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[MDSA01H3] - Final Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (50 pages long)


Department
Media Studies
Course Code
MDSA01H3
Professor
Lewis Kaye
Study Guide
Final

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UTSC
MDSA01H3
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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1
MDSA01 LECTURE NOTES
Introduction to Media Studies
Week 2 - September 13 th
, 2016
Why study communication?
Communication is central to human social and cultural activity.
oConstantly engaging in an act of communication.
oHow we organize ourselves as social beings (e.g., students, institutions).
Communication technology as central to the cultural, political, and economic organization of society.
Communication and the idea of the “shrinking globe.”
oDifferent than past generations
oThe “flexibility” of time and space
E.g., how long does it take to get from Toronto to New York
This generation will Google it
Distance in terms of time (dependent on how we travel)
The means of transportation is different from past generations
Takes less time to travel the same distance
oWant to interrogate these transformations.
What is communication?
Historical scholarly models:
oShannon Weaver
Mathematical model of communication
1940s
Influential model of understanding how communication takes place
Begin with a simple model and collapse multiple models on top
Problems:
Doesn’t consider (take for granted) the social context of communication.
Social variables (language, culture, individual traits) influence the way communication
takes place.
Social models of communication
oAn encoding context
Context of reception can change over time
Decoding and reception, influence interpretation of information.
oE.g., fashion (logos, institutions)
Critical communication (media) studies
oKey questions:
What role do media play in the construction of identity?
How do they inform our understanding of the places we live, work, and play?
What role do media have in our political processes?
Is media content simply entertainment?
Does it matter who owns or controls the media?
What is the role of advertising in influencing our attitudes? Or other media content?
What role do media play in our economy?
What role do media play in contemporary globalization?
The Idea of Mass Communication
This concept informs the earliest models of media studies.
Refers to the transmission and transformation of information on a large scale.
Traditional understandings are grounded in the idea of transmitting a single message to a large number of people.
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2
oThe idea of a mass audience.
Three dimensions of mass communication:
oThe production and dissemination of mass information and entertainment
oThe decentralized production and wide accessibility of information and entertainment
oThe interactive exchange (feedback) of information to a number of recipients
Media, Mass, and New
Mass media: vehicles through which mass communication takes place.
New media: forms of digital media that have decentralized processes of communication.
oWhat does it mean to be new – problematic
Distinguishing between the two can be very difficult (e.g., Netflix).
Dimensions of (mass) media:
oA distinct set of activities
oInvolving particular technological configurations
E.g., language as technology
oAssociated with formally-constituted institutions and organizations
oActing within certain laws, rules, and understandings
oCarried out by persons occupying certain roles: organizational dimensions of the media
oConveying information, entertainment, images, and words (and sounds)
oTo or among members of society: the mass audience?
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