Media and Society
16 September 2013
The Commerce of Art, the Art of Commerce
Recap: Historians and Critics asking what makes us special and why are we
different from others. The answer is that there is nothing different besides the
We talked about the nothing but perspective. We got our economy because of
culture. When we talk about economy we think of culture and when we talk about
culture we think about economy.
Second we talk about is Hostile Worlds. This is when we add money to things it gets
weird. For instance art and money
Third approach is the connected lives, this has to do with capitalist society, that art
money and culture is all intertwined. There is always going to be a tension between
art and commerce. There is a lack of sense of ease with this.
A movie is not a reflection of society
People in media are rarely intentionally sexist or racist.
The ratchet effect is when one super hero movie is released then a whole bunch of
other super hero movies are released.
Fifty shades of Grey: actors are concerned about their prestige because the book is
like a porno.
Michael Jackson’s thriller: radio started having a narrow genre, they basically
separated the genre of music. The majority of the market is white, and pop music
was genre classified, so then rock is a genre, rap is a genre. So basically top 40 would
play heavy metal song, folk song, rock. But then this had totally gone away due to FM
radio. Everything has fragmented, and they wouldn’t play any black music on MTV.
Critics started evaluating music based on rock. So they would listen to a Michael
Jackson song and say that there is a little bit of guitar but there isn’t enough. MTV
was very rockist in its orientation. Then MTV wouldn’t play Michael Jackson, so
what they did was that they made a music video with art, they added choreography,
and dialogue. They added Paul McCarthney the whitest man on the record so that
they can get him on the radio. Without thriller MTV might have never played black
artists. Then country was isolated because they had no pop and they weren’t played
on MTV or pop radio.
Nations and Novels: the question is is the reflection model accurate? She did this by
looking at high culture texts and popular culture. In high culture texts we see a lot of
variation in high culture and low variation in pop culture. This is like spitting in the
face of the reflection model, because you cant say that it reflects it in one model and
not another. It turned out that people’s taste of US and Canadian fiction are kind of
similar. Why did she say that high culture is so different? It was people there were high status people who were instilling this in society. These are the elites, they want
to instill their ideologies in the society. National cultural identity is important to
creating a nation state. However US and Canada like the same stuff. Why is this? If
you want to know this you need to look at the industries and what is happening in
them, and what’s happening there is refelected in society. You want to know why
things become popular and stop being popular, you need to look at the industries.
You need to stop looking at the macro level and actually look deeper into the
industry. Why are they similar, because of the same industry structure, this is why
they have the same results. However this has changed a little, now the Canadian and
US firms are more collaborative.
The Production of Culture Perspective
- Technology: In Thriller was there anything going on that was technological?
Yes, FM radio.
- Law and Regulation
- Industry Structure
- Organization Structure
- Occupational Careers
- In Thriller; the market is trying to market the things that are going to sell.
This is why they marketed Michael Jackson with Paul McCarthney.
Using the production of Culture Perspective
- The Golden Age of Hollywood: In 1929 80% of Americans went to one movie
per week. Bythe 1950s that dropped to about 1/8 Americans. What had
changed? Television. Therefore a new technology was introduced. Now
Hollywood had a problem. Hollywood movies were greatly segmented
between good movies and bad movies. This was because of Black booking,
the people who owned Hollywood also owned theatres. And these theatres
would only show one movies and if you want to watch another movie you
have to go to another theatre. Then when the Wizard of Oz came out and
every theatre wants this movie, but the would say that if you want the wizard
of Oz you had to sell their other movies too. This has to do with Occupational
careers. Hollywood really controlled people’s careers. They were making a
lot of money selling their actors to theatres. However law and regulation
changed the system. They said if you want to make movies you cant own a
theatre, so now they cant force really crappy movies to theatres. So then they
didn’t need all these people to work for them, so t