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CCT210H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Gender Role, Erving Goffman, Textuality

Communication, Culture and Technology
Course Code
Elizabeth Peden
Study Guide

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Part 1:
Disembodiment/Re-Embodiment (171,177):
Disembodiment: body is separate from the mind as in a virtual reality
Re-Embodiment: as digital technologies continue to advance the possibility of global
communication on the spot people want to the protection and emotional shelter of
belonging more and more (ie. re-tribalizing), which involves re-embodiment because
it leads to face-to-face contact the mind becomes a part of the body again
Convergence (Danesi 170): bringing two forms of media into one (ex. streaming TV
shows from the internet)
Advertising Textuality (Danesi 188): the construction of advertisements and
commercials on the basis of the specific signification systems built intentionally into
products (ex. the use of jingles, logos, brands, songs, melodies, characters, celebrities,
Machinism (Danesi 173,175): it is a product of metaphorical thinking: the mind equals a
machine: artificial intelligence three types
- Cartesian machines that do not use symbols and lack awareness of themselves
- Craikian machines that construct models of reality, but lack self-awareness
- self-reflective machines that construct models of reality and are aware of their
ability to construct such models
Co-option (Danesi 196-198): if you cant beat them, join them adapting to the
rebellious and making it mainstream (ex. hippie image: it started off as a rebellion then
was made mainstream and to this day the definition of the era)
Virtual signifieds (Danesi 171): in cyberspace, signifieds float around, with no material
world in which to exist transmitted by a host of multimedia signifiers from this, emerges
cybersystem which lacks the usual constraints that traditional print systems impose on
presentation and communication

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Part 2:
1) With advances of satellite communications, TV has not allowed viewers to see
themselves as participants in wars and conflicts elsewhere in the world
producing 3 main psychological effects on TV viewers. List and describe each
one. What does Baudrillard say is the result of all this on the viewer?
- 3 psychological effects: mythological effect, history fabrication effect, and cognitive
compression effect
NOTE: constant exposure and treatment of sexual themes on sitcoms has desensitized
society to it and reached more than they did before TV: TV images dont require critical
reflection on the signifieds being conveyed like in books or art
Mythologizing effect:
- TV creates personalities that appear larger than life
- TV characters are mythic figures
- suspended in real time and space
The history fabrication effect:
- TV literally fabricates history (ie. Access Hollywood)
- takes an ordinary event, and makes it a monumental event
- as a viewer, you make up your mind about guilt/innocence based on what you
see on TV
- events that are televised are seen as more important and historically meaningful
than those that arent (ie. Princess Dianas funeral)
- People now experience history through TV
TV shapes history
- pseudo events
staged reporting of staged events
massive public relations
mesh reality

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Cognitive compression effect: compressed in time
you cant see it as it progresses
little edited segments that are presented to the view
shot and edited in a certain
captures particular aspects
presented in an easy digestible format
is subject to style
the journalist sorts the people into groups/countries
Baudrillard: this has led to a generalized passiveness and lack of reflecting in how people
receive and understand messages; a passive and cognitively effortless way of reading the
TV text. Its presented, packaged and digested before you even have time to reflect on it
2) According to Fiske, television codes are embedded in ideological codes: what
does this mean and why would a viewer accept these codes?
- representational convention by which women are shown to lack knowledge which men
possess and give to them is an example of the ideological code of patriarchy; similarly the
conventional representation of crime as theft of personal property is an encoding of the
ideology of capitalism: common sense can only be produced when reality representations
and ideology merge into a coherent, seemingly natural unity; for example extreme close-ups
become a codified way for representing villainy (ex. in an episode of Hart to Hart, Fiske
discusses, in which of the 21 scenes 18 were of the villains or emphasis the tension of
someone being interviewed)
- viewers accept these codes because characters on television are not just representations of
individual people but are encodings of ideology embodiments of ideological values (ex.
with heroes being more attractive then villains and the camera angles and lighting
changing to emphasize these roles which are socially central types who embody the
dominant ideology)
- We are maintaining and legitimatizing the dominant ideology, and our reward for this is
the easy pleasure of the recognition of the familiar and of its adequacy; popular television is
popular because it is both complex and infused with ideology
- How does television make and circulate meanings that serve the dominant interests of
- Level One - Reality: appearance, dress, colour, make up, speech, behaviour, sound, etc.
- Level Two - Representation: camera, lighting, editing, music, sound, etc.
- Level Three - Ideology: All of these are organized into coherence and social
acceptability at this next level of ideological codes, such as: individualism, patriarchy,
race, materialism, capitalism
- audience implies that television reaches a homogeneous mass of people who are all
essentially identical, receiving the same messages, meaning and ideologies, and are passive
3) Why is birth of a nation a racist film? How does it naturalize racism?
- It has provoked great controversy for its treatment of white supremacy and sympathetic
account of the Ku Klux Klan
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