MAC 143 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Industrial Revolution, Sut Jhally, Digital One

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14 Sep 2018
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Kim Kardashian vs. Hamlet: Mass Culture and Hierarchies of Taste
EXAM #1
I. 5 Eras in the Historical Development of Media and Communication
A. Why we discuss Eras
1. Powers shift
a) People who control technology control society
2. Shift in era occurs gradually
B. Oral
1. Culture and human civilization go hand in hand
a) culture can’t exist without language
2. How did people gain power
a) Elders
(1) Access to knowledge/ memories
(a) Ex: Iliad, Odyssey
b) No written communication
(1) Power of the mind
3. How we communicate
C. Written (manuscript)
1. Inventions
a) Clay tablets, cuneiform writing
b) Later ink and papyrus
2. Impact
a) Keep records
(1) Libraries, archives, receipts
b) Societies could now be ruled
(1) Consequences = empires
(a) Egypt, Rome
c) Record transactions
(1) Complicated business model
d) Shift in power from elders to people who could afford technology
e) Centralized power in the hands of a few
(1) Roman Catholic Church
(a) Creating the Bible was laborious and expensive
(b) Only the church could afford to produce it so the
priest had power
D. Print
1. Printing press is most important invention
2. Movable print typing
3. Mechanization of printing
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4. Efficiency
a) Economies of scale
(1) Print many copies at a time
5. Cost of written products decreased
a) Increase of literacy because it was more accessible
(1) Emergence of a new middle class
(2) Shift in power
(a) Challenge authority
6. Printing press democratized access to printed material
a) Protestant Reformation
7. Led to the idea of the modern individual
a) Engage in books alone rather than getting information in a group
E. Electronic/Photographic Era
1. Telegraph
a) Morse code from point A to point B
b) Communication without human travel
(1) space/geography was overcome
(2) Takes less time to communicate and connects people
2. Still photography/motion picture
3. Power and control centralized in the hands of corporations
a) Technologies require investments from large corporations
b) Sell feature films
F. Digital
1. 1940s was the invention of the transistor
2. Decentralized access to information
3. More people control access to media
a) People can post pictures/videos
II. Quality Culture vs. Trash Culture
A. Mass media, hierarchies of cultural tastes, and criteria of evaluation
1. A culture will always have a set of criteria that ranks what is good vs. bad
a) Like a rubric
b) Creates the norms
c) Shapes value systems of society
d) Internal criteria of evaluations
III. The Rise of Mass, Industrialized Culture
A. Definition: Industrialized Mass Culture refers to the cultural products, practices,
and rituals associated with industrial capitalism, the mass production of consumer
goods and the growth of mass communication media.
B. Mass communication
1. Radio/film
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