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Mass Media.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Christian O.Caron

January 29 2014 Mass Media -Mass media helps us forge our every identities, our notions of gender, our sense of class, of ethnicity and race, of nationality, of sexuality -Mass media help shape our vision of the world, our values, how we think, how we feel, what we believe, what we fear, how we should believe -The term mass media refers to print, radio, television, and other computer- meditated communication technologies -“Mass” implies the media reach many people -“Media” signifies communication does not take place directly through face-to- face interaction but rather technology intervenes or meditates in transmitting messages from senders to receivers (media is plural of medium) -Communication via mass media is usually one-way, or at least one-sided (although internet and social media are an example of two-way communication) Why the Mass Media Grew -The protestant reformation promoted literacy -Democratic movements promoted mass involvement -Capitalist industrialization promoted the search for profit Theories of Media Effects 1) Functionalist 2) Conflict 3) Feminist 4) Interpretive Mass Media as Social Institution -Mass media perform important functions including the following: a) Surveillance what is happening in the world b) Interpretation selection of stories and tell us how we should respond c) Act as agent of socialization d) Provide entertainment Conflict/Critical Perspective -Holds that institutions (such as the news media) and processes (such as socialization and social control) cannot be understood from viewpoint of society as a whole -Rather, need to be understood from that of unequal and conflicting groups and classes Political Economy -Mass media favor interests of dominant classes and political groups -Are two ways in which dominant classes and political groups benefit disproportionately from mass media a) Mass media broadcast beliefs, values and ideas that create widespread acceptance of basic structure of society, including its injustices and inequalities (dominant ideology and hegemony) b) Ownership of mass media is highly concentrated in hands of smaller number of people is highly profitable for them (CTV Globe Media, Rogers, Shaw) News and Dominant Ideology -News media: one of principle sources of information about social reality -Reinforcing dominant definitions of what is normal and desirable -Frequent news watchers feel more worried about the world Consequences of Media Concentration 1) Deprives the public of independent sources of information 2) Limits diversity of opinion 3) Encourages the public to accept their society as it is Television: Economy, Culture, and Identity -Canadian television is largely dominated by American television industry -Cultural imperialism when one society’s media exert overwhelming and unilateral
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