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Department
St. Michael's College Courses
Course
SMC219Y1
Professor
Steve Hoselton
Semester
Fall

Description
SMC  STUDY  NOTES         Biagi       • Suggested  that  all  media  messages  start  with  the  sender  (the  source)  through   a  channel  (medium),  then  sent  to  the  receiver  (person  who  gets  the  message)   –  there  can  sometimes  be  noise  (static)  which  disturbs  the  message  from   getting  to  the  receiver.  There  can  be  feedback  given  from  the  receiver  which   is  either  positive  or  negative     • Examples  of  the  channel  the  medium  can  be  sent  through  can  be   newspaper/radio/tweet  etc.     • This  noise  Biagi  speaks  of  can  make  the  message  harder  to  pick  up/  the  noise   is  always  technical  though   • The  media  impact  is  not  always  one-­‐way  ie.  The  message  is  not  the  only   interaction  but  the  feedback  is  as  well     Problems?     • This  position  Biagi  takes  is  completely  American,  he  generalizes  what  is  true   in  the  US  to  the  whole  world,  because  it  assumes  that  all  media  is  profit  based   –  it  is  not  true  to  say  that  profit  is  the  only  cause  of  the  message  ie.  Education   is  driven  by  mass  media,  but  it  is  not  profit  driven  (just  as  news/  government   cautions/  weather  cautions  are  not  profit  driven)   • Biagi  oversimplifies  the  idea  of  noise,  suggesting  that  the  noise  is  solely   technological  but  in  reality  there  are  many  different  types  of  noise  ie.   messages  from  the  competition/  if  your  reading  the  newspaper  on  the   subway  and  there  is  noise  around  you  which  is  distracting  you..  noise  can  be   anything  that  interrupts  the  receiver     • Biagi  is  critiqued  for  looking  at  attributes  that  only  support  her  argument   • She  is  also  critiques  for  suggesting  feedback  can  only  be  positive  or  negative,   it  can  also  be  reproductive  and  resistant  (active  or  passive)..  ie.  reproduction   can  be  active  by  acting  on  the  senders  message  (telling  your  friends  about   it/buying  the  product)   • She  is  also  critiqued  for  not  accounting  for  online  versions  of  older  media         McLulhan     • Talks  about  Mediums,  he  suggests  that  a  medium  is  something  that  connects   one  thing  to  another  (ie.  communication  always  means  something  that   connects  a  person  to  something  outside  themselves  –  to  the  world)  Ie.   walking  is  a  medium  by  taking  ones  presence  from  one  place  to  another     • A  medium  is  an  extension  of  the  individual  (not  something  that  separates   you)  à  the  content  of  the  communication  does  not  matter     • The  medium  controls  the  message    à  because  the  medium  is  making  the   rules  (ie.  the  way  we  interact  has  rules,  assumptions,  limits  and  expectations)   • The  medium  (connection)  you  use  for  each  time  changes  for  example  how   you  talk  in  a  text  or  online  is  different  than  in  person  the  “rules”  are  different     • The  problem  of  this  process  is  that  we  are  unaware  that  this  process  is   happening,  therefore  we  become  tools  of  technology  –  it  is  not  the  way  we   use  technology  yet  it  is  the  way  that  technology  uses  us     • We  are  usually  unaware  of  this  “control”  that  the  media  has  over  us,  which  is   more  dangerous  because  it  can  influence  you  in  a  way  you  don’t  realize     • In  the  19  century  we  move  from  a  typographical  period  (newspaper/books)   to  an  electric  period  (tv/movies)   • Typographical  à  the  medium  is  imposing  its  norms/standards  on  us  à  our   society  is  ordered  and  linear   • Electric  à  society  is  spontaneous  because  most  things  aren’t  produced  the   way  type  is.  Ie.  things  can  come  at  you  instantly  (ie.  turn  on  the  TV  and  adds   are  popping  up  in  your  face  à  therefore  our  sense  of  norms  is  shifted   towards  things  that  happen  without  a  series  of  logical  steps     • Mcluhlan  says  that  are  interaction  with  the  media  is  colossalà  norms  are   constantly  changing  by  new  norms  created  by  the  media     • Mcluhlan  believed  movies  and  TV  were  different  mediums  à  Movies  =  a  hot   medium  –  requires  very  little  of  your  feedback  and  interaction  –  makes  you   passive  &  TV  is  a  cool  medium  =  leaves  our  far  more  details  and  forces  you  to   interact  with  it  more  (ie.  the  bachelor  leaves  you  hanging  at  the  end  of  an   episode  à  you  talk  with  friends  discussing  what  can  happen  next  week)     Problems?     • He’s  been  accused  of  instrumentalism  (ie.  putting  too  much  emphasis  on  a   single  element  à  suggesting  that  it  is  beyond  human  control)   • His  emphasis  on  the  power  of  media  to  create  and  control  human  action  is   too  simplistic     • He  is  criticized  for  giving  too  much  importance  to  the  medium  àyou  can   change  the  medium  and  keep  the  message  (ie.  a  tv  commercial  opposed  to  a   text  message  =  same  message)   • The  power  of  media  to  create  and  control  is  seen  as  too  simplistic   • Mcluhlans  style  of  writing  is  also  criticized  and  it  is  believed  that  he   intentionally  makes  things  difficult  to  understand  à  his  writing  has  been   called  more  “poetry”  à  it’s  contradictory  that  he’s  writing  about   communication  but  he  is  not  communicating  clearly  à  his  examples  and   references  don’t  actually  illustrate  his  points       Berger     • “The  message  is  the  message”  NOT  The  medium  is  the  message  à  Berger   believes  that  the  actually  content  of  the  message  is  important  –  even  if  the   medium  controls  the  message  we  are  able  to  chose  some  messages  over  the   other  (ie.  we  chose  which  TV  shows  we  watch)   • We  often  watch/read/  encounter  the  same  message  over  again  à  There  is   comfort  in  repetition  and  we  find  something  new  each  time  we  encounter  it   (even  if  the  medium  is  the  same  sometimes  the  message  changes  ie.  re-­‐ reading  a  book)   • Berger  says  there  are  four  functions  of  Text:     1.  Pragmatic    à  art  is  functional  and  has  a  purpose  (ie.  a  news  report  is   looking  to  give/get  information)  Pragmatic  =  practical  =  providing  you  with   information   2.  Objectiveà  art  projects  its  own  reality  (different  from  lived  reality  that  we   understand  à  it  creates  its  own  reality     3.  Expressive  à  art  expresses  the  reality  of  the  artist  (creating  their  own   reality  à  iE.  Quintin  Teratino  movies     4.Mimetic  à  art  imitates  real  life  à  the  message  is  as  close  to  real  life  as   possible  (something  you  can  relate  to  à  ie.  reality  TV  –  KUWTK     • Pragmatic  is  opposite  of  Expressive  and  Objective  is  opposite  of  Mimetic   • To  understand  text  we  need  to  be  able  to  distinguish  between  them     -­‐  Convention  VS.  Invention     • Convention  à  whatever  the  message  is  its  reflecting  something  that  came   before     • Invention  à  the  message  is  new/  different  and  changes  the  way  we  relate  to   something     • The  purpose  of  analyzing  text  is  to  create  a  narrative  à  aka  a  background   picture  for  the  viewer     • The  goal  of  textual  analysis  is  to  create  three  interferences  (conclusions)   about  the  message     1.  Inferences  of  the  antecedents  à  what  came  before  the  text/what  led  to  it   2.  Recognize  characteristics  of  communication  in  general   3.The  effects  of  the  communicationà  what  would  this  do  to  something   watching     Problems?   • You  can  misinterpret  and  make  assumptions  that  don’t  correlate  to  what  the   creator  intended  (ie.  different  analysts  come  up  with  d
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