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Carleton University
Communication Studies
COMM 2102
Georgina Grosenick

COMM 2101 EXAM REVIEW Chicago School (school of thought): - Context: Emergence and development of urbanization, growth of community, expansion of newspapers and transportation, closing the frontier - Goal: Achieve the “organic” or “great community” o Mass media could support development of new community - Key Theorists: o Charles Cooley – modern comm mediums were essential for structure of new communities o John Dewey – comm is central to development of self, community, and democracy (Self, democracy, community, communication) o George Herbert o Harold Blumer o Robert Park: Comm makes possible the unity of social groups - Key Concepts: o Looking Glass Self: I am what I think you think I am o Self: indiv is determined by their experiences and interactions o Community: necessary if we are going to achieve the best self yo u can achieve. o Democracy: form of social organization in which all can realize their full potential. o Communication: How ppl interact in public of community o Symbolic interactionism: indivs develop their concept of the self through interaction with others (3 key concepts: meaning, language, thought) o Generalized other: We come up with understanding of what are the practices and how we interact in society  how one thinks one's group perceives oneself etc. o Urban Ecology (Rob Park): looked at how ppl were associated with each other and studied them from where they were happening Frankfurt School: - Context: Nazi assumption of power, acceptance of capitalism and consumerism o Concern: rise and acceptance of facism in Europe - Goal: Uncover what they saw as this totalitarian control in media/cultural production to encourage change and action – They wanted to show people what was happening not just say it! o Focus: Emergence and proliferation of mass culture - Key Theorists: o Max Horkheimer -> Dialectic of Enlightenment o Theodor Adorno -> Dialectice of Enlightenment o Walter Benjamin -> “Work of Art” o Herbert Marcuse - Key Concepts: o Dialectic of Enlightenment: Debate between science/technology and enlightenment – Result = enlightenment failed and science became the authority o Instrumental Reason: Seeks a specific goal/reason  “An instrument concerned with instrumentalizing the world to the advantage of the subject. o False Needs: True needs are forgotten because false needs are being created, met and supported by capitalism – Associated with consumerism o Commodity Fetishism: Consumer worships money that he used to pay for the cultural experience more than the experience itself – object of enjoyment = BUYING o Culture Industry: infects everything with sameness, results in repetition, false and temporary pleasure, concerned with entertainment NOT art - Criticisms: o No empirical evidence for theories o Mass culture is not as homogeneous o Obscure in expressing ideas o Pessimism surrounding revolutionary change o Elitist critique of mass culture Marxism and Political Economy: - Context: modernity = promise of progress and success – through capitalism o Period from industrial revolution to current day o With emergence of industrialism there was a beliefs in the economic basis society believe that this would then be good for society, progressive force, benefitted society and indivs as a whole o Result = socialism - Goal: Show how multiple, seemingly unconnected facts of social life evolved and are ultimately defined by class antagonists o Studies relationship between power, industrial economy and society - Key Theorists: o Karl Marx o Dallas Smythe: recognized the degree to which comm rules ppl’s lives and is important to the government’s communication. - Key Concepts: o Dialectic Materialism: Process of change and influenced by the material world – We exists in a cyclical state of being, tied to material conditions o Social Theory: Society is progressing to a state of communism – we are at capitalism moving toward communism o Economic Theory (Labor & Alienation): labor in capitalist society didn’t allow freedom for indivs – lead to alienation  Labor (marx) = creative, liberating, productive force = • FREEDOM – you are a free person if you have control over your own labor o Base and Superstructure: model for understanding (economic) force in society – Base shapes the structure, superstructure maintains and legitimates the base.  Base = mode of production and social order enforcing it (factory)  Superstructure = Remainder of society, culture, technology, etc. o Hegemony: Idea that lower class doesn’t revolt because they have become complicit in their own relations of ruling – working class are stupid – people working under false consciousness Political Economy: focuses on elite control of institutions and how control effects other institutions/social practices - 4 characteristics – commitment to historical analysis, commitment to understanding the broad social totality, commitment to moral philosophy, commitment to social intervention - Context: emerged during WW2 & looked at institutions of comm - Smythe’s Key Concepts: o Production policies: Quantity & quality, technologies – who owns them, what are the policies around them that allows them to come into market o Allocation Policy: Equality of distribution among indivs – who gets products, how are they being distributed, equally? o Capital, organization, and control policy: how do we organize comm services, under what system, how do we change? - 3 Categories: o Commodification: comm practices and techs are commodities in society o Spatialization = Globalization o Structuration: Focus on how comm institutions perpetuate class divisions - Contemporary Concerns: Convergence, expanded forms of media, power relations in new media (does tradition base structure still exist?) - Limitations: o Doesn’t recognize diversity of pop culture o Doesn’t allow for indiv agency o Concepts of domination and subordination are restricted to class o Economy isn’t the same as the one Marx wrote out Feminist Theory: - Goal: Attend to the significance of sexual perspectives in modes of thought and offer a challenge to the masculine bias - Key Theorists: o Simone de Beauvoir – The second sex o Tuchman – symbolic annihilation o Judith Butler – Gender performativity - 3 Waves ostFeminism: o 1 Wave: Reform of women’s social and legal inequalities – Achieved suffrage – women’s right to vote (end of wave) o 2 Wave: Concerned with equal rights for women – “The personal is political” (control over one’s body, right of female minorities)  Rose out of the civil rights and anti-war movement o 3 Wave: Challenge and expand common definitions of gender and sexuality – the way society thought about gender and sexuality  Realized that it was societal and cultural (way women were perceived)  Against essentialism = women were treated as having all of the same problems and all oppression was the same - Liberal Feminism: attempts to remove obstacles for women’s full participation in public life and seeks to make women equally represented in society o Concerned with hyper-sexualization of women in society o Central to 2 wave - Radical Feminism: Women’s oppression as a fundamental component of social organization, there’s an accepted view that men are better than women - Post-Modern Feminism: Gender as a construct – culture makes gender appear natural– we associate men with strong and women with weak - Key Concepts: o The Male Gaze (liberal feminism): women are often presented for male voyeuristic pleasure and reduced to body parts and are objectified o Symbolic Annihilation (liberal feminism): Women’s voices are being silenced and there is not the same opportunity for women to talk and give their position in society – absence in media  Absence, condemnation and trivialization of women in media o Dualisms (Bordo) (radical feminism): of side of these equations are often associated with men and one side associated with women o Gender Performativity (Judith Butler): Socially constructed idea of what it means to be masculine and feminine (separate from biology) o Hegemonic Masculinity: Masculinity is also a construct - 3 Themes in Feminist Comm Theory o Difference: questions political and philosophical basis of difference between genders and among women o Voice: Explores access to and contributions in communicative forums o Representation: Problematize systems of representation in media and other forums - Limitations: o Ideology is inherently gynocentric – from women’s perspective o Natural differences between men and women are ignored o Western forms of feminism assume global experience based on a white middle-class experience in which gender oppression is primary Cultural Studies: - Context: Emergence of CCCS (centre for contemporary cultural studies) and lack of research surrounding popular and mainstream cultural products and how they produce meaning for their audience o Postwar Britain – mass society debates o Reaction to Frank Leavis literature ‘cannon” – means the most important works - Goal: Understand the meaning that indivs create surrounding the cultural products and activities that they engage with and understand the ideology inherent to these products and activities - Key Theorists o Raymond Williams – Culture is our everyday activities and practices – it is ORDINARY o Richard Hoggart – Founded the CCCS and looked at literary analysis to describe pop entertainment of the working class culture – NOT elitist o Stuart Hall – Encoding/Decoding - Key Concepts o Culture: culture is ordinary and is something that we participate in together (Williams) o Texts: Any signifying practice that creates meaning – contain codes that can be analyzed as a way of accessing cultural meaning o Encoding/Decoding: the audience goes through a process of constructing meaning – message is polysemic – there could be multiple meanings!  Preferred/dominant reading: way they wanted you to understand the message  Negotiated Reading: receiver has specialized i
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