmitting messages from senders to receivers.)
The mass media is usually one way or at least one sided.
-- There are few senders (or producers) and many receivers (or audience
members).
--Producers are the ones who choose the people and create the program content
eg. For shows such as Survivors
-- The audience usually does not have much influence on the mass media
We are not always passive consumers of the mass media
www.notesolution.com
--we filter, interpret and resist what we see and hear if it contradicts our
experiences and beliefs.
-- Overall the interaction between audiences and media sources, the media usually
dominates.
The Rise of the Mass Media
Most of the mass media are recent inventions
-- The first developed systems of writing appeared only about 5500 years
ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia (now southern Iraq)
-- First inexpensive newspaper costing a penny first appeared in the 1830s
in the USA. At that time long distance communication required transportation eg. Use of
horse, or a ship
-- The newspaper was the dominant mass medium even as late as 1950.
When Samuel Morse sent the first telegraphic signal in 1844, long distance
communication no longer required physical transportation.
--instant communication by telegraph made it possible to coordinate time and
establish just six time zones in Canada.
Most of the electronic media are creatures of the twentieth century.
-- The first commercial broadcasts date from the 1920s (1928 in the United states,
1931 in Canada.)
-- The U.S Department of Defense established ARPANET in 1969. ( It was
designed as a system of communication between computers that would automatically find
alternative transmission routes if one or more nodes in the network broke down because
of say, nuclear attack. APRANET begat the Internet, which in turn begat the hyperlinked
system of texts, images and sounds known as the World Wide Web around 1991.
Causes of Media Growth
The rise of the mass media can be explained by 3 main factors: one religious, one
political and one economic:
1. The Protestant Reformation
In the sixteenth century, Catholic people relied on priests to tell them what was in the
Bible.
- In 1517, Martin Luther wanted people to develop a more personal relationship
with the Bible by reading it themselves. Within 40 years his new form of Christianity
known as Protestantism was established in half of Europe. An all of a sudden millions of
people were being encouraged to read. Therefore it became the first mass media product
in the West and by far the best selling book.
There were technological improvements in papermaking and printing (made the
diffusion of other books possible as well)
- The most significant was Johann Gutenbergs invention of the printing press.
www.notesolution.com
The printed book enabled the widespread diffusion and exchange of ideas.
- it contributed to the Renaissance and to the rise of modern science.
2. Democratic Movements
A second force that promoted the growth of the mass media was political
democracy.
- in the eighteenth century democratic governments depended on informed
citizenry so they encouraged popular literacy and the growth of free press. (citizens of
France, U.S.A finally represented in government; they wanted to become literate and gain
access to restricted centres for learning)
Today the mass media, especially TV, moulds our entire outlook on politics.
TVs influence first became evident in the 1960 US presidential election.
- That was the year of the first televised presidential debate--between John F.
Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy had apparently won the debate, simply because of
the way he appealed to viewers on television, his overall character, and energetic
personality comparative to that of Nixon is what bought the viewers votes.
-negative advertising to trash political opponents have become adopted. Eg. The
1993 anti-Chretien ads.
- Television has redefined the nature of politics. It has become reduced to catchy
slogans and well managed images.
3. Capitalist industrialization
The third major force that promoted the growth of the mass media was capitalist
industrialization.
- Modern industries required a literate and numerate workforce.
- They needed good, fast communication to do business efficiently.
- The mass media turned out to be a major source of profit.
THEORIES OF MASS MEDIA EFFECTS
Functionalism
As societies develop, they become larger and more complex.
-because of the sheer scale of society, face to face interaction becomes less
capable as a means of communication.
-The ninteenth century German philosopher Geog Hegel once said that the daily
ritual of reading the newspaper unites the secular world.
- mass media cements the socially diverse nation, through use of newspapers
magazines, television. etc.
Mass media includes 4 functions
www.notesolution.com

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CHAPTER 18: THE MASS MEDIA THE SIGNIFCANCE OF THE MASS MEDIA Illusion Becomes Reality The turn of the twenty first century was thick with movies about the blurred line separating reality from fantasy. -- an example of this is The Matrix (1991) Keanu Reeves plays Neo who finds that his identity and his life are illusions. --in The Truman Show, Jim Carrey is an insurance agent who discovers that everyone in his life is an actor. The movies today suggests that the fantasy worlds created by mass media are increasingly the only realities we know. They are quite pervasive and influential just as religion was 500 or 600 years ago. -- we spend close to 40 percent of our time interacting with mass media--more than we do sleeping, working or going to school. ( This is in relation to the time we spend going to the movies, using the internet, listening to Cds, playing video games, ect.) Where do we get most of our ideas about how to dress, how to style our hair, and what music to listen to? Where do our hopes aspirations and dreams come from? --much of reality is media generated Canadian media guru Marshall McLuhan who coined the term global village in the early 1960s, said the media are extensions of the human body and mind. --it is relatively true today that the human body and mind are extensions of the mass media. What Are the Mass Media? The Mass media are print, radio, television, and other communication technologies. -- The word mass implies that the media reach many people -- The word media signifies that communication does not take place directly through face to face interaction. ( instead technology intervenes or mediates in transmitting messages from senders to receivers.) The mass media is usually one way or at least one sided. -- There are few senders (or producers) and many receivers (or audience members). --Producers are the ones who choose the people and create the program content eg. For shows such as Survivors -- The audience usually does not have much influence on the mass media We are not always passive consumers of the mass media www.notesolution.com
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