MAC 143 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Super Bowl, Spoken Language, Banksia Media

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14 Sep 2018
I. Introduction: Imagining a Life Without Media Technologies
II. Course Overview
A. How the class will work
B. How to succeed in this big lecture class
III. Some Key Definitions
A. Two ways of thinking about culture:
1. Culture with a capital “C”
a) Best ideas/ works of art as decided by society
b) Western tradition
(1) The Great Gatsby
2. culture with a small “c”:
a) a. Campbell: “…is a process that delivers the values of a society
through products or other meaning-making forms.” (p.6)
(1) Process, constantly ongoing
(2) Delivers values
(a) good/bad, what is moral/immoral
(3) Meaning-making forms are rituals
(a) Ex: watching the Superbowl is American ritual
(i) Airing of the Superbowl is a product
(ii) Delivers the value of friendship
b) Becker: …a process through which society struggles over
competing values, where dominant norms get established and
reinforced but sometimes also challenged.
(1) Society struggles over competing values
B. Communication
1. “the creation and use of symbol systems that convey information and
meaning” (p. 6)
a) Convey meaning and values
(1) Set up what is societally deemed “normal” vs. “abnormal”
2. Examples of symbol systems (or “languages”)
a) Spoken language
b) Traffic lights
(1) Red means stop, green means go
c) Bathroom signs
d) Language of clothes
(1) Brand = status
C. Communication media
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