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Chapter 5-The Mass Media Oct 29 2008

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

Reading Notes 10-29-08 Chapter 5: The Mass Media Introduction O Communication: to bring together or unify by establishing shared meanings and understandings between groups and individuals O Mass Media: communication flows are essentially unidirectional, going from transmission point, to an audience O Interactive Media: ex: telephone, radio station- communication flows back and forth, and ppl exchange roles with one another in the transmission and reception of communication The Technical Perspective O Innis O Time-Biased Media: are modes of communication that endure over time but are not very mobile across space, such as writing on stone or clay tablets O Space-Biased Media: can cover much greater areas of space but are much less durable over time- writing on paper or sounds transmitted over airwaves O TBM- conducted a string sense of tradition and custom- promote religious forms of power and belief O SBM- lead to territorial expansion, empire building, and more secular forms of power and culture as manifested in the dominance of military institutions and the growth of the state O These different forms of power create different types of social division and conflict O The elite that controls the means of communication tries to use it to preserve its own privilege and interests O Those excluded from power control and in the process stimulate the development of new, alternative forms of communication O McLuhan- argued that the relationship was mediated by the way forms of communication change our sense perceptions and cognitive processes O Print- undermined oral communication and its emphasis on hearing, and ushered towards of more visually oriented culture O Print removes communication from face to face interaction - makes info more abstract O Spread of electronic media- TV- is spelling an end to the era of print dominance O TV= doesnt rely on strictly on sight but also sound- which achieves a better sensory balance, allows instantaneous communication- no delay between transmission and reception of message O TV- more accessible less hierarchal than print -> global village The Critical Perspective O Critical Perspective: institutions, such a media, and processes such as socialization and social control, cannot be understood from the viewpoint of society as a whole, but only from that of unequal and conflicting groups and classes O (1) Marxism perspective: the role of the media is defined in terms of how the media serves the economic interests and political power of the dominant class, those who own and control the means of material production O Dominant Ideology: the production of ideas, beliefs, values, and norms O Chomsky & Herman- propaganda model: media serves the interests of the leading political and economic class by filtering information to reduce or eliminate radical or subversive views O 5 main filters= medias orientation to profit-making, its despondency on advertising for revenue and profit, its reliance on powerful institutions and individuals as sources of info, negative reaction if the media deviate from promoting elite interests and values, adherence to anti-communism as an overarching belief system O (2) the capitalist class and other powerful groups use dominant ideology to reinforce their
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