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Study Guide

CMN3104- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 33 pages long!)


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMN 3104
Professor
Dina Salha
Study Guide
Midterm

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UOttawa
CMN3104
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Lecture'1:'Theories'and'Approaches'to'Media'and'Communication'
Early!Theories!of!the!Media!
- The!Direct!Effect!Theory:!assumes!that!media!messages!directly!impact!behaviour!
(clinical!psychology!–!Pavlov).!Influenced!by!the!studies!of!crowd!mentality!by!Lebon!
o Pavlov:!studied!the!notion!that!strong!messages!can!manipulate!the!behaviour!
of!those!receiving!them.!Applied!to!societies!during!a!time!when!different!
political!ideals!(outside!of!democracy)!were!emerging.!Found!that!if!a!stimulus!
was!provided!you!can!condition!a!person!for!a!particular!response.!This!is!
implemented!by!media!using!the!idea!that!a!particular!behaviour!can!be!resulted!
as!a!result!of!using!strong!messages!
o Lebon:!studied!the!behaviours!of!crowds!and!categorized!them!as!having!
feminine!traits!(instinctive,!irrational,!emotional,!racial,!lesser!intellectual!
capabilities)!and!found!these!traits!to!be!deemed!negative!as!opposed!to!the!
white!middle!aged!men!who!were!viewed!as!the!leaders.!His!description!of!
crowds!involved!a!group!of!people!that!needed!to!be!controlled!through!strong!
leadership!and!manipulation!which!would!be!simple!to!accomplish!due!to!the!
lower!intellectual!capital/class.!
- Social!Functionalist!Theory:!take!into!consideration!the!fact!that!the!individual!and!
interpersonal!communication!contribute!to!decision!making!and!interpretation!of!text!
and!messages!
o People’s!social!connections!influence!the!decision!making!process!and!belief!
system,!rather!than!the!direct!influence!of!the!message!from!the!media!
o Use!of!Media!as!Gratification:!idea!that!we!use!media!to!replace!a!need!that!is!
usually!satisfied!by!interpersonal!communication.!The!notion!that!the!media!
becomes!that!friend!to!you.!
§ Examples:!listening!to!a!song!to!connect!to!your!emotions!and!disconnect!
from!what!is!going!on!in!your!life,!reading!a!romance!novel!to!zone!out,!
watching!hoarding!shows!to!feel!better!about!yourself!
- Cybernetics!Theory:!consider!the!media!as!part!of!a!system!of!meta-stability!and!they!
facilitate!the!equilibrium!of!social!organization!and!control!!
o A!system!that!is!always!collecting!information!in!order!to!see!if!there!is!anything!
disturbing!the!system,!then!it!works!harder!to!bring!the!system!back!to!
equilibrium!
o The!media!is!connected!to!lots!of!environments!(ex.!political!and!social)!and!
thrives!in!an!environment!where!it!can!make!profit!and!influence!consumers!
through!their!knowledge!of!the!consumer’s!habits!
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Critical!Theories!
- Critical!theories!view!the!media!as!tools!that!circulate!the!ideologies!of!the!elites!in!
order!to!get!the!consent!of!public.!!This!means!that,!in!order!to!maintain!the!status!quo,!
those!in!power!need!to!maintain!the!consent!of!the!public!by!peaceful!means!rather!
than!by!coercion.!
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- The!role!of!the!media!is!to!expand!the!public!sphere!while!distracting!the!public!from!
real!social!issues,!promotion!consumption!of!commodities!and!capitalist!ideologies!
(hegemonic)!
o Hegemony:!the!notion!of!manufacturing!consent.!It!involves!the!production!and!
maintenance!of!ways!of!thinking!and!seeing!that!exclude!alternative!discourses!
and!voices!(resistance).!!If!these!are!included,!it!is!only!to!reinforce!the!status!
quo!(viewed!as!opposition,!tokenism,!added!to!make!fun!of).!
o Example:!Hegemonic!ideal!of!the!American!dream!which!is!marketed!as!an!
attainable!position!in!life!if!you!work!hard!and!the!notion!is!that!if!you!don’t!
achieve!it!it!is!your!own!fault.!
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Theories!of!Womanhood!
- Biological!Determinism:!explanations!of!social!or!cultural!phenomena!in!biological!
terms.!It!relies!to!a!certain!degree!on!Darwin’s!theory!of!evolution!and!the!principles!of!
natural!selection!
o Example:!Women!are!stereotyped!as!being!more!emotional,!weaker!or!
vulnerable!than!their!male!counterparts.!When!in!reality!emotions!don’t!
determine!what!a!person!can!or!should!be.!!
- Social!Construction:!theories!that!emphasize!the!social!created!nature!of!social!life!
which!means!that!society!is!actively!and!creatively!produced!by!human!beings.!
o Example:!Sex!is!what!you!are!born!with!(between!your!legs)!but!gender!is!what!
you!learn!based!on!your!sex!(between!your!ears).!This!emphasizes!something!
that!is!not!necessarily!black!and!what,!but!there!are!some!values!that!changes!
with!the!times!while!others!do!not.!
- Gender!Division!of!Labour:!the!distribution!of!women!and!men!in!the!occupational!
structure.!The!division!of!labour!is!usually!held!together!by!power!relations,!ideology!
and!moral!regulation.!
o Example:!The!jobs!women!do!in!the!public!sphere!vs.!those!of!men!are!different!
due!to!the!perceived!abilities!based!on!biological!determinism.!Similarly!the!
division!of!power!occurs!in!what!men!and!women!do!in!the!private!sphere!(at!
home).!
- Epistemology:!the!theory!of!knowledge!and!who!determines!what!“knowledge”!should!
be!views!as!such!and!for!what!purpose?!
- Psychoanalysis:!Freud’s!theory!of!sexual!development.!The!girl!is!seen!as!already!
castrated!and!thus!her!early!identification!with!her!mother.!Notion!that!femininity!
suffocates!the!personality!development!of!an!individual!through!idea!of!Adam!and!Eve!
(seductive!but!destructive)!
o Bourgeois!Family:!Typical!family!including!a!mother,!father,!son!and!daughter!
o Son’s!first!love!is!his!mother!and!he!has!jealously!toward!his!father’s!relationship!
with!his!mother.!The!son!must!let!go!of!his!mother,!adopt!the!persona!of!his!
father,!and!find!love!outside!the!house.!The!sister!doesn’t!have!to!deal!with!this!
pressure!from!her!brother!because!he!does!not!view!her!in!the!same!way!he!
identifies!with!his!mother.!
!
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