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SOCC44 - LEC02.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Clayton Childress

Lecture Two: The Commerce of Art, The Art of Commerce [September 16, 2013] The Business Podcast (September 16, 2013 Episode) ­ Fan fiction take popular characters and write explicit things about them ­ 50 Shades of Grey is based on Twilight. The more explicit version. Money maker, poorly written but... o Changing it to a movie would not be good. People wouldn’t want to buy a ticket to watch this since it is something read in private; culturally not good Readings: Greenberg, Steve. 2012. “Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ at 30: How One Album Changed the World”, Nov. 12. ­ Thriller ready to be released by 1982. Thriller label was under CBS. ­ Radio had a narrow target audience since majority of the market is white. MTV, the rising radio network of the time, did not play black music ­ Afraid it wouldn’t sell well because it wouldn’t be played on the Top40 list ­ Pop music was genre agnostic; Critics evaluating music in the late 80s based on rock music ­ MTV is “rockist” in its orientations – judged based on rock standards ­ To respond to this fragmented radio, Michael Jackson’s people made a music video with top of the top choreographer; the thriller video is 15 mins long. They included Paul McCarthy to get on white radio. ­ Without thriller MTV wouldn’t have showed black artist ­ Country music did not have any other genres to rely on, were independent, and so became obsolete Readings: Corse, Sarah M. 1995 “Nations and Novels: Cultural Politics and Literary Use.” Social Forces 73(4):1279-1308 ­ Is the reflection model sufficient in the types of novels that get released? ­ She doesn’t agree with the reflection model because she took high culture texts are influenced by elites. High culture is different because it is a way for a country to enforce their national identity – high variation. Popular novels have low variation ­ Media reflects society? US and Canadian society are different, but US and Canadian taste in fiction is similar ­ Why does Canada and US have similar interests in books? Look at the industry, the production of culture. Same novels are popular in US and Canada because of the publishing houses. Canada was selling many US written books, just repackaged with a new cover The Production of Culture Perspective ­ To know about cultural products and the media, look at the industry ­ If we want to know about changes we need to ask questions regarding o Technology o Law & regulation o Industry structure o Organizational structure o Occupational careers o Market ­ i.e. Technology: Thriller due to radio, and organizational structure between rock and country music ­ i.e. Industry: Canadian publishing houses were licensing agents, it was the same industry as the one in the US The Golden Age of Hollywood (example) ­ Hollywood had a problem; Hollywood productions had huge production costs so they made really good big budget movies, and a lot of crap ones. In a year, they would have 4 blockbusters and all other movies were crap. ­ Blackbooking was that the people who owned theatres also owned the studio. If you wanted to see another movie it was owned by another studio so you would need to go to another theatre. For example, a lot of theatres wanted to show the Wizard of Ox so the studio would force theatre to also show the less popular movies from the studio. ­ Technology: The golden age of Hollywood was when 80% of Americans went to 1 movie a week. By 1950s that dropped to 1 in 8 Americans. The change was television. Television was a new technology that was introduced. ­ Law and Regulation: Blackbooking was outlawed by the US saying if you owned a studio you can’t own a theatre. So Hollywood couldn’t force a lot of movies onto the theatres. ­ Occupational careers and organization structure o People lost their jobs since there was no guaranteed movie to make. Back in the day, the contracts for actors were year round. So regardless of the quality or budget of movie, studio owners would make sure stars would have a role to play, explaining the abundance of crappy movies. But this change results in limited roles since crappy movies would no longer fly. Contracts are now role-to-role
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