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Media studies Midterm 1 Study Notes.docx

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CMN 1160-B
-Communication is any means of transmitting information between people.
-Media is a medium of communication?
-Mass can generate the same meaning of the same content, generate a specific audience.
Traditional vs. Modern
Ferdinand Tonnies
Gemeinschaft (Traditional)
-Divine transcendence
Oral communication
Local exchange
Demographic dispersion
-Folkloric culture
-Common culture
Generality of roles
Traditional ties that bind
Gesellschaft (Modern)
Mediated communication
National Exchange
Mass dispersion
-Technologies of contact
-Interest groups
Contractual ties
In traditional society, the source of information was what we call God or Divine
Transcendence. Metaphysical world. Everything people should know, how to behave,
norms, ideas, was in divine transcendence.
A society that was very hierarchal. This means EVERYTHING was decided by divine
transcendence. You didn’t have a choice in your decision of how to live. If you were born
a King, that’s because God wanted you to be a King.
Oral communication was the mode of communication.
Everything they produced was exchanged locally. Very folkloric and traditional.
Very essentialist roles, very general roles.
Change wasn’t necessarily welcomed.
Very symbolic.
You must not defy the order given by the gods.
What contributed to the transition from traditional to modern society was migration of
one country to another. People from different backgrounds would come together in order
to work.
Villagers are not owning any more of their products, they become a part of a working
force that produces things for other people. We call that working class the Proletariat.
Development of transportation, roads…
The demographic dispersion is not local anymore, they’re going out of the village.
People started to form a mass of different people who consume the same material.
Who decides culture in modern society? Each has their own community that they
Roles in terms of work, it’s very specific roles. Ex: in traditional society a professor
teaches mathematics, English, science, etc. But in modern society a professor will
specialize in one domain, for instance just math.
You develop a personality based on your tastes and preferences.
VIDEO Printing Transforms Knowledge:
-People counted on the few square miles they knew, for survival.
-Facts for them were what you got from direct experience.
-The old are the wise who will decide what happens in court.
-Shows how they printed on paper; how they wielded/made the letters. “Portable”
Social history of the telegraph
Technological determinism -
Cultural and social determinism – Belief that in society we determine cultural and social
change, and determine how we use technology in society.
Social history – Social application of technological capacity
Why are we studying the telegraph? (1845-1900)
Last message sent by telegraph, by western union
First modern electric medium
Object of myth and pop culture
By studying the telegraph, we can decide for some sort of pattern in evolution of
medium, and we can compare emergence of other mediums
By studying its history we can characterize the evolution of other media
Explain role and function of modern media
Historical Approach:
Situates the object of study in its context of emergence and evolution
Tracks its continuity and series of events that may be similar or dissimilar
Explain their formation or deviation
Ex. Telegraph, telephone, electricity in urban centers, radio, film, television etc..
The telegraph is a social application of a technical capacity

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