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Comm 3p18 midterm review.docx

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Communication Studies
Heather Mc Guire

Week 1 What is an audience? -a mass of undifferentiated people who are anonymous to producer of the mediated message -a network of people who have potential to interact with one another about a particular media object Why study audiences? -to understand markets, fandom, circuit of culture, demographics, etc. How do audience create meaning from texts? How are they affected by texts? How can they be seen? -Reception theory: audience is active and has power over msg they receive -Effects theory: Audience is passive and is affected by media -Cultivation theory: Ideas changed over time as a result of exposure to media Historical Debates WW1 -After WW1 audience thought of as passive eg: propaganda -Hays code: Censorship of film because believe bad for society -Began to question the relationship between newly forming mass media and the audiences who consume the media -Direct effects model: Lasswell (who says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect) This is thought of how to measure effects Second Red Scare (1950-1954) -people were scared of promoting communism and tried to stop it by… -entertainment industry under deep suspicion for “un American” things -blacklisting for unproven belief systems -Underlying with this idea of shutting down suspicious activity was EFFECTS THEORY -Lazarfield etc. studied effects and found correlation does not equal cause Lazarfield -two step flow of information: the mass media doesn’t inject ideas rather is filtered through opinion leaders-horizontal and vertical -individuals aren’t isolated and media isn’t a top down model -privilege face to face over media -“objective science” doesn’t work as cannot turn subjects into objects -people think for themselves and how do we measure the process of acquiring new knowledge -indirect influence of maintenance of the “status quo” put fourth by the elite, the dominate ideologies (re)present themselves 1980’s on -rise of cultural studies and interdisciplinary studies and emergence of qualitative research paradigms -“Interpretive Relationship”: agency of individuals, while at same time recognizing political and economic structures that enable and constrain the production of media content (tries to balance structure and agency) -celebratory response to media as focuses on how audiences interact and respond to text in different ways Contemporary Issues **-A. Meaning: -3 levels of meaning -1. Primary signification (denotation or sign) (Literal image) -2. Secondary signification (connotation, cultural assumption , signifier) (eg: stop sign) -3. Generalized significance attached by viewers (preferred or dominant reading) (eg: picture of twin towers) -B. Genre -to little focus on genre -“Imaginative Pleasure of fictional TV: lots of work has studied the pleasures of tv watching but misses key concepts such as perception, comprehension and understanding -C. Context -the geographical, cultural, economic, social, political etc. situation in which media is produced and consumed -2 contextual realms -social relations: “objective” demographic variables, cultural competence (familiarity with codes and conventions of a genre) -space/time settings, when and where we consume texts matter (public or private) Week 2-Reception Theory **-exam question on stuart hall model of encoding and decoding -production------(encoding)------msg(medium)--------decoding-----context of consumption -leads us to think about the site of struggle over meaning and thinking about reception theory and how we negotiate texts to make them make sense **-Baseball incident perfect reception theory example -The circuit of culture (What it does/how it works) -The theory suggests that in studying a cultural text or artifact you must look at five aspects: its representation, identity, production, consumption and regulation. -(re)+(presentation)= a representation and ways in which we represent reality to each other -viewed with norms, values and beliefs by people who create them (bias towards creators view) 1. “encoded with ideology and meaning 2. draws upon processes of signification 3. relies on audiences ability to read (decode) cultural signs and codes 4.signs and codes include (gender roles, sexual orientations, intertextuality, norms) Discourse -is the meaning we attach to language -often naturalized to make meaning seem common
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