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Chapter 10

SOC103- Chapter 10- Mass Media.docx

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Ryerson University
SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

SOC103- Chapter 10- Mass Media Module 10.1 Mass Media Through Time  Mass communication- 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  4000-3000BCE—Egyptians developer o Hieroglyphics- early form of visual communication o Papyrus- early form of writing paper  1500BCE—Greeks developed the phonetic alphabet From block printing to movable type  Block printing- process which wooden blocks are engraved with images and text, inked, and then pressed onto paper o If anything needed were required—new block would have to be produced  Johannes Gutengergs—printing press influenced human social development o Movable type- allowed individual letters or images to be moved without influencing the surrounding text o Changes could be made easier o Letters and images could be re-used o Instrumental to the industrial revolution 3 centuries later o Making copies affordable, lower class motivated to learn to read o Rapid increase in literacy levels across Europe Newspapers  Oldest newspaper—Pot-och Inrikes Tidningar—in Swedish (1645) o Stopped producing paper copies—only offers online o Worlds largest newspaper by circulation is located in Japan The telegraph  Manuel Morse’s (1843)—invented  Morse code—keypad to send short and long electrical pulses  Ran telegraph lines along railroad The phonograph  Thomas Edison (1877)—invented  Used a spinning cylinder and a needle that would scratch the surface as vibrations of sound were passed through a mouth piece o Once groves were made on the cylinder, another needle was used to replay the recording Moving pictures  Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau (1832)—developed phenakistoscope o 2 spinning disks that gave the impression of movement o Same process used when flipping through individual scenes in a comic book  Eadweard Muybridge (1877)—used a process that linked 24 still cameras alongside a race track so that as a horse went by, a string tripped each cameras shutter  Edison (1888)—developed technique where by photographic film could be run rapidly across a camera shutter—expose the film frames Radio  James Clerk Maxwell (1860s)—predicted the existence of radio waves  Guglielmo Marconi (1895)—sent and received his first radio signal  Medium mass declined over the year—switching to digital and online music Television  Integral part of the worlds social, political, and economic landscape  Few technological developments have had such a profound influence on social fabric of our lives  Paul Gottlieb Nipkow (late 1880s)—working mechanical television o Able to send images though wires and a rotating metal disk o “Electric telescope”  Broadcasting began in 1928  Decline to a result of the emerging dominance of the internet The Internet  Began 1967—military need 1 SOC103- Chapter 10- Mass Media Module 10.2 Mass Media Today  2006- 75.4% of Canadians have a personal computer  Traditional mass communication technologies push content to their audience  New technology enable their customers to pull content that reflects whatever they want  Web 2.0- interactive online tools dedicated to promoting a greater sense of community Satellite television and radio  Target a broad audience and offer 100s of channels  Become popular to Canadians since it was introduced in 2005 Cellphones  Dominant form of voice technology  Become pat of a users “personal sphere of objects”—like wallet, keys  Srivastava—gives users the impression that they are constantly connected to the world outside and therefore less alone  Criticized—contributing to poor spelling and grammar o Distracted from tasks that require concentration o Promoting the demise of intimate face-to-face relationships o Causing brain cancer  Digital sociality- social landscape in which new communication technologies are promoting human interaction and contact Text messaging  Negative influence—writing ability o Others see it as an opportunity for artistic expression  Convey a message virtually through any text message device Music file sharing  Shawn Fleming (1999)—created Napster—first to use P2P software to share music  Biggest threat from recording companies—force to bankrupt in 2002  Canadian recording industry association—filing sharing cost more than $465 million in retail sales Resulted in employees layoffs and lost opportunities for artists  New copy right legislation—sharing music illegal in next couple years Blogs  Blog-online diary in which individuals post personal reflections on events, specific topics, and/or experiences  Many blogs go unnoticed and are little more than a series of thoughts that a few people see  RSS (really simple syndication)- web feed format that informs subscribers of new information poster on online services  Attraction—ability to present ones idea to a global audience and invite a dialogue—online global community Wikis  Wiki- online body of information to which anyone can add or modify content  Allows everyone to participate as a community that is nonhierarchical and nonregulated  No guarantee that entries are accurate precisely—can be created and edited at anytime Podcasts  Podcasts- technology that allows automatic downloading of audio and video files that can be played back on personal computers or loaded onto portable players  Emerged in 2005 and quickly became popular—stay up to date on news events and areas of personal interest  Narrowcast- transmission of data to specialized audience who subscribe to the service  Demassification- process by which the mass audience is fragmented into small groups or niches to appeal to unique audience YouTube  Steve Chen, chad Hurley, Jawed Karim (2005)- created YouTube  Easy-to-use website to share personal videos  Important role in changing oppressive political regimes—making available video clips that show abusive or repressive actions by government representatives, military soldiers, or police officers  Conventional mass media controlling all of the information that the world sees may be over  Technology is transforming the individuals relationship to the social—interest of sociology 2 SOC103- Chapter 10- Mass Media Social networking sites  Help connect with friends or to join groups with common interest  Myspace—Brad Greenspan (2003)  Facebook—Mark Zuckerbery (2004) Module 10.3 Sociological Approaches to Mass Media Functionalism  Providing a unique and powerful ability to promote common values and beliefs  4 primary areas where mass media contributes to society o Socialization functions- mass medias role in transmitting beliefs, values, and traditions from one generation to the next o Surveillance function- mass medias role in gathering and disseminating information to the population o Correlation function- mass medias role in filtering and making comprehensible the huge daily volume of news stories and issues o Entertainment function- mass medias role helping people rest, relax, and escape the pressures of everyday life  View mass media as filling as some important need in society  Understand media landscape in contemporary society  Argue—these theories of media are outdated Conflict theory  Mass media are vehicles used by the rich and powerful to control the masses and to reinforce their false consciousness  Influences our perceptions of events through their use of negative and
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