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Chapter 18

SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 18: Sun News Network, Mass Media, Quebecor


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Robert Brym
Chapter
18

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Chapter 18: The Mass Media
The Significance of the Mass Media
Illusion Becomes Reality
20th century movies blurred reality and fantasy
Eg. The Matrix (1999) people are hardwired to a giant computer that uses
human as an energy source and American Psycho (2000) people become
victims of the mass media and consumerism, Patrick Bateman believes he is a
movie star and his victims are just part of the show props, brands, etc.
Movies suggest that the fantasy worlds created by mass media as
increasingly the only realities we know as influential as religion was 500-
600 years ago.
Canadians spend 40% time interacting with mass media:
Marshall McLuhan 1960s global village the media are extensions of the
human body and mind. NOW it’s the opposite.
What Are the Mass Media?
Mass media print, radio, television, and other communication technologies.
The word mass implies that the media reach many people. The word media
signifies that communication does not take place directly through face-to-
face interaction.
Technology intervenes in transmitting messages from senders to receivers.
Communication via the mass media is one-sided Few senders (producers)
for many receivers (audience members)
Eg. Less reader’s letter compared to writers in newspapers
Eg. Dr. Phil show has ordinary people but producers chose them and create
the program content
Eg. Few visit a personal website where many visit popular websites
Audience doesn’t exert much influence on mass media, they can tune in or
tune out
o Tune out cultural misfits BUT difficult because excludes us from
styles, news, gossip, and entertainment we aren’t passive
consumers rather we filter it based on our own beliefs and
experiences.
The Rise of the Mass Media
Most mass media are recent inventions
o 2007 iPhone released
First developed systems of writing were 5500 years ago in Egypt and
Mesopotamia.
Mass print media in 19th century

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1 cent daily newspaper in US 1830s dominant till 1950
There was slow communication at the time physical transportation
Eg. Peace treaty signed but only got to the battle of New Orleans 15 days
after
Eg. 1883, there were many local time zones in North America. The 6 times
zones were determined and coordinated by instant communication by a
telegraph
20th century was when the electronic media emerged.
Eg. 1920s, first commercial television broadcasts
Eg. 1969, ARPANET US’s system of communication between computers that
would find alternative routes if the network broke down (nuclear attack)
internet 1991 world wide web hyperlinked system of texts, images and
sounds.
Causes of Media Growth
Three factors: religious, political and economic
1. The Protestant Reformation
o 16th century Catholics relied on Priests to interpret the Bible
o 1517 Martin Luther protested certain practices wanted a personal
relationship with God.
o Protestantism was established in half of Europe Bible was the first
mass media in the West, and the best selling.
o Technological improvements allows the spread of the Bible
Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press invention
o Books are lasting, more than any other technology.
2. Democratic Movements
o After 18th century France, US, & other countries got representation in
democratic government depended on informed citizens and
wanted literacy and growth of press
o Mass media (TV) forms out outlook on politics.
o Eg.1960 US presidential election Kennedy won because he looked
better on TV
o Image consultants image manipulation to get desired results
o Eg. Conservatives “negative advertising” of liberals
o TV & other mass media over-simplified politics marketing
3. Capitalist Industrialization
o Modern industries need literates, efficiency, communication mass
media
Theories of Media Effects
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Functionalism
As societies develop it becomes larger and more complex Institutions and
roles increases less face-to-face interaction
Need for new means of coordinating the operation of the various parts of
society mass media
Eg. To feel like Canadians mass media lets everyone in all parts of Canada
feel like citizens of Canada. Nationwide distribution of media unites our
large, diverse, and spread out population.
Mass media functions:
o 1. Coordinates the operation of industrial and postindustrial societies.
o 2. Functionalists mass media are agents of socialization
Mass media reinforces shared ideals of democracy,
competition, justice, etc. families still have exclusive right to
transmit norms, values and culture.
o 3. Involves social control; ensuring conformity.
Eg. TV shows display heroes as those who deserve the rewards
and villains as those who should be punished moral order
Eg. Jerry Springer is ridiculous BUT very conservative
enforce traditional norms about martial infidelities
o 4. Provides entertainment
Eg. TV shows, YouTube, movies all give us relaxation, pleasure,
and freedom of stress
Conflict Theory
Functional approach of mass media doesn’t point out the social inequality, it
exaggerates that mass media serves the interests of society.
In reality, mass media favors the interests of dominant classes and political
groups.
o 1. Broadcast beliefs, values, and ideas that are widely accepted by
society including inequalities and injustices
o 2. It’s owned by a few people who profit from it
Media Ownership
Five multimedia giants, from largest revenue to smallest
o 1. CTV globemedia Inc. owned by Bell Canada CTV network, radio,
newspaper 4.3 billion
o 2. Rogers Communication Inc. cable TV and Internet, TV networks
radio 3.9 billion
o 3. Shaw Communications Inc. cable TV and Internet, radio, TV
networks 3.1 billion
o 4. CBC/Radio Canada publicly owned, bilingual TV and radio
networks 1.6 billion
o 5. Quebecor Inc. newspapers, cable TV, and TV networks 1 billion
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