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SOC101NSch5Nov2.doc

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Robert Brym

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SOC101 – READING – November 2, 2011 – Eve Smithwhite The Mass Media Introduction Media connects two or more points Associated with communication, the transmission of knowledge, ideas, meanings and understandings Messages flow unidirectional, from a transmission point to an audience whose members are anonymous and isolated from one another The Technological Perspective Derives from the work of Harold Innis and Marshal McLuhan Time-biased media – Conducive to a strong sense of tradition and custom, which promote religious forms of power and belief. - Such as stone carvings or inscriptions on clay tablets, - Convey durable messages but are relatively immobile Space-biased media – Assist territorial expansion, empire building and secular forms of power and culture such as the dominance of military institution and the growth of the state - Such as print, radio and television - Enable communication over extended long distances - The messages are not long lasting Forms of communication change our sense of perceptions and cognitive processes The Critical Perspective The critical perspective - takes the view that the media reinforce dominant ideology and the position of the dominant class and other powerful groups Media and Inequality - Developed by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno - Media as a broader “culture industry” - Functions to create “mass deception” about the exploitative and oppressive character of capitalist society - Serving the interests of the leading political and economic class by using five main filters: 1. The media’s orientation to profit making 2. Their dependence on advertising for revenue and profit 3. Their reliance on powerful institutions and individuals as sources of information 4. Negative reaction if the mediate deviate from promoting elite interests and values 5. Their adherence to anti-communism as an overarching belief systemMedia and Social Conflict - Acknowledges that the capitalist class and other powerful groups use dominant ideology to reinforce their position - Hegemony, the use of the media as a neutral, unified dominant ideology - Insist that inequality will only spark resistance and struggle within Political Economy of Media Media resembles a political economy in that: - Media organizations are usually owned and controlled by large corporations or the state - Function like other bureaucracies - They must sustain themselves economically through commercial revenue, government funding - Follows the trend of economic globalization leading to the creation of large multimedia chains, corporations that own a diversified array of media operations worldwide Multimedia chains enhance their market position by practising… Horizontal integration, sharing facilities and resources between different plants and outlets Vertical integration, the control of resources and assets at different stages of production Media platforms reduce the range of voices and perspectives which leads to greater homogenization of ideas and cultural products Progressive social change by favouring the interests of the powerful Newspapers: Concentration, Monopoly and Advertising Raised issues such as freedom of the press, diversity of opinion Newspapers are more advertising dependent, raising the cost of operation and reduction of competition due to large multimedia chains Net-only news and information is on the rise Television: Economy, Culture and Identity Impacted greatly by commercialization and advertising Motivated by profit Overall preferences gear towards American programming Cultural imperialism – A situation in which one society’s media exert an overwhelming and unilateral influence over another society’s culture Nationalists argue that broadcasting should promote Canadian programming, therefore promoting Canadian culture Leads to the issue of Americanization of Canadian identity Representation and Ideology: The Meaning of the Message The media communicates through different levels using messagesProcess of representation – The use of language, visual images or other means of communication to portray something in a coherent and meaningful way that others can understand Framing, the process of defining the boundaries of a representation and the organization of its contents. A selection of what is included and excluded. News and Ideology A principle resource for social reality Bias in the news ope
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