Chapter 1: Introducing Critical Media Studies
Somatically: Things we know through direct sensory perception of our environment. (Personal experience)
Symbolically: Things we know through someone or something. (Mediated information)
Medium: Indirect channel. Derived from Latin word, medius, meaning middle.
Media: A broad term that includes a diverse array of communication technologies
Mass Media: Communication technologies that have the potential to reach a large audience in remote locations.
Postmodernity: the historical epoch that began to emerge in the 1960s as the economic mode of production in most
Western societies slowly shifted from goods-based manufacturing to information-based services
Convergence: the tendency of formerly diverse media to share a common, integrated platform.
Mass (in mass media): traditionally referred to the large undifferentiated, anonymous, and passive audience
addressed by television, radio, and print’s standardized messages
Globalization: a complex set of social, political, and economic processes in which the physical boundaries and
structural policies that previously reinforced the autonomy of the nation state are collapsing in favour of
instantaneous and flexible worldwide social relations.
Cultural Imperialism: The imposition of one set of cultural values on other cultures
Simulation: Increasingly unreal representation of external reality.
Socialization: describes the process by which persons – both individually and collectively – learn, adopt, and
internalize the prevailing cultural beliefs, values, and norms of a society
Content: The informational component of a message, to the specific details, facts, ideas, and opinions communicated
through mass media.
Form: Describes the cognitive component of a message. The way a message is packaged and delivered.
Critical Studies: An umbrella term used to describe an array of theoretical perspectives which, though diverse, are
united by their skeptical attitude, humanistic approach, political assessment, and activist orientation.
Skepticism: Not a way of debunking news, but a way of understanding the pressures and practices that constrain it.
Humanistic: This criticism emphasizes self-reflection, critical citizenship, and democratic principles. It involves thinking
about freedom and responsibility and the contribution that intellectual pursuit can make to the welfare of society.
Theory: An explanatory and interpretive tool that simultaneously enables and limits our understanding of the
particular social product, practice or process under investigation. Way of seeing. Chapter 2: Marxist Analysis
Marxism: Both a theory and a social and political movement rooted in the idea that “society is the history of class
Materialist: A philosophy positing that ideas determine social existence.
Superstructure: Collective: institutions of art, religion, education, politics, and the judicial system.
Profit-Motive: The continuous desire to increase capital.
Concentration: Reflects an organizational state in which the ownership and control of an entire industry, such as the
mass media, is dominated by just a few companies. (Oligopoly)
Conglomeration: The corporate practice of accumulating multiple, though not necessarily media, companies and
businesses through start-ups, mergers, buyouts, and takeovers.
Integration: An ownership pattern in which the subsidiary companies or branches within a corporation are
Vertical Integration: Processes
Horizontal Integration: Other companies
Monopoly: One company dominating an entire industry.
Multinationalism: Corporate presence in multiple countries, allowing for production and distribution of media
products on a global scale.
Cross-development: The involvement of multiple subsidiary companies in the development, production, and
distribution of a media brand for the purpose of “exploiting it for all the profit possible”.
Advertising: The practice of pitching products or services to consumers.
Spectacle: Exhibition and display. Hyper-sensational world.
Niche Marketing: The targeting of a specific segment of the public that shares particular but known demographic
Gatekeepers: Filtering practice that determines what makes it into the media and what does not.
Agenda-setting: The power of the media to influence what people are concerned with or care about.
Framing: The viewpoint or perspective that is employed by the news and entertainment media when covering social
and political issues. Chapter 3: Organizational Analysis
Organizations: A system (network) of ordered relationships and coordinated activities directed toward specific goals.
Structure: Describes the underlying framework that shapes an organization over time.
Hierarchy: The specific arrangement of job roles and positions based upon authority within an organization
Differentiation and Specialization: The division of companies into units, departments, and positions, each of which
performs specific tasks. Filled with professionals
Professionals: Individuals who possess expertise in a particular area of field that allows them to accomplish the
distinctive tasks of their position
Formalization: The degree to which specific practices must conform to accepted organizational and professional
Process: Reflects the actual substance built upon that framework of the structure of an organization
Organization culture: The set(s) of norms and customs, artifacts and events, and values and assumptions that emerge
as a consequence of organizational members’ communicative practices
Performance: Expressive displays that carry symbolic significance in a particular context
Rituals: Those personal or organizational behaviours that members engage in on a regular or routine basis.
Sociality: A second type of performance refers to the code of etiquette that is enacted with regard to friendliness,
small talk, joking, and privacy within an organization.
Politics: Performed differently in every organization and influence the type and degree of independence, negotiating,
and coalition building that are acceptable
Enculturation: Emphasizes those “communicative performances wherein the newcomer learns the social knowledge
and skills of the culture”.
Narratives: Stories are a ubiquitous feature of organizations, and the stories members tell about their workplace
experiences are another way to evaluate the endless (re)creation of an organization’s culture.
Personal Stories: Those that convey individual subjective experiences
Collegial Stories: Those told about the organization members
Corporate Stories: Those told about the organization itself
Textual: Another means of examining and organization’s culture is through the texts it produces.
Management: How organizational culture is developed and directed by managers for the purpose of improving
operating efficiencies, enhancing the bottom line or creating satisfied customers.
Technology: Influences organizational members’ work roles and work relationships
Professional Culture: Set(s) of norms and customers, artifacts and events, and values and assumptions that emerge as
a consequence of formal training, membership and participation, and recognition within a profession. Conventions: Describe the norms that govern the technical and creative choices made by workers in the execution of
their duties, art or craft.
Professionalization: The process by which an individual with free will and choice is transformed into an ideological
subject whose behaviours and actions reaffirm one’s status as a professional
Objectivity: The reporting of facts in an impartial manner
News: Ought to provide the public with accurate and reliable information that assists them in better exercising their
civic duties in a democratic society
News Hole: Necessity to deliver the news every day at the same time
Journalistic beats: The places and institutions where “news” is “expected” to occ