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CMNS 130 Study Guide - Final Guide: Michel Foucault, Cultural Learning, Raymond Williams

Course Code
CMNS 130
Ian Chunn
Study Guide

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CMNS 130 Explorations in Mass Communication
Sept 7
Lecture tapes:
Library website >> learning commons
Understanding and avoiding plagiarism an interactive tutorial
Library > Research Help > Tutorials > Plagiarism
For next Thursday, write a 100 word reflection on the experience (signed)
Including your understanding of “patch writing
Title page:
oYour name
oTAs name
oTutorial #
oWord Count
Page numbers on upper right corner
Citations, References in APA
Keep in mind, in whose interest is this coming from?
Faking the news
Why do we attend to that to which we attend?
The media give us a great deal to which we attend to
The media dont necessarily tell us what to think but they tell us what to think about
We should be able to study the modes of the media as self defense against media fallout
Discourse knowledge community
Knowledge / power Michel Foucault
Mark Kingwell Catch & Release
Writing: the active thinking of the seated
Think in new ways as media users, as reflective media practitioners
oEven as audience members, take in info and think about it engaging with the media in a
thoughtful way
Confucius: Absolute fundamental importance is that we say what we mean live in a world that is
coherent with our sense of fairness
oDefine your terms do not use terms arbitrarily, but show that you have an understanding
of it
Definitions (outlines)
Communication: communicate: to share, impart, make meaning common
To give or receive information, signals, messages in any way
Using talk, gestures, writing, or other means

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Question: how do we negotiate this common meaning, and come to or agree to be bound by it?
Media are located within and work to construct meaning in everyday life (Grasberg et al 237)
Mass communication (almost all of these wards may be plumbed):
Cultural transmission of symbolic forms,
Involving material practices and objects (e.g. a transmission system)
Within a political economic context
With decoders/receivers socially situated (e.g. from one person, group, or institution to large
audiences that are dispersed, anonymous, and unknown to each other) (John Thompson)
Mass medias social functions (Lazarsfeld and Merton, 1930s)
Status conferral: media coverage, good or bad, enhances the social standing of policies, persons,
Enforcement of social norms: media can closethe gap between private attitudes’ and public
morality”, reaffirm mainstream moral standards by calling attention to deviations from the norm,
and through publicity, exerting pressure towards social conformism
Narcotizing dysfunction : media keeplarge masses of the population politically apathetic an
inert by giving product good foronly a superficial concern with the problems of society”; we come
to mistakeknowing about problems of the day for doing something about them
Range of influence of communication (McBride Report in Lorimer and Gasher, ch 1)
How we think about ourselves, how we act in the world, interactions among nations
Social dimension: fills a social need, provides information base for society, community, or group
to coalesce and interact around, contributing to social cohesion, sense of belonging to Canada
Political dimension as political instrument for reform, or suppressing individuals and
information (FOI, privacy)
Economic dimension economic force: information; infrastructure
Educational dimension potential. Using new technologies; also exclude (information possessed
by doctors, engineers, lawyers); computers equalize?
Cultural dimension impulse and a threat to culture
Technological dimension dilemma: tech advance not a beneficial side effect of the pursuit of
knowledge, but an extension of conceptual thought to create devices that are feasible and have
market value. **Technological determinism. Technological imperative.
Familial or primary social group dimension changes the dynamics of the group; children
exposed to info, language different from elders; alternative role models. (e.g. how TV changed
family dynamics)
Individual dimension identity. Models; certain character types reinforced, narrowing choices;
patterns of use
Sept 14
The circulation of ideas and images in society
Models: (MCIC p. 10) = Lorimer & Gasher

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Forms: (MCIC Ch. 2)
Public access
Dickerson & Flanagan, 85-87
Media as ideological institutions
How ideology mystifies
Principal Ideologies
Values in the News (MCIC p. 236)
Normative Theories of the Press
Social Responsibility
September 11
Reflecting on ourtreat environment
Security and public safety
Acknowledging that there arepressing public interests around these issues
Notion of “public interest
OurRight to Know - Sept 25-29 is Right to Know Week
Information & privacy commission
September 29 BC Information Summit
Transmission and transformation
Media transfer information and also transform it, and us
Transmission: Shannon and Weaver, late 1940s, fig 1.1 pg 10 (MCIC) (signal, noise)
Transformation: social model of communication: encoding envelope etc. fig 1.2 p. 11
Communication is the process by which a message (content, meaning) is encoded, transmitted, and
decoded, and the manner in which a message is transformed by that process
Mass communication is
oThe transmission and transformation of meaning on a large scale
oThe representation of shared beliefs where “reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and
transformed (Murray, notes)
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