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Chapter 18 - Brym

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

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
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