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Chapter 01

MDSA01Chapter 01 NOTE

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

Media Studies Chapter 1 Introducing Critical Media Studies How We Know What We Know Everything we know is learned - Somatically (directly) o direct sensory perception of our environment (first hand unmediated experience) o We know how things: look, smell, feel, sound, taste because we have: seen, smelled, felt, heard, tasted them o Very small percentage of the total things we know - Symbolically (indirectly) o Large percentage of the total things we know o We know things through someone or something (parent, friend, teacher, museum, textbook, photograph, internet) o This information comes to us through a medium (middle / indirect channel) Medium (middle / indirect channel) - past: primary medium = people o travelled very slowely, passed through & altered through multiple mediums - present: primary medium = mass media addresses large number of people in remote locations simultaneously Who Are the Mass Media? Media - communication technologies - humans, cave drawings, smoke signals, letters, telegraph, books, magazines, newspapers, radio, films, television, iPods, cell phones, video games, computers Mass Media - communication technologies - has the potential to reach large audiences in remote locations - collapses space + transcend physical distance Mass Media Categories - 1. Print Media o first mass medium o German Printer Johannes Gutenberg (invented movable type printing press (1450) o Revolution: disseminate, preserve, and relate to knowledge o Cheep production o Knowledge could be recorded for future generations o Increased literacy rates + ownership of printed materials o Increased circulation of knowledge to far-flung cities across Europe - 2. Motion Picture + Sound Recording o Thomas Edison: developed phonograph + kinetoscope o Phonograph: device that played recorded sound o Kinetoscope: early motion picture device that showed short, silent films in peep-show fashion to individual viewers o Edison’s Goal: synchronize audio + visual images into a film projector for more than one viewer at a time o “talkies” talking pictures o Music Industry: past was primarily based on the production of sheet music o Profits from the sale of sound recordings (cheap + easily reproducible formats) quickly eclipsed profits from the sale of sheet music - 3. Broadcast Media o media directly brought to audiences over public airwaves o i.e. radio + television o development in radio: satellite (subscription) radio o development in television: cable (wired) television - 4. New Media o cultural objects that use digital computer technology for distribution + circulation o history: development of the computer’s microprocessor / computer chip Living in Postmodernity The Present Era - information age, the third wave, post-industrial society, space age, postmodernity Postmodernity - emerged in 1960s - economic mode shifted: goods-based manufacturing  information-based services - transformation from modernity  postmodernity: mass production of standardized, durable goods (cars)  reproduction of highly customizable soft goods (iTunes Libraries + cell phone plans) Trends Describing Mass Media in Postmodernity - Convergence: tendency of formerly diverse media to share a common + integrated platform - Mobility: instead of going to media – media comes or goes with us virtually - Fragmentation: de-massification (large, undifferentiated, anatomous) of media o Specialization + niche marketing (caters to the increasing diversity of the public + tailored to individual tastes) o Internet = most fragmented medium - Globalization: complex set of social, political, economic processes in which the physical boundaries and structural policies that previously reinforced the autonomy of the nation state are collapsing in favor of instantaneous and flexible worldwide social relations o Economic Globalization: spread of capitalism  rise of multinational corporations (profit from untapped global markets) o Globalization creates opportunities to bring their products to distant local markets o Cultural Imperialism: imposition of one set of cultural values on other cultures - Simulation: the generation by models of a real, without origin or reality: a hyperreal o The media no longer represent (if they ever did) our social world (construct a realer than real world = social world) o the real + imaginary have imploded o the image has evolved form being a good representation of an external reality  to a mask that conceals the absence of a basic reality (bearing no rel
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