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Chapter 18

SOCA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 18: Samuel Morse, Mass Media, Arpanet

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Sheldon Ungar

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Mass Media and Mass Communication
Significance of the Mass Media
Illusion Becomes Reality
The average Canadian spends more than 3 hours a day watching tv
over 2 and half hour listening to radio
under an hour reading magazines, newspapers, and books
40 percent of our time is spent interacting with the mass media!
What are the Mass Media?
mass media
refers to print, radio, television and other communication technologies.
mass media and mass communication are used to refer to the
transmission of information from one person or group to another.
mass= huge group of people
media= transmission of information without direct face-to-face
media usually dominates us. Although we have the option to tune in or out of
the media, no one wants to be cultural misfits. Therefore, we follow the media
in order to keep updated with fashion, trends, news and styles.
The Rise of the Mass Media
The first printed system of media was about 5500 years ago in Egypt
It came in popularity only in the 19th century
daily newspapers appears in the US in the 1830s
back in time, in order to deliver a message → was costly and slow → through
trains and horses.
britain and us war took place 15 days after a peace treaty was signed
→ however the news did not reach the troops quick → resulted in 2100
casualties and 320 deaths
First air telegram occurred in 1844 by Samuel Morse
Most of the electronic media were created in the 20th century
First television broadcast was in 1920s
ARPANET was designed in 1969 → web connection
by 2013 2 and ½ people were using internet
Communication Speed-up
Technological innovation has encourage young people’s attention spans to
shorten and the generational gap in processing speed to grow.
shortening attention spans have been nurtured by technological change in the
electronic media
e.g. nowadays teenagers are up to type, listen and be constantly
entertained by face paced communication media → it may seem to
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older generation that we are at lightning speed, where on the other
hand it’s a mere routine for us.
Causes of Media Growth
The rise of the mass media can be explained by three main factors:
1. The protestant Reformation:
a. in the 16th century people would rely on priests to tell them what’s
written on the Bible, later on Martin Luther protested those practises of
the church and encouraged people to read the book by themselves.
b. The Bible became the first mass media product in the West → the
best-selling book
c. Technological improvements in papermaking and durability made the
popularity of printing press still present today
2. Democratic movements:
a. people wanted to become literate in order to have better access and
representation in the government.
b. Democratic governments, in turn depended on an informed citizenry
and therefore encouraged popular literacy and the growth of a free
c. mass media, especially TV, mould our entire outlook on politics
d. images and advertisements on the tv can significantly affect people’s
decision on voting
i. e.g. Kennedy looked better than Nixon on the TV :)
3. Capitalist Industrialization
a. modern industries required a literate and numerate workforce
b. they also needed rapid means of communication to do business
c. The mass media turned out to be a major source of profit in their own
Theories of Media Effects
Mass media coordinates the operation of industrial and postindustrial
the daily ritual of reading the newspaper unites the secular world
it makes us feel that we are citizens of the same country
It’s a significant agent of socialization
through the mass media, families can transmit norms, values and
culture. As well shared ideals of democracy, competition, force and so
Média helps ensure conformity
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