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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Mar. 7, 2013.docx

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Ivanka Knezevic

Mass media – definition and research perspectives - Traditional definition: means by which few sources communicate meanings unindirectionally to an anonymous, unconnected audience. - Revised definition: means of unidirectional and bidirectional communication among large numbers of people. - Elements of mass media communication: production (ownership and regulation), content, effects. - Main research perspectives: 1. Technological deterministic: analyzes the impact of different media technologies on social life; 2. Neo-Marxist (critical): analyzes production (Young: political economy), content (Young: cultural studies) and effects of mass media from the point of view of class relations; 3. Reception: audiences interpret and use the content according to their previous life experiences. Cultural studies perspective - Gained popularity with the “cultural turn” of the 1980s – a phenomenological, micro-focused, non-structural approach. - Today, “cultural studies” approach includes neo-Marxist (e.g. Hall), feminist, symbolic interactionist, and post-modernist (deconstructivist) research - Henry Jenkins. 1992. Textual Poaches: Television Fans and Participatory Culture - Jean Beaudrillard. 1992. La guerre du Golfe n’a pas eu lieu - Paul Virilio. 1991. L’écran du désert Technological determinism - Technology has its own logic of development and an inevitable influence on media and society. This influence cannot be stopped or modified by social intervention. - Critique: choice and success of technologies are influenced by 1. Social structure (e.g. monopolization; privatization of Internet access; commercialization of art; state policies); and 2. Chance. 1 Marshall McLuhan “The medium is the message.” - A Canadian example of technological determinism. - Dominant media in a society influence habits of thought (conceptions of time and space) in the audience - Print: linear mode of thinking, detachment, discipline and effort to receive information, objectivity, a need for exposition, logic and sequence. - Visual media: imagery, narrative, simultaneity (non-linear mode of thinking), detachment, immediate gratification, quick emotional response. Neo-Marxist perspective - Mass media are a means by which dominant classes make profit and consolidate political power. - Hermann and Chomsky: the mass media rein
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