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SOCI 100 (54)

Mass Media II

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SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

Mass Media II 11-18-2012 From course reader: Media – Nick Dyer-Witheford Media Audiences: From couch potato to co-creator?  Technology – instrument of state and market power  Direct connection between media content and audience behavior  Hypodermic model – media injects audiences with messages that make them act a certain way  Conservatives – hold media responsible for breakdown of family and religious values  Liberals – see media as instruments of capitalist indoctrination  Cultural studies school – investigated pop culture as an arena where contending cultural codes and agendas are in conflict  Meaning of the “news” depended on the audience member’s class and ethnic position and not simply on how it is produced o Active agents of interpretation and criticism, not just blank slates  Active audience theory – people can respond to and interpret media in different ways o Limitations: easy to lose sight of macro structures that shape their overall agenda when we focus on their micro choices  Balanced media analysis: acknowledge the power of the meanings inscribed and recognize how these meanings can be challenged and changed by viewers Gender and the Media  Media helps define what we consider attractive, masculine, sexy, feminine or “typical”  Feminist sociologists – argue that men have generally commanded access to the most powerful means of communication of the age  Behind the scenes, men continue to occupy a majority of the crucial positions in media ownership, management and production  Full of stereotypical images and messages that support masculine control over women  Reinforces gender norms  Hollywood – constructs films that are for the pleasure of the male gaze  Crucial arena in which sexist images and messages can be changed  Women were targeted as key audiences with media-based advertising
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