COMM 350 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: False Consciousness, Impression Management, Mass Society

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TAMU
COMM 350
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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August 30, 2016
Why do media theory matter?
Normative (descriptive)
Critical (reflective)
Theory provides insights into how various ideas & relationship impact
upon society.
Media theory is like a tool box.
Why study media theory?
Develop critical thinking skills
Analyzing complex ideas learn to apply the to everyday media
events.
Tools reveal how media system work and audiences respond
to media content.
Provide strategic problem solving and communication skills
vital media professions.
Applying Media Theory
Event
Role of Media
Relationship, implications or interpretation.
Relevant theory:
o Cultivation?
o Agenda Setting?
o Other?
September 1, 2016
Key Terms on Mass Culture
Culture
Mass Culture
Minority culture
Modernity
Reproduction and Aura
Approaching Theory
Media theory places media communication, tech and
phenomena in social, historical and political contexts.
SKILLS REQUIRED: Critical mind, creativity, ability to develop
ideas and make connections
o Critical thinking: developing own thinking, ability to
discuss and engage on popular theory culture.
Theoretical Approaches
Mass culture theory
Media effects
Medium theory
Political economy
Structuralism
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Semiotics
Interactionism
Schools of Theory
Propaganda Studies
Frankfurt school
Columbia School
Toronto School
British Cultural school
Theories we will explore…
Agenda setting
Cultivation theory
Diffusion of innovations theory
Reading Theory as Critical Thinking
Consider
o Who is the author and what it their background and
beliefs about media?
o What are the key concepts and how are they defined?
o How does the language used and time period in which it
emerges frame the topic?
o What are the key debates and assumptions about media
underlying the text?
Mass Culture Theory
Mass Culture Theory: Background
Interest in lit/art analysis and “mass culture”
Inspired my Matthew Arnold; defending “culture” against
“anarchy”
High vs. low culture; educated minority must guide the
masses.
o “Culture is to know the best has been said and thought
in the world
High vs. Low/Popular Culture
High culture: refers to those forms of culture usually
associated with the elite or dominant classes.
Popular culture: refers to the forms of cultural expression
usually associated with the masses, consumer good, and
consumer products.
Mass Culture: FR Leavis
Leavism critical analysis of cultural institutions
o “literature life as affirming” & “mass cultivation as life
denying”
Concern with relationship between civilization and culture
o Civilization: “totally of social relations”
o Culture: “value on which ‘fine living’ depended”
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