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4 Mass media notes.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 1002
Christian Carron

Mass media Neo-tribes - Mass media tied to identity- As consumers we wear certain clothes, practice certain activities, listen to certain music, watch particular programs, use specific technologies that form part of our identities - Authors call these consumer groups ‘neo-tribes’ - Unlike traditional tribes from distant land, these consumer-oriented ‘neo-tribes’have no councils of elders or boards or admission committees to decide who has the right to be in and who ought to be kept out - They employ no gatekeepers and no border guards - They have no institution of authority- no Supreme Court which may pronounce on the correctness of members’behavior - In short, the form of control is dissimilar and they do not undertake to monitor degrees of conformity at a collective level - Neo-tribes are, in essence, life styles and these relate to styles of consumption.Access to consumption leads through the market and to acts of purchasing commodities Myth of accessibility and myth of equality - Myth of accessibility • The markets, through the mass media, imply an equality of consumers in terms of their capacity freely to determine their social standing. In the light of such assumed equality, the failure to obtain goods that others enjoy is bound to create feelings of frustration and resentment • Lack of accessibility gets interpreted as a individual failing - Myths of equality • At the end of the day, it transpires that with all the alleged freedom of consumer choice, the marketed lifestyles are not distributed evenly or randomly; they tend to concentrate in a particular part of society and acquire the role of a sign of social standing • Therefore, lifestyles tend to become class-specific. The fact that they are assembled from items that are available in shops does not make them vehicles of equality The mass media- definition and changing nature - The term mass media refers to print, radio, television, and other communication technologies • “Mass” implies the media reach many people  Boundaries are very flexible • “Media” signifies communication does not take place directly through face-to-face interaction, but rather technology intervenes or mediates in transmitting messages from senders to receivers  Communication via mass media is usually one-way, or at least one-sided  One producer, and then the consumers Functions of mass media - Mass media perform important functions including the following: i. Coordinate operation of industrial and postindustrial societies • Takes information from one place and allows information to travel widely • Able to let people know what’s going on ii. Act as agents of socialization • Mass media, its role is to socialize everyone • Lets people know what is right and wrong iii. Engage in social control by helping ensure conformity • Alot of this by simply watching iv. Provide entertainment • Distracts them. Gives them something to consume Mass media ownership and mass media bias - Ownership • For decades, most o
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