Media and Society
Week 1 Readings
Michael Jackson’s Thriller at 30: How One Album Changed the World
- CBS was excited for the release of thriller in the fall of 1982 but they were
also terrified because his album off the wall didn’t do so well.
- CBS were already in a slump, because their profits were down 50 % and their
sales were down 15%. They desperately need Michael’s album to be a hit.
- The album sold 29 million copies,
- Spent the most weeks on the billboard charts
- Thriller became the first album to have seven hot 100 top 10 hits
- They blamed the slump of the music industry on that fact that children were
spending too much money on video games than music.
- However this is untrue, it was due to technological shifts that tore apart the
mass audience in which pop depended on.
- With the introduction of FM caused the AM listeners to disintegrate
- By 1982 most people were listening to FM, in addition FM allowed people to
be able to choose their station based on music preference. This resulted in
audience segmentation, because they were only limited to the music played
on the format targeted to other audience groups.
- Billboard columnist noticed in 1981 there was no top 40 anything, there was
a ever changing multitude of top 40s.
- Precision targeting of audiences meant that the radio station needed to avoid
playing anything out of their target, failure to do this would make people turn
Nations and Novels
- Differences in national character are reflected through literature.
- but what factors of the nation are unique in that they represent the literary
- if one believes that people read to participate in a collective experience, then
the choice of a national literature should reflect texts that is most popular
with the national audience.
- However the most popular or best selling texts are rarely considered
anonical texts of any nation. Therefore there is a disjuncture between the
texts that reflection arguments imply should be privileged and the duly
designated canonical texts of most nations.
- This disjuncture stems in part from the larger problem with the perspective
that it fails to consider the organization and context of literary production
and the question of agency.
- Tomplons argues than cannon formation and the establishment of authorial
reputation cannot fail to be a political matter as intellectual elite compete to
validate their world view.
- Literary evaluation is not performed outside of political struggles and
institution structure but it arises from it. - Nation building is a conscious process requiring the creation of an imagined
community, this community is in part constructed through literature.
- National literature differs because the uniqueness of the nation is a central
subtext of national canon
- The historical role of the nation and the nation elites who identify and
promote a national literature must be incorporated in the analysis of national
- This research focuses on variation of literary type, the concern for the
production environment, consideration of the role of the elites and the
analysis of the self-nature and the alliance of the national canon with the
development of the nation.
- A number of researchers work on general social differences have theorized
about Canadian and American literary differences, taking into consideration
gender, rebellion, narrative tone, and familial significance.
- Writers of American literature focuses on males feeling the confines of a
corrupt society and emasculating heterosexual relationships for the
wilderness and for male relationships
- While Canadian literature focuses on women’s experience especially the
relationship between mothers and daughters. Some argue that the relation
between the mother and daughter is of rejection and reconciliation.
- Some commentators on Canadian literature see the resonance of female
relation as reflecting the Canada-US relationship. They argue the female
experiences of powerlessness, passivity, and accommodation to a superior
- Atwood describes Canadian literary as victims unwilling to rebel against
injustice and condemned to mere survival while Americans are seen as a
place that is new and it always expanding and conquering.
- These arguments imply that American protagonists will be rebellious or at
least in opposition to authority while Canadian protagonist will be dutiful
- Atwood also argues that in Canadian literacy, the victims manage to do little
more than survive. While Americans battle against tyranny, dedicated to the
pursuit of happiness and inhabit a Frontier where expansion never ends and
hope is omnipresent.
- These arguments imply that American novels with be more optimistic and
victorious while Canadian novels will be pessimistic and despairing or