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MDSA01H3 (310)
Chapter 1-6


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Michael Petit

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 struggles.” Materialist: A philosophy positing that ideas determine social existence. Superstructure: Collective: institutions of art, religion, education, politics, and the judicial system. Deterministic: 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 strategically interrelated. 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-Media Ownership: 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 traits. 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 conventions 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
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