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SOC 3116 - Final Exam Notes

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University of Ottawa

SOC 3116Lecture 2ICT Informations and Communications TechnologyNews Media Mass Media Necessarily oneway communicationNewspapers radio and televisionSocial Media Necessarily twoway communicationProcess of information exchange enabled by ICTs using platforms built upon the internetNot only alters how we communicate but also what we communicate Ex Cell Phone Facebook EMail etc Mediums of Social MediaThe fastest growing medium of social media over the last twenty years has been cell phones 41 billion subscriptions in 2008The second fastest being the internet in terms of growthOver the maturity of the internet 80 of internet content was in the english language whereas now only 30 is in englishKnowledge Economy Information is seen to be a valuable commodity that is bought and sold The value of information is having a tremendous impact on what we do and how we do it as it relates to emerging technologies Neil Postmans Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change1There is always a tradeoff with new technologies2Digital Divide The emergence of new technologies increases the divide between those who have access to it and those who do not have the infrastructure to afford itAccess to new technologies is high in urban centres whereas it is harder to access in remote areas3Imbedded inall technologies are culturally contingent assumptions on how we all people behave4Technological change is not additive but ecological or accumulative5Technology is not godgiven it was created by humans Technology adapts to our needs and not the other way aroundOld MediaNew MediaLearning Objectives1To highlight communication as among the most signicant attributes of being human2To highlight that the technologies we see today are rooted in the technologies that preceded them3To create a linkage between the role of the internet today and our past experiences with traditional mediaAt the core media is communication and how we communicate is something that is uniquely humanNicholas Carr says in the context of communication that reading is not a instinctive skill in the same way that speech isNaom Chomsky argues that we are hard wired for communicationOur brains have evolved to a capacity to understand any languageThis points to the fact that communication is central to the human existenceWe can also go on to argue that all languages share something in common Language is the essence to our humanityMedia Mediates CommunicationAs a mediator of communication media inuences not only how we communicate but what we communicateExample Tweets on Twitter have a max character limit of 140 That dictates what you communicate and howNeil Postman We are always grappling with the same problems that we have always been grappling with and it is important to recognize that there is something important in our past as to how we dealt with themWe have new technologies that appear to be changing everything but at the same time we have the same issues that we are dealing with as humansOur reliance on these technologies and how we use them has increased dramaticallyThe new technology will bring every individual into immediate and effortless communication with each other practically obliterating political geography which makes free trade universal There are no longer any foreigners and we can look forward to the gradual adoption of a common languageCosmopolitan 1890s about the TelegraphThis statement overemphasizes the relevance of our reliance on new ICTs Technologies will never remove the political geography of the nations around the worldThis statement also assumes that everyone has access to the necessary technologySOC 3116Societies World and TechnologiesLecture 3The new technology will bring every individual into immediate and effortless communication with each other practically obliterating political geography which makes free trade universal There are no longer any foreigners and we can look forward to the gradual adoption of a common languageCosmopolitan 1890s about the TelegraphWas the introduction of the telegraph more disruptive than the internetThe printing press predates the introduction of the telegraph 1440 The printing press was the rst time we could reproduce text at more than a 11 ratio revolutionary technologyThe rst form of Mass MediaIn terms of electronic media the telegraph introduced in the 1850s became the rst ICT The printing press was not an ICT it was operated manuallyThe telegraph introduced instantaneous communication morse code Morse code was the rst ever recognized digital language Ex SOS The telegraph was revolutionary not only in terms of speed but also in terms of distance Instantaneous communication over any distanceThe telegraph enabled twoway communicationSummation of the Telegraph1Instantaneous communication2Over any distance3Enabled twoway communication4Enabled the creation and connection of networksThe value of the networkthe square of the number of nodes in the networkSignicance of TelegraphBefore the telegraph railway companies had to use twin tracking which would allow them to have some transmission of communication between the citiesWith the introduction of the telegraph railway companies were able to increase their efciencyeffectiveness through instantaneous communicationUnanticipated Consequence The impact that is over and above the obvious impact The telegraph had an unanticipated consequence on the transportation industryThe telegraph changed the daily news by introducing breaking news We naturally assume that there is a higher value in getting more information sooner than later This reacts as a disservice when different publications try to break the news rst Accuracy fact checking and Analysis taking the time to broaden the information become issuesDigital vs Analog CommunicationAnalog Communication A signal that is analogues to a single source To say analogues means that it stays the same which means that analog communication is sent from the same medium Ex VinylDigital Communication A signal that is abstracted from its source bears no resemblance to the original source Ex CDElectronic Exchange Switch Revolutionized the telecommunication industry by replacing the operatorbased networksAttempted to connect telephone calls without any human intermediatorHad a social impact by connecting different social groupsRadio Revolutionary because it didnt have a wired connection Only wire needed was for powerEstablished a new benchmark that informs our use of media today That benchmark relates to a contract that we come to accept in our consumption of media we accept advertising in exchange for free informationThe money made in the business transferred from selling the unit to the transmission of the signal and the advertising that came along with itRadio was a step back from the telegraph because it was only a oneway signalTelevision Introduced at the time where radios were in every household CRTC Canadian RadioTelevision and Telecommunications CommissionsTraditional Media and Contemporary SocietyLearning Objectives1To link the role of media and society to the found precepts of a democratic society2To afrm the role that complete accurate and timely information has in supporting the effective role of citizens in a democratic society3To underscore that media operate in a context that reects avariety of interests some of which are not in the public interestCategories of Traditional Media Commercial media and Staterun public or alternative mediaCommercial Media Media that exists for prot SPA Media British Broadcasting Channel exampleGenre of Media Advertising is not a genre of mediaNewsInformation Commercial mediaEntertainmentMedia is like a mirror It reects back onto us what we see in the worldMedias are like a window to the worldThese argumentsmetaphors suggests that media is neutralMedia forms construction and representation of the world around usJurgen Habermas The Structural Transformation of the Public SphereSought to link media and modern society through the concept of the public spherePublic Sphere A neutral zone where access to information affecting the public good is widely available discussion is free of domination and all those participating do so on an equal basisThats the place where citizens get what they need in order to act on the democratic aspect of their society to vote for example He traces the emergence of the public sphere back to the 1700s People would go to coffee houses sit around and converse about issues The participants were wealthy men who were considered equals among one another He questioned whether modern media adequately fulll the role of a vibrant public sphere His answer noHe argues along with others media actually has three functions to play in a democratic society1 Source of public information 2 role of a public watchdog 3 role of a public representationProblem When institutions who are responsible for the distribution of media act as a business To exist in a commercial marketplace you must be competitive and to be competitive you need to make a protMedia is supposed to operate in public interest but institutions know that prot personal interest must exceed public interestWith prot is a driving motive for the media we are no longer citizens but instead consumers and when we become consumers we share a lot less with one anotherWhen we are dened as consumers we only have as much power as we do dollarsIn terms of citizenship we are not distinguished from one another We are considered equal
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