MIT 2100 Week 1.docx

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2100F/G
Jonathan Burston

MIT 2100 Week 2 What is Political Economy? Creative commons  New way to think about copy right  Makes sure people have the legal right to grant you their work  Before everyone owned everything, things were shared (common)  The internet was shared but has become privatized  Digital enclosures – the privatization of internet  The study and practice of media is the study and practice of power and politics  Media corporations are directly related to income and equality (the main political issue in Canada)  The study and practice of media is also the study and practice of power and politics o 1. Most media corporations contribute directly to income inequality o This has been an increasing problem since 1979 o Genie Index: if everyone had equal incomes the genie index would be 0 o If one person had everything genie index would be 1 o Top earners have grabbed most of the wealth in the U.S. over the past 30 years o Richest 1% of Americans controlling 1/3 of America’s wealth o Power is extremely concentrated  What is income inequalities impact on Canada’s economy o High inequality can diminish economic growth o Leads to increased social tensions  Media companies have so much power and influence which is how politics and media are relate  Entertainment also helps us understand who we are  Politics – an integral component of the struggle for and the maintenance of power  Political economy analysis is used to analyze media power o Thinks of politics and economies together o Economics and politics are not conjoined but used to be  Adam Smith o Famous economist – in the 18 century he called himself a political economies – saw them as conjoined powers  Economists have been asociological in their approach to the study of money etc.  Political economy is making a comeback – Karl Marx: the prof thinks capitalism needs revising but should not be gotten rid of all together  When we act upon injustice we are expressing a criticism of capitalism o This is democracy  fixing the system  Liberal Pluralism – argues that democracy has room for everybody, argues that democracy is already working well and does not need to be fixed o If people communicate better, everything will be fine o Don’t advocate much reform of financial system in general  Media Political economists o See things that need to be fixed regardless of communications
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