MCC-UE 1300 Lecture Notes

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Media, Culture & Communication
MCC-UE 1300
All Professors

Media and Global Communication 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM Studying Globalization History Epistemological concepts Source diversity Follow the media Case studies Observations Interviews Surveys/polls 3 Broad Models of Globalization Homogenization- Standardization across cultures Enduring/Constructed Differences- The idea that globalization is hardening cultural differences Hybridization/Mixing- Globalization intensifies the mixing process Compaine and McChesney 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM Cultural Media or Imperialism Exogenous- something that comes from outside the system Endogenous- something that occurs internally ~ endogenous homogenization Example- Chinese government ruining local Chinese culture through urbanization Cultural Imperialism- how culture is shaped by economic and political power Marxist paradigm argues that the class which has control of the means of material production also controls mental production Schiller reading Media-cultural imperialism is a subset of the general system of imperialism The culture industries are in the same sphere as the economic and political sphere There is an ideological element From American Cultural Imperialism to Transnational Cultural Imperialism U.S dominates television programming and cinema Compaine vs. McChesney Debate Compaine McChesney Compromise › Media is not so concentrated in › Media is too concentrated in its › solution might be worse than ownership (cable, internet) ownership the disease › Respects audience ownership › Argues- is the purpose of › both argue that there are › Calls McChesney a Marxist, journalism to entertain or to flaws in media ownership but argues that corporate ownership please mass audiences? go about handling it differently is not necessarily a blind evil › Choices are not really so wide › McChesney pushes for more › Non-commercial model doesn’t › Ideological limits- govt is not extreme measures and tighter work critical enough of businesses control on ownership › Big corporations give audiences › Supply creates demand › Compaine argues that this is what they want and provides not an immediately pressing resources issue and that there are no › Localization can coexist with big better solutions other than corporations what exists at this time › Globalization does not necessarily mean homogenization › Glocalization › Marketing is self-correcting in the long run Capitalist Ideology continued.. 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM Compaine: Pro-big commercial media McChesney: Anti-big commercial media Issues: McChesney Compaine Both › Supply influence on demand › Glocalization › audience demand › Creation of status quo › Big commercial media have the › Public service obligations ofcapacity to induce fragmented media glocalization How to Read Donald Duck (Dorfman/Mattelart) How can capitalist media convey a capitalist ideology? Claims: Imperialist ideology – an obsession with money and compulsive consumerism Reference to exotic third world countries (ex. Disney) Natural and moral justification of capitalist class relations Marxist critique of American presence in Latin America The Global Media: The Missionaries of Global Capitalism (McChesney/Herman) Claims: Global media is culturally radical Does not criticize the economic status quo Culturally radical, politically/economically conservative Media Imperialism (Boyd/Barrett) Claims: Capitalist imperial power lies in the exclusion of certain voices and viewpoints “The Media are American” (70s) -> “The Media were American” (now) It is not “black and white” Models the complexity of multiple dimensions/degrees Acknowledges good and bad points of capitalist imperial power Compaine Barrett McChesney Barrett- Imperialism (when its there) isn’t a good thing- but it isn’t always there. McDonaldization/State of Capitalism 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM Marxism - still current as a critical approach to understanding economic power  2 versions of imperialist theory o 1. Homogenization o 2. McDonaldization What is the message?  Different components of global media o Maintaining the status quo Barrett Schiller › larger argument › pessimistic POV › imperialism varies by region and changes over time › has positive and negative effects Habernas- Public Sphere  Very influential in past 30 years  affirms Compaine, argues that the press can be a space of freedom  “2 generation of Frankfurt school of thought (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse) o German intellectuals that fled Nazi Germany, very pessimistic about modern culture  more optimistic  media might serve a progressive, Democratic role  the idea that there is a space within markets of control o democracy doesn’t exist without a public sphere and the free space may serve as a place to criticize the government  media plays not only an imperialistic role, but it is also a central role of the public sphere o it is a key organization that helps develop human rights o where there are basic human legal rights, there is a public sphere  certain media organizations are key leaders in building a public sphere o killing of Brazilian street children- role of international media in pushing the Brazilian government McDonaldization (Ritzer)  Emphasis on form over content o Not talking about the restaurant itself, but the manner in which the business is organized  Founding father: Max Weber o More pessimistic than Marx o There is no happy ending  “Iron cage”  Theory of Rationalization o Sociological concept  The process of increasing systematic and standardized social control  Leads to efficiency, calculability, predictability, control Spirit of Capitalism (critique of modernity and modernism)  Capitalism hasn’t always existed0 what is the motive behind capitalist organization? o Why did it emerge in the U.S and Western Europe?  defines capitalism as a systematic investment of profits to create more profit o modern tools associated with rise of corporations  started with Calvinist Protestants (not an accident that it was associated with religious roots) o religion’s unique answer to theohonesty (why does an omnipotent God allow suffering?) o “elective affinity” - religious ideas and economic systems o people who believed in predestination led capitalism because they saw success as a sign of God’s favor  people work hard, but only some are destined to succeed  perfect ideological circle  ex. Warren Buffet: makes a huge sum of wealth but doesn’t revel in monetary luxuries  Theory of Rationalization o Capitalism is really an efficient system of bureaucracy o Anti-socialist, but not pro-capitalist o Implicit argument that capitalism isn’t good o Path dependency- the idea that we chose a certain path, and once that path is chosen, it is difficult to change that path o saw charisma as a way out- spontaneity & radicalism o McDonaldization continued… 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM McDonaldization (George Ritzer) Glocalization- local adaptation Mechanism is often the same but products might be slightly different (ex. Bulgogi burger) Four key tactics of McDonaldization: Efficiency Calculability Predictability Control Problems Benefits › consumer loses control of individuality › depends on product- sometimes efficiency can be › small businesses suffer from losses best › concentration of major industries and wealth › safety/trust/accountability › glocalization- cultural losses – dehumanization › improves quality of life › loss of enchantment and novelty Solutions › anti-trust laws to control regulation › vote with wallet › technological solutions (ex. social media is not centrally controlled, less predictable, can be used to push against corporate growth) › retreat Read page 165- the growth of power of large bureaucracies Content-less products audiences 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM I. Audience Reception 1. Active audiences (more cultural studies) vs. Political economy (more critical/institutional approach) ?  active audiences is sometimes called the Achilles heel of the political economy 2. ‘Dallas’ as Global Test Case: Universally Available, Universally Understood? 3. Limitations of Active Audience Paradigm 4. Updating Audience Research for Internet Age Unanswered Questions in Audience Research (David Morley)  Begins with anecdote from a Latin American scholar  ideological effects of audience reception o Even if there are ideological elements, when they are translated into a popular format, something is transformed  its still ideological at some level but it does contain a mix of many other elements to reach out to popular culture Stuart Hall: Encoding and Decoding (and types) The production of meaning has an encoding and decoding moment  What is encoded by media has to be decoded by the audience o there may be a difference in the production and circulation of meaning  Three kinds of decoding: preferred, negotiated, oppositional readings o Preferred - (also called dominant reading) people decode in the way that it was meant to be decoded/encoded o Negotiated - (most common) will generally get what was intended but will adapt it to fit with their own experience o Oppositional - (least likely) people will read it in a very critical way and deconstruct the ideological elements that were encoded in the text John Fiske  Emphasized audience autonomy in reception- progressive potential in audience interpretation  Fiske was a populist- believed that the best shows were the ones that were most open to multiple interpretations (popular television)  Gap between financial economy and cultural economy: o Financial economy: audiences = commodities o Cultural economy: audiences = producers of meaning (semiotic democracy)  Cultural economy is more radical- the text does not have power, the active interpretation has power Umberto Eco: Closed and Open Texts  Some texts are more open to interpretation than others  Popular media may be more “open” than high culture II. Liebes and Katz: Dallas as Global Test Case  Show that was a huge object of research because it was exported widely (85+ countries)  Focus groups (male-female couples, ages 30-45, no college degrees, regular Dallas viewers) o 1. Israeli Arabs o 2. Israeli Morrocan-origin Jews o 3. Israeli recent Russian Jewish immigrants o 4. Israeli kibbutz members o 5. Native Americans from Los Angeles o 6. Japanese viewers  Key findings:  1. Referential: as if real, relation to real life  2. Syntactic: aesthetic, dramatic format  3. Semantic: themes, messages, ideology o Audiences are active, and they negotiate meaning communally o Pre-existing values had influence on their reactions  Arabs mis-reading  Japanese rejection o National/ethnic groups differ systematically in readings  Referential- Arabs, Moroccans (referential was generally most common for all)  Semantic- Russians, Japanese  Syntactic- Americans, Kibbutz members o Question of “hegemonic vulnerability”  Are some readings more critical than others?  Are some readings more subject to outside influences seeping in?  Referential- hot moral opposition of Arabs  Semantic- hot ideological opposition of Russians  Syntactic- cool analysis of Americans III. Limitations of Active Audience Paradigm  Power of selection  Power of reinforcement  Limits of text  Variable vulnerability of audiences  Temporality of influence  Interpretation vs./and action IV. Audience Research for the Internet Age  What has changed? Has there been a fundamental change? Intensification of pre- existing tendencies? No change? o 1. Beyond interpretation: from consumer to prosumer, making/producing, self-expression o 2. Media used as “affective”: forging social bonds through emotional connections o 3. Audience as commodity (Fiske revisited): does financial economy nullify autonomy of cultural economy? Media Unlimited 4/14/2014 2:21:00 PM Limitations of “Active” Audience Research  1. Media power of selection  2. Media power of reinforcement  3. Limits of text: polyvalent but not unlimited  4. Temporality- steady drop  5. Variable vulnerability  6. Interpretation and action New issues in internet age  1. Beyond interpretation- producing, self-expression  2. Media use as affective  3. Audience as commodity  4. Selective exposure Gitlin - Uses and gratifications of media  How and why do people use media?  Media content is the distracting force. Content is not the most important thing- its more of the fact that you’re spending time and experiencing the media.  “Media ecology”  Super-saturation of media - the super saturation of media in everyday life o Looks at statistics (how many hours a day do people use media?) o Iconic plentitude- now everyone has access to entertainment, images, and text that were more of an elite phenomenon  Why is there so much media? o Supply and Demand  What drives demand?  Fundamental forces of human nature  Simmel- FEELING  Feeling comes as a natural instinct  Desire-perceived rationality  We live in an intellectualistic money economy BUT  Discord between “ir
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