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SOCA02H3 Final: soca02 final review

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Kathy Liddle

Sociology A02 review notes Chapter 17 Mass Media Mass Media through Time - Mass communication: the transmission of messages by a person or group through a device to a large audience - Mass media: devices designed to communicate messages to a mass audience - Prehistoric Cave art ▪ Only human ancestors first began using paintings and engravings on cave walls to communicate their ideas and emotions during the Upper Paleolithic era - Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics, and the Alphabet ▪ The Sumerians of Mesopotamia (Iraq) were the first to invent a form of writing called cuneiform around 3500BCE ▪ Cuneiform: “wedge-shaped” writing, was created by scribes who etched inscriptions on wet clay tablets using a reed stylus ▪ The Egyptians developed hieroglyphic writing round 3200BCE ▪ Hieroglyphics: made up of individual characters ▪ Researchers were unable to translate Hieroglyphics until the discovery of the Rosette Stone 1799. ▪ Papyrus: an early form of writing paper developed by the Egyptians ▪ Because of its lightweight, papyrus enabled written messages to be transported across great distances ▪ More than 2000 years later, the Greeks had developed a phonetic alphabet, written from left to right and represented the sounds of the spoken language ▪ Eg: English - From block printing to movable type ▪ Block printing: a process involved engraving text and illustrations onto wooden blocks that were linked and pressed onto paper ▪ Developed in China, during Tang dynasty ▪ Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type, which allowed individual letters or images to be moved without influencing the surrounding text ▪ The metal letters and images could be reused, the process was very economical ▪ Because of this invention, people outside the upper class were motivated to learn to read ▪ Inspired a rapid increase in literacy levels across Europe - Newspaper ▪ the first Canadian newspaper was Halifax Gazette, which began printing in 1752 - the telegraph ▪ invented by Samuel Morse in 1843 ▪ using a keypad to send short and long electrical pulses – Morse code- through telegraph lines to be received and translated at the other end ▪ used by railroad companies - the phonograph ▪ invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 ▪ capture and replay sound ▪ phonautograph (similar device) to record sounds visually, not to play them back - moving pictures ▪ in 1832, Plateau which is a Belgian, developed phenakistoscope, which consisted of two spinning disks that gave the impression of movement ▪ The first invention to truly capture full-motion imagery was made by the prolific American inventor Thomas Edison ▪ The first movie theatre is in the US, opened on June 19, 1905 - Radio ▪ The development of radio technology began in the 1860s when Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio wave - Television ▪ An integral part of the world’s social, political, and economic landscape ▪ The first person who build a television was German student Paul Gottlieb Nipkow - Internet ▪ Begin to use in 1967 Mass Media today - The traditional mass communication technologies push content to their audiences, new technologies enable consumers to pull content that reflects their unique interests whenever they want - The enabling technology for many new online media forms is often referred to as Web 2.0 - Represents a significant evolution over earlier technologies in that it encourages more interactivity among users and results in both a deeper learning and a better potential to build online communities - Satellite Television - Cellphones ▪ Criticized for contributing to poor spelling and grammar, for being a distraction from tasks that require concentration, for promoting the demise of intimate face-to-face relationships, and even for causing brain cancer ▪ Digital sociality: a social landscape in which new communication technologies are promoting human interaction and contact - Text messaging ▪ Some appreciate that text messaging maintains some distance, which they feel helps to alleviate social anxiety - Twitter ▪ Real time information network connecting people to the lasts information they find interesting - Blog ▪ An online diary in which an individual regularly reflects on events, specific topics and personal experiences ▪ RSS (really simple syndication): which provides either a summary of a new entry or its entire text, thus eliminating the need to continually revisit sites to check for updates - Wiki ▪ An online body of information that is designed to allow anyone access to ass or modify its content - YouTube ▪ Created in Feb 2005 by people who perceived a need for an easy-to-use website that would allow users to share personal videos - Social networking sites Canadian insights into mass media: Innis and McLuhan - Harold Innis (1894-1952) ▪ Every society needs to transcend what he called the problems of space and time ▪ Time biased media: media that have longevity but whose form prevents their transmission over physical distance ▪ Transcend time by linking one generation to the next ▪ Space-biased: media that can convey messages readily over physical distance ▪ Eg: printed books ▪ Innis recognized that societies were influenced by their dominant forms of communications - Marshall McLuhan ▪ Believed that media influence the ways in which individuals, societies, and cultures perceive and understand their environments ▪ The medium is the message • to truly understand the social significance of media, one needed to understand the primary importance of the medium over the message ▪ Hot Media: media that contain a great deal of information but involve only a single sensory organ and demand very little from their audience (Eg, newspaper) ▪ Cool media: media that convey less information and require more participation from their audience (Eg: cartoon) Canadian content legislation - Media are one of the principal agents of socialization and are, therefore, of critical importance to sociologists - Canada follow CanCon (Canadian content): Federal regulations that stipulate the required percentage of Canadian content in television and radio broadcasts - These regulations aim to promote Canadian culture - MAPL system: CRCT requirements used to determine whether a piece of music qualifies Canadian content Sociological approaches to mass media - Functionalism o View mass media as providing a unique and powerful ability to promote common values and beliefs o Mass media contributes to society in four primary areas: o Socialization function: transmitting beliefs, values, and traditions from one generation to the next ▪ Mass media effectively promote social integration and the formation of a common cultural identity ▪ Fail to promote alternative perspectives and largely ignore the voice of minority groups o Surveillance function: media’s role in gathering and disseminating information to the population ▪ Eg: weather reports o Correlation function: media’s role in filtering and making comprehensible the huge daily volume of news stories and issues ▪ Maintain audience interest o Entertainment function: media’s role in helping people rest, relax, and escape the pressures of everyday life o Some argue that these theories of media are outdated - Conflict theory o Mass media are vehicles used by the rich and powerful to control the masses and to reinforce their false consciousness o Influence our perceptions of events through their use of negative and positive labelling o To promote corporate interest and perpetuate class differences o The primary role of mainstream media is to ensure popular support for the economic, social, and political agenda of the privileged classes. o Propaganda model: the assertion that media companies, as businesses, will transmit content that reflects their commercial interests o Some researchers challenge the assumption that audiences are passive, credulous recipients of media content, they believe audiences are critical of what they see and hear through the media - Symbolic interactionism o View mass media as an important part of contemporary life but one that is no more important than any other o Rejects all forms of determinism o Interested in exploring how media influence our perceptions of our social world o Media help to form identities by presenting images and situations that reinforce our cultural ideals of what makes people happy or successful o Altheide investigates the effect of electronic communication technologies on what he calls the e-audience in 2003 o The defining feature of this audience is the perception of control and sense of entitlement that comes from being able to communicate whenever they want - Feminist Theory o Criticized mass media on their patriarchal nature by highlighting the use of images of women in advertising, the exploitation of women in the pornography industry, and the tendency to present a solely masculine view of the world o Also, criticize media portrayals of women as they relate to the reality of women lived experiences o Feminists have proposed 2 strategies to diminish the effects of pornography on society: ▪ In the 1980s, they rejected the idea of state censorship in favor of adopting a human rights approach that would allow those negatively affected by pornography access to the courts to seeks damages ▪ Point out the importance of educating the public about the effects of pornography. o Misogyny: the hatred or deep dislike of women - Post- structuralism o One of the most important post-structuralist writers on mass media was French philosopher Jean Baudrillard o Baudrillard perceived that while modern societies focus on the production and consumption of commodities, postmodern societies focus on simulation and the creation and interplay of images and signs o Simulation: Baudrillard’s assertion that media create a “simulated” world through the reinforcement of certain images and signs o Hyperreal: the phenomenon that results when people define their experiences based on a perception of the world that has been simulated and constructed by the media o Baudrillard argued that the illusion has become the reality, the line is blurred The future of mass media - Homogenization of culture o Globalization continue to entrench Western media as the global default, cultural diversity will decline o Making our cultures less complex and more alike - Internet addiction o Heavy internet users may suffer from poor achievement, depression, fatigue, and social isolation - Internet pornography o Tremblay argues that all new media begin by pushing the social boundaries of morality (cybriety) because they offer new avenues for people to explore their sexuality - Increased mobility and access to information - Democratic potential and potential to build online communities Chapter 18 social change, collective behavior, and social movement What is social change? - Social change: changes in the typical features of a society (norms and values) over time - Collective behaviors: behaviors that occur when people come together to achieve a meaningful short-term goal - Social movement: collections of people who are organized to bring about or resist social change, for example, established political parties and the legal system - Social change is most likely to occur when: o the change originates within what are seen as cutting-edge sources o the change addresses a strongly need among the public o the change is material rather than nonmaterial o the change is broadly compatible with people’s existing values - Digital natives: people who grew up with digital technologies - Digital immigrants: people who grew up before digital technologies became commonplace - The life cycle of social change: o Innovation: something new that inspires social change (Eg: cellphones) o Exponential growth: when most the population adopts the technology or behavior o Saturation: the change enters a society’s traditions and normal daily practices - Opposition to social change o The rich and powerful generally resist social change, given that it often occurs at their expense o Vested interests: Veblen’s term to describe why privileged members of society resist change o Luddites: a loosely bound group of displaced textile workers who destroys the new machines that put them out of work - Inspiration for social change o Technology ▪ anything that provides an artificial means to achieve given end or result o Physical environment o Demographic shifts ▪ Other important inspirations for social change are immigration and migration patterns o Economic Competition o War ▪ Always been a prime inspiration for technological development o Ideas o Government o Individuals o Social movement Sociological approaches to social change - Functionalism o Equilibrium theory: the assertion that a system’s natural state is one of balance and harmony o Maintain social stability o Critics: o social changes amount to far more than a simple adjustment ▪ The two world wars changed international relations - Conflict theory o Argue that since the rich and powerful maintain their control over society to benefit their interests, anything that challenges the status quo will be resisted o According to Marx, the true equality is possible only in the final stage of social development: communism o Marx viewed social change as coming about through active revolt against oppression and exploitation o Consider conflict as inevitable and necessary to inspire social changes that will ultimately rid the world of inequality o Critics: less able to explain long-term stability and change that can occur without conflict - Evolutionary Theory (Comte, Durkheim, Spencer) o Comte saw societies evolving principles to explain social change o Unilinear evolutionary theories: the assertion that there is only one path through which an organism or society can evolve o Universal evolutionary theories: the assertion that all societies must progress in the same manner o Neoevolutionary theory: Lenski’s analysis of the role that technology plays in people’s adjustment to the physical world o Argue that social change is instead multilinear, continuous, and fluid o Critics: o No evidence to suggest that all traditional societies were alike and when societies do change, there does not appear to be a fixed set of stages through which they pass o The underlying assumption that societies progress over time - Cyclical theory o Social change occurs in a way similar to the changing seasons throughout the year o There is an ebb and flow through time according to a series of endless cycles o Sorokin believed that the essence of a culture was evident in what people aspired to become and how they planned to get there o Ideational culture: a society driven to seek and achieve spiritual goals (religious) o Sensate culture: a society that interprets the social and physical world through the senses o Believe that social change occurred over time by moving back and forth between these two opposite o Critics: o technological innovations o far more descriptive than analytic, more applicable in the past than it is today Collective behavior - collectivity: a substantial number of people who join because of loosely defined norms - little solidarity or loyalty, usually last only a short while - Localized collectivities: collectivities in which the members are in each other’s immediate physical presence o Crowds: unorganized collections of people who gather temporarily for a particular cause and are united by a common mood ▪ Casual crowd: same location at the same time ▪ Conventional crowd: gather for a structured social event (Eg: wedding, ethnic festivals) ▪ Expressive crowds: gather intentionally to express their emotions ▪ Acting crowds: gather to express anger and direct it outwardly at a specific thing o Mob: a crowd that gathers to achieve an emotionally driven goal o Flash mob: a planned gathering of large numbers of people for a belief and predetermined period of time o Riot: an acting crowd, focuses on public disorder and directs its hostility toward multiple targets o Protest crowds: a deliberately assembled crowd to rally support a social movement - Dispersed collectivities: collectivities in which the members are in different places at the same time o Rumors: specific or topical proposition passed from person to person that lacks reliable evidence ▪ Gossip: intimate and personal communication meant to be entertaining ▪ Urban legends: short, persistent, usually nonvitrifiable tales with an ironic or supernatural twist o Mass hysteria: occurs when people react to a real or imagined event with irrational or frantic fear o Disaster: an unexpected event that causes extensive damage to people, animals, and property o Fashion: social pattern that appeals to a large number of people o Fad: a short-lived but enthusiastically embraced new cultural element ▪ Object fads: cellphones ▪ Idea fads: astrology, UFOs ▪ Activity fads: Botox injections ▪ Personality fads: Oprah o Craze: a widespread emotional connection to a cultural phenomenon o Publics: an accumulation of people who have a defined political interest for meeting and who are organized by a common mood Sociological approaches to collective behavior - Contagion theory (irrational) o Group exerts powerful influence on the individual - Convergence theory (deliberate) o Negative, irrational behavior appeals to particular type of person - Emergent norm theory (dynamic exchanges) o Adjustment to new norms that emerge within given group in certain situations Social movements - The most highly structured, rational, and enduring form of collective behavi
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