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Ryerson University
SOC 202
Nicole Neverson

FINAL REVIEW Nick Della Mora Week 2: Definition of Popular Culture  Consumption and Production: Life cycle of products  Power: to produce, purchase, access, as well as define culture  Mass and Folk Culture o Mass Culture: Unidentifiable, all about demographics o Folk Culture: Identifiable, passed down from generation to generation Political Economy  Ownership and control, and how it relates to content produced, practices involved in producing content, and how media structure relates to production of content Convergence: Lines between products and services become blurred Cultural Studies  Identity, subjectivity, and interpretation of meaning  Messages produced, meanings that are represented in messages, and how media interprets messages o Four Characteristics: Dominant Culture, Interdisciplinary focus, Emphasis on connections, Emphasis on the subject Culture Wars  Ongoing struggle/fight to define culture and who should define it  Ex: Rural vs. Urban, Copy-Right vs. Copy-Left Commodity Fetishism: symbolic, emotional meaning, and value we attach to things Week 3: Hegemony (Gramsci, 1981)  We are not passive or brainwashed, and instead think about everything  Communication or interpretation of cultural messages involves acceptance and consent  Audience accepts or consents to being dominated by dominant groups  Audience can be controlled through use of force Interpellation (Althusser, 1971)  How we judge cultural messages: occurs when cultural texts make connections with us  Conditioning: tells us how to behave, what we should like, and what we should value Class and Capital (Bourdieu, 1984)  Class determines: o Choices of consumption o Our behaviours o Economic, social, and cultural capital we are able to attain  Capital: o Economic: Financial status o Social: networks and connections o Cultural: tastes, judgments, and awareness of what is valuable Cultural Effects  Direct Effects Approaches: o Hypodermic Needle Theory  Media messages are injected into our brains, and produce direct or immediate responses and behaviours o Social Learning Theory  Learn behaviours through watching the behaviours of others, such as role models (Lady Gaga)  Limited Effects Theories: o Two-Step Flow  Messages aren’t direct, but given through a socializing agent, such as opinion leaders, who have a vast knowledge of specific elements we are interested in (Oprah’s Book Club) o Uses and Gratification  Needs and desires influence our interpretation of messages  Cultivation Analysis (Gerbner, 1992) o Media, TV in particular produces specific perspectives of the social world, and because of this we can predict individuals’ behaviours  Agenda Setting (Cohen, 1963) o Media doesn’t tell us what to think or do, they tell us what to think about Week 4: Frankfurt School Philosophy  Questioned dominant ideologies like most accepted ideas and how ruling parties maintained power  Considered opinion leaders, and called out what was wrong Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (1947, 1972):  Ultimate goal was to inform masses of mass deception  Mass Society Theory: o Media are a negative force, all powerful, and place power into hands of the few o Individuals vulnerable to power of mass media o Decline of cultural standards Culture Industry  Criticism of mass culture (lack creativity), standardization (dumbing down), uncontested power, creates consumers (we are what we buy) Five eras of Hollywood filmmaking  Involves relationship between production, distribution and exhibition Week 5: Advertising: The Magic System (Williams, 1982)  Magic System: ideal culture, which involves democracy, should be accessible and consumers/citizens should have a choice in what they are able to consume  Magic System relies on three types of media systems: o Authoritarian media system: ruling group is all powerful o Paternal media system: protect and guide culture o Commercial media system: where democracy is most possible  There is also a blur between needs/desires, so ability to choose is at risk Distinction (Bourdieu, 1987)  Consumption is a form of social distinction or differentiation  We ‘perform’ our tastes, based on what we consume  No taste is better than another Conspicuous Consumption (Veblen, 1953)  Consumption is communication  Consumption that has no practical value Social Psychology of Consumption (Grossberg et al., 1998)  How pleasure is accomplished: o Escape from negativity o Personal connection to content o Knowledge affirmation o Vegging out o Rebellion (breaking rules) o Catharsis (dealing with pain/unresolved issues) Week 7: Conceptualizing Identity  Essentialists: What you see is what you get  Social Constructionists: o Social, Cultural, and Political contexts construct our identities, and identity is influenced by social relations of power and fields  Postmodernists: o Dependent on advanced levels of urbanization, technological developments, and sharing of knowledge o Agency: The fact that individuals have the ability to make their own choices and act in ways that they choose; power Identity and Power – Panopticon (Foucault, 1979)  Social control was achieved through power and knowledge  Those that judge are part on Panopticon  Expectations/social norms act as a Panopticon, if you don’t conform, you’ll be punished Habitus (Bourdieu, 1986)  What we use when responding to issues in social fields o Fields: space that is organized by social relations of power o Ex: Mass media, politics, film/music industry, internet  Systems of thought and action, habits and regular behaviours How do we cultivate a sense of self? (Grossberg, et al., 1998)  Politically, culturally, economically, socially Identity and Market Types (Grossberg, et al., 1998)  Demographics: Social variables and characteristics (gender, race, income, etc)  Taste Culture: shape their identities by consuming a type of product or service  Lifestyle Cluster: purchases and consumes certain products in addition to making specific decisions that can be predicted Diffusion of Innovations Theory  New technologies that are introduced to society are used by: o Innovators (first to adopt), likely to be opinion leaders o Early adopters, Early majority, Late majority, Laggards Cyborg: a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon
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