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CMNS 130 Final Exam Study Info (Spring 2012)

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CMNS 130
Kathleen Cross

CMNS 130 Final Exam Lectures Theory  Generalizations that attempt to explain and predict phenomena by finding & analyzing patterns  A set of concepts and relationship statements that help us to describe, explain, evaluate, predict and/control communication events and processes  Elements: explains something important, specifies assumptions clearly, makes relationships clear, systematic and creative, takes all relevant information into account, testable, generates further questions, tentative: open to review, provides guides to action Implicit Theories  Common sense theories  implicit understandings, widely held, prominent in public debate  Practitioner’s (practical) theories  accumulated wisdom of practice, influence work patterns Hypodermic Needle model of media effects  Audience are vulnerable, passive and atomized Frankfurt’s School’s view on Mass Media  Elite  mass, like stimulus-response model of science  Mass media is three fold o Cultural: the loss of “high” culture o Political: vulnerability of masses to manipulation and propaganda o Social: the breakdown of community ties Approaches to Mass Communication Theory Dominant Paradigm Critical Paradigm  Liberal pluralist  Concerned with unequal relations of  Social integration/social contract power  Diffuse power  Functionalism  Direct linear effects, with modifications  Quantitative research, behaviouralism  Criticisms: optimistic, sees audience as “blank slate”, audience has full power Policy  “ a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual”  Freedman: “political actions designed to promote more general ways of organizing public life” Politics  Process of making government policies, allocating resources, authoritative allocation of values  Relations involving power, the creation of what is legitimate, about regulating and NON-regulating Regulatory regime  “ a system or planned way of doing things, especially one imposed from above”  Laws, regulations, policies, or lack thereof Political Perspective on Media  Radical  Critical –> Liberal/Pluralism  Neo-Liberalism Critical Political Perspectives (“Radical”)  Media represents the interests of the powerful  Both the state & capitalist markets sustain inequality  Citizens need equal access to media, diversity of content Liberal Democratic/Pluralist Political Perspectives  Media is a result of negotiation  “ free” media is key  Market freedom is preferable, government steps in when problems happen  Balances free expression with public interest  Diversity, social cohesion  Government o Cultural/social policy: to foster democracy & public sphere, to ensure citizens are informed, to create a sense of national belonging & cultural identification, to foster access to cultural expression o Economic policy: to protect and foster national economic security  Liberal Pluralist Economic Theory, aka Keynesianism o Aim: to maintain economic prosperity & general economic welfare for all, introduces idea of society safety net (minimum wage, unemployment insurance, health, other social policies) Neo-liberal Perspectives (Des Freedman)  Free markets, individuals rights, personal choice, small governments, limited regulation  Classic liberal/liberal pluralistic: democratic marketplace, freedom from state, competitions  Individual responsibility, personal gain, private property  Hostile to state  Information Society o Dominant perspective, celebratory in approach o Information society is completely new, past problems are disappearing o Has technological determinist quality (technology will automatically solve problems) o Death of Materiality & state, end of social struggle, environmental communion, end of history  Shift  Regan, Thatcher, Mulroney o Deregulation, marketization, privatization, increased competition, dismantling of rationales for policy/regulations  The neo-liberal project o State owned industries should be privatized and sold off to the (less regulated) private sector o Cut back spending on social problems o National markets should be opened up to international trade & global competition o Curb the power of unions o Individual & self-interest is the most important thing in economy o Entrepreneur is most important & dynamic figure of social life o Profit is good, absolutely everything needs to be commodified Timeline of Dominant Views 1700-1800s 1900s 1940s 1960-1980s 1985-2012 Neo-Liberal Enlightenment – Liberal Liberal Pluralist Liberal Pluralist Liberal Pluralist Modernity Critical Cultural Studies Critical Theory/ Critical Theory/ Cultural Studies Cultural Studies Neo-liberalism (Shifts since 1980’s) - Main trends in global communication o Convergence, conglomeration & concentration, globalization, deregulation Enlightenment  “Age of Reason”, challenge to monarchy, church, knowledge  New humanism based on logic & “scientific method” (empiricism), secular movement  Origins of modernity – a profound evolution in social thought in 18 century  New technologies (ie. printing) & new economic structures (feudalism  capitalism, agrarian  industrial)  Influence of other emerging sites of power: merchant class, early capitalists, educated elites, industrialists  “an intellectual approach based on scientific and rational view of the world, established the ideological foundations for modern democracy and free press”  Notions of universal, natural, individual rights, and representative democracy  Key Concepts of Enlightenment ( Classical Liberalism) o Assumption that humans are rational, capable of making choices & governing ourselves o Liberty: all men are created equal & have unalienable rights, freedom from authoritarian govt’s o Truth is discoverable through reason Liberal Democracy  Equal rights, individual freedom, private property  Setting up nation states, power & control, mass media’s role in democracy The Public Sphere  Term popularized by Jurgen Habermas  Where political discussions happen, political opinion is formed, free press, independent of gov’t Broadcasting in Canada  1928 USA Federal Radio Commission  1928 Aird Commission Established: to “determine how radio broadcasting in Canada could be most effectively carried on in the interest of Canadian listeners and the national interests of Canada.”  1929 Aird Commission makes recommendations: some form of national public system  1930 Canadian Radio League Established: lobby for public service broadcasting  1932 Parliament adapts to Aird Commission  Canadian Broadcasting Act, Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC), CBC Dominant Models of Mass Communication Research  Laswell’s Communication Model o WHO says WHAT in WHICH channel to WHOM = to WHAT effect o Hypodermic needle theory of media effects o Behaviourist psychology, stimulus- response and the audience o Audience are vulnerable, passive & atomized  Two-Step Flow Model o Functionalist sociology, Chicago school, 1950s after WWII o Media reinforced already-held beliefs o Intervening variables: exposure, differential character of media, content, attitudes & psychological predispositions = minimal media effects
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