MIT 3000 ALL TERMS.docx

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 3000A/B
Robert Babe

3000 MIDTERM REVIEW Potential Word Combos: - A priori and Metaphor - Reactivity and Reflexivity - Deductive and Inductive fallacies. - Reliability/Replicability and triangulation -Systematic observation and Margaret Mead (observed effect/reactivity) Internal linguistic: - The branch of linguistics that studies the systemic relationships of linguistic units without recourse to external linguistic factors. Diachronic: - Concerned with the way in which something (i.e language) has developed and evolved through time. Synchronic: - Concerned with something (i.e language) as it exists at one point in time. Paradigm (De Saussure) - A set of associated signifiers which are all members of some defining category, but in which each signifier is significantly different - Typical example or pattern of something (Wikipedia). - A set of signs from which one is selected/perceived. - Differ in terms of signifier and message that are constructed. - All members have something in common but each is distinct. - The meaning we see/choose depends on paradigm of meanings (that we know). Meaning is defined by relations of one sign to others. Consequences: - No external referentially. We love in language. - Radical freedom to interpret. i.e Beatles Swatch Advertisement - Entire ad is constructed in part of a paradigm. Trying to create a new meaning by referring to the Beatles Abbey Road cover. Syntagm: - .An orderly combination of interacting signifiers which forms a meaningful whole. - Through syntagms meanings change. - i.e Gatorade ad featuring Michael Jordan modifies Gatorade. Two contexts for each sign: Paradigm (Implicit/Invisible) and Syntagm (Explicit/Visible) Code (De Saussure): - Sets of signs with prearranged meanings. - Emphasize shared dimension in communication. Positioning: In class: How to position one hamburger from another? Positioning: Locating a product by distinguishing it from and relating it to others within the same system of relations (paradigm). - Positioning achieved in relation to other signs. Semantic differential: - A type of rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events and concepts. The connotations are used to derive the attitude towards the given object, event or concept (Wikipedia). - i.e Would you say these studying notes are ( Up-to-date ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Outmoded Well-organized ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Cluttered Very useful ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Useless Compelling ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Unconvincing Trustworthy ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Doubtful Reliable ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Unreliable Dominant code/Subordinate/oppositional code: - Stuart Hall: Dominant code = Preferred meaning Subordinate Code = Oppositional Reading. Rhetoric: - “Refers to those techniques, usually verbal that are designed and employed to persuade and impress people” (Dyer 158). - The art of pleasing or persuading. - Three modes of persuasion according to our main Aristotle (Ethos, Logos, Pathos) Fallacies: - An error in reasoning often due to a misconception or a presumption. - Can be used to win arguments - often unintentionally. Trope: - Figure of speech using words in nonliteral ways - i.e a metaphor (Free Dictionary lol w.e) - i.e cake walk, blockbuster, savin’ it for a rainy day. - Figurative language - not necessarily a fallacy but needs close inspection. - Explains ‘syntagms’ (modifiers) and/or paradigms (substitutions) in semiotics. Common Tropes: 1. Repetition - Slogans, Catch phrases, Branding Logos 2. Simile - “Like or as” - In the visual rhetoric, similar shape and color imply similarity of content. 
- Bottle shaped like a PENIS between a woman’s legs implies SEX. Makes a viewer connote sexuality to the product. 3. Metaphor - Subsitution - “All the world’s a stage” - Metaphor are more implicit than similes - how we should see something. In class example: Swatch Beatles Ad 4. Anthesis - Opposites presented. 5. False Homology - False likeness or differences - what seems the same is really different, what seems different is really the same. In class example: War is peace, Clark Kent & Superman 6. Hyperbole - An exaggeration. Ethos: - An appeal based on the credibility of the speaker - their expertise and knowledge on a topic. - Character used to describe the guiding beliefs and ideals that characterize a community, nation or ideology (Wikipedia). Pathos: - An emotional appeal. - Can be accomplished through metaphor or story telling. In class example: Incubator Baby Stories used to convince Americans to go to war. - She’s so sad :( but she’s a lying bitch. Logos: - Rational/logical appeal. - The clarity of the claim and the effective of its supporting evidence. - Reasoned discourse, facts and figures used to support topic. Common fallacies: evidence, clarity - the use of data can be confusing and thus confuse the audience. Logos can be misleading and inaccurate. Deduction: - Works from the more general to the more specific, first, thinking up a theory, then narrowing that down into more specific hypotheses , and narrowing down even further once collecting observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads to a hypotheses with specific data and a confirmation (or not) or the original theory Deductive fallacy: “proof” by conclusion ( - Asserts a conclusion that follows necessarily from the truth of the premise. - All men are mortal. Joe is a man. Joe is mortal. The first two statements are true and thus the conclusion must be true. Induction: - Beginning with specific observations and measures, the researcher detects patterns and regularities, formulating a tentative hypothesis, and develops general conclusions or theories Induction fallacy: - “proof” by example. - Inductive reasoning consists of inferring from the properties of a sample to the properties of a population as a whole ( - “Seen one you’ve seen them all” - No inductive inference is perfect - conclusion may be false. - This cat is black. That cat is black. A third cat is black. Therefore all cats are black. Deduction and Induction: - Studying the ways of distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning. - Neither has a conclusion that follows with necessity from the truth of the premisses. The conclusion can be false in both cases and the premises can still be true. Misplaced concreteness: - An abstraction is deemed real - “don’t confuse me with the facts” - A fallacy of ambiguity when an an abstracted belief/hypothetical construct is treated as if it were a concrete, real event or physical entitty. - i.e. Church and Galileo, Model ≠ Reality, Image (Sign) ≠ The Thing - i..e If fighting for justice was taken literally justice would be reified. Reification: - Regarding something abstract as material thing. - Considering an abstract concept to be real. Misplaced concreteness and Reification are very similar if not the same thing. Emic: • to understand a point of view (‘emic’), his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world • An insider’s perspective • used in cultural anthropology to refer to kinds of fieldwork done and viewpoints obtained • an emic account comes from a person within the culture. Almost anything from within a culture can provide an emic account Ontological Realism: • there is an external reality which scholars can investigate • A methodology for coordinated evolution of scientific ontologies Epistemological Realism: • a philosophical position, a subcategory of objectivism, holding that what you know about an object exists independently of your mind. It opposes epistemological idealism. • Epistemological realism is related directly to the correspondence theory of truth, which claims that the world exists independently and innately to our perceptions of it. Our sensory data then reflect or correspond to the innate world. Subtle Realism: • replaces “ontological realism” (cf. Deacon’s ‘critical realism’) • Recognizing observer impacts on what occurs (‘observer effects’) • Reflexivity – reflect the consequences of what’s going on Ethnocentrism: • judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture.The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and subdivisions serve to define eachethnicity's unique cultural identity Epistemological constructivism: • (the scholar not detached from reality; constructs or reconstructs this reality • Replaces “epistemological realism” • Instead of the researcher’s distanced analysis, the subjective voices of informants and the scholar • An epistemological perspective in philosophy about the nature of scientific knowledge.[1] Constructivists maintain that scientific knowledge is constructed by scientists and not discovered from the world. Constructivists argue that the concepts of science are mental constructs proposed in order to explain sensory experience. Another important tenet of Constructivist theory is that there is no single valid methodology in science, but rather a diversity of useful methods.[2] Constructivism is thus opposed to positivism, which is a philosophy that holds that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on actual sense experience and what other individuals tell us is right and wrong. Triangulation: • triangulate different research methods, see if they point to the same conclusions, replacement for replicability • a powerful technique that facilitates validation of data through cross verification from more than two sources. In particular, it refers to the application and combination of several research methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon Cultural Relativism: • No one culture’s perspective is objectively ‘correct’ or ‘superior’ • The opposite view is ethnocentrism (Malinowski) • principle that was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and later popularized by his students. Boas first articulated the idea in 1887: "...civilization is not something absolute, but ... is relative, and ... our ideas and conceptions are true only so far as our civilization goes. Overt Research: • you tell the particpants what you are doing and possibly why but you reveal yourself to them as a researcher • A type of research in which the researcher is open about his identity as a researcher and the goals of his study to the study’s participants • • Ethnography may be practiced by overt participant observation Covert Research: • Covert research is where the researcher is a passive or active watcher and doesn’t out themselves • • A type of research in which the researcher is not openly acknowledged • • The researcher may be a passive observer of the society or an active observer • • Ethnography may be practiced by covert observation Scripts: • Goals of modern ethnography: to identify ‘culturally-imposed constraints (scripts, frames). We tend to communicate within their limits • To understand, appreciate, evaluate, change, control Reliability: • Repeated measurements/observations give same results with positivist research. Researcher’s detachment(objectivity), rigorous formalism • Refers to the consistency of a measure. A test is considered reliable if we get the same result repeatedly • It is impossible to calculate reliability exactly, but it can be estimated in a number of different ways Validity: • researcher measuring/observing what is intended • With positivism, tests of internal and external validity • · With Margaret Mead, ‘observer effect’/’reactivity’ Internal: • Inferences are said to possess internal validity if a causal relation between two variables is properly demonstrated. A causal inference may be based on a relation when three criteria are satisfied: 1. the "cause" precedes the "effect" in time (temporal precedence), 2. the "cause" and the "effect" are related (covariation), and 3. there are no plausible alternative explanations for the observed covariation (nonspuriousness). External: • the validity of generalized (causal) inferences in scientific studies, usually based on experiments as experimental validity. In other words, it is the extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other people • The most common loss of external validity comes from the fact that experiments using human participants often employ small samples obtained from a single geographic location or with idiosyncratic features (e.g. volunteers). Because of this, one cannot be sure that the conclusions drawn about cause-effect-relationships do actually apply to people in other geographic locations or without these features Observer Effect: • The difference that is made to an activity or a person by it being observed. People may well not behave in their usual manner whilst aware of being watched, or when being interviewed while carrying out an activity Reflexivity: • researchers try to recognize and account for potential sources of bias, especially effects of: 1) their own cultural background and 2) their own presence (‘observer effect’) and how adequate can this be? 3) to understand, appreciate, evaluate, change or control o advertising, empire o “Human Terrain system” Dialectic: • a form of qualitative research which utilizes the method of dialectic, aiming to discover truththrough examining and interrogating competing ideas, perspectives or arguments. Dialectical research can be seen as a form of exploratory research, in that there is not so much a research hypothesis to be tested, but rather new understandings to be developed. Controlled group discussion: • 6 to 12 people, interviewed simultaneously, with moderator leading Uses: • pilot study for more complex/rigorous research project (eg. Help develop a questionnaire for a survey) • Instant tracking (politician’s speech) • Investigate how people collectively make sense of phenomena Features: • Detect motivations. People can probe each others’ reasons • Permits a wide variety of perspectives • In normal 1 on 1 interview, interviewee is seldom challenged – In focus groups, people may be required to defend their views Critical Press Analysis: • Prominence • Thematic structure • Discourse schemas • Lexical choice, lexical markers Group Effects: • What happens when there is a group of individuals being interviewed • Some people may alter or change their opinions to match the others in the group, • People are prone to conforming • There could also be individuals who hog the stage Determinism (Doctrine of ‘Absolute Cultural Determinism) - There is a one-way causation for everything; every event of state of affairs is the inevitable and necessary consequence of precursor states of affairs - All future events are fixed as a matter of natural law; things causing things to happen - Humanities believe that we are free agents and we are not fixed o EXAMPLE: Margaret Mead (Samoa) à whatever culture one was raised in determined psychotic health (Friedman stated Mead had pre-conceived notions of her research and therefore that impacted her results; she found results that reaffirmed what she already knew; did not do any objective research) Causation - There is a cause for every effect; things cause other things to happen - Allowing scientists to make further predictions through cause and effect o EXAMPLE: Peirce’s Theory of Signs { believed that signs were indexical and were connected signs; smoke = fire; indexical signs point out their referent by partially representing it enforcing a causal link Abstract - The goal of science is to arrive at general laws through research and investigation - Brief summary of in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline; a point of entry - Explains the research focus, methods, results /findings, and main conclusions and recommendations Interpretive - Research that is subjective and able to be understood in an endless amount of ways - Searching to know in-depth detail of specific and unique situations - Exploring the ways that people make sense of their social worlds and how they express these understandings through language, sound, imagery, personal style, and social rituals (Searching for meaning with emphasis on ethnographic practices (researcher immerses themselves in a particular social setting, getting to know the people intimately)) - Opposite of Positivism o EXAMPLE: Field research (outside of lab, more variables, more accidental bias); Ethnography (intensive, holistic) Focus group (subjective and less control, group effects) Ontology - Nature of Reality; what there is to study and what there is to know - What reality is; questioning what is real - Supports Positivism à In science, question of reality being independent of observer o EXAMPLE: Philosophical Idealism: all matter does not exist; it is just a mental creation Epistemology - Methods of acquiring knowledge (dependent on ontology) Axiology - The issue of value, what do we think is important - The extent to which values affect knowledge - A critique of science (radical nihilism: life is without meaning or purpose) Reactivity - Same as observer effect à act of observing the changes of what is being observed - Peoples reactions to being observed - Could effect the results in research (projecting a certain way of being to the observer) Reductionism - An approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts - Reflects a certain perspective on causality - Critique of Positivism à their question for parsimony, quantifiability, and presumption of an objective truth are all highly reductionist - The opposite to holism - In science, a complex system can be explained by reduction to its fundamental parts Artificiality - A trait of Positivism; criticizes experiments in that they are innately artificial - Produced by humans, rather than being natural; brought about or caused by sociopolitical or other human-generated forces or influences Holism (methodological) - There is a level of cultural phenomena that is entirely out of the individual’s control; the whole is more than the sum of its parts and cannot be reduced to them - Opposite of methodological individualism (societies, cultures, and institutes have no substance) - Thinking in terms of systems; viewing natural systems as wholes and not a collection of parts - The opposite to reductionism Thick Description - GOAL of interpretive research contrasting Positivism; search to know in-depth detail of specific and unique situations - Explains both the behavior and context; behavior becomes meaningful to an outsider o EXAMPLE: Marinowski (Trobian Islands) à Kula Exchange System: gifts being exchanged in circular motion throughout the islands, maintaining peace and community à now understand the purpose behind Kula through the THICK description of the process (does not just state facts, but also meaning) Interpretive Approaches - Critical Realism, Thick Descriptions, Focus Groups, Ethnography, Participant Observer - Triangulations attempts to reaffirm interpretive data through other sources and explanations - Subjectivity is a key component in the above research Critical Realism - Deacon’s merging of Positivism (observation of structures) and Interpretive Research - GOAL: to make aware of social, cultural, political, and economic structures that shape us - Analyze mechanism underlying and producing observable events and everyday meaning systems (not naïve) - Everyday action cannot be understood properly without taking account of the broader social and cultural formations that envelop and shape it, providing the means, media, rules, and resources for everything we do (Relations between situated actions and general formations, local choices and prevailing circumstances are dynamic and two-day – structures are constituted through action at the same time as action in constituted structurally) - Denies philosophic idealism à denies that social reality exists only in the ways people choose to imagine it, CR affirms that there is an out there, independent of the observer, which may be subject to varying interpretations - It denies that social reality exist only in the ways people choose to imagine them - Structures influence events, but these structures are hidden from awareness (example: Nike, we don't see the sweatshops helping the company function, we just see the company functioning) Realism - There is a reality independent of the observer, where observers can come to kn
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