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COMN 1310/1000 EXAM 1st semester

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York University
Communication Studies
COMN 1000

COMN 1310 Introduction to Communications What is Social TheoryA way of representing the world a model of the world or elements of itA set of tenets and ideas that provides a systematic explanation of social relationshipsA set of ideas worked out by a number of people to provide a rigorous explanation of the social elements of the world PurposeTo provide explanations for how and why things are the way they areTo guide action eg social policy improve quality of lifeMarx the purpose of theory is not to explain the world but to change itProblem social world too complex for complete explanation Hence social scientists break it in chunks Several steps 1 Define field of study eg sociology psychology communications Each approaches the role in different ways make a value judgment about what aspects of the social world to study 2 Define Approach to that Field Liberal Institutional Critical Technological determinist Keep in mind there are many different ways to look at the worldWhat is communication What is mass communication Communication is from the Latin communis meaning to make common Hence communication is a form if actionthe action of making something common to one or more people Mass means large groupHence the term mass communication simply means making something common among a large groupHence communication is a social action involving two or more people in a process of encoding and decoding and interpreting messagesMass communication influences a wide range of different dimensions of our livesp 610 of Lorimer text1 Social dimension a kind of social glue eg music newspaper TV shows 2 Political dimension how we are or how we ought to be governed 3 Economic dimension ie business and investment 4 Educational dimension as individualcitizens promotes general and specific understanding 5 Cultural dimension means of understanding the values of ideas that underpin our way of life as well as other groups of people 6 Technological dimension facilitated through technology eg TV radio computers 7 Family or primary social group dimension key in socializing children and other family members 8 Individual dimension involved in the creation of individual identity Mass communication is a central feature of social life and has influence in almost every dimension of our lives A key element of out whole way of lifeHarold Innis and Marshal McLuhan Toronto School pps 12 argue form or medium of communication can determine how society is organized and how people things about the world Q What is a communication medium A A vehicle through which the exchange of information takes place Q Different kinds of communication mediums A Radio TV newspapers Internet Also stained glass architecture language Innis and McLuhan see three broad types of media Oral Literate Electronic Claim using different forms of communication encourages people to think and act in different ways Oral societiyhas a time bias society is close knit because knowledge is invested in individualsprovides for a stable adaptable culture with ideas and knowledge generated for use in specific place eg Medicinal plants building materialssee Lorimer text Literate Societyspace bias meaning that the medium tends to bind people together in space books etc transportable spread knowledge and techniqueby building on ideas tends to encourage common ways of doing things across space linear and sequential forms of thinking Electronic Societyradio TV telephone computers satellite connects and interacts in multiple points across great distance Tends to break down social barriers and traditional roles creates new relationship across space hyperactive space biasFor McLuhan leads to global villageOther writers arguer it leads to a mix and match of ideas and values collisions between different cultures and different ways of life CHAPTER 2 Media as industrial form shift from feudal to industrial society and media as social form
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