Sociology 1020 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Information Technology, Disinhibition, Information Society

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30 Jan 2013

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- Perspectives on Media Transformation:
- Technological change and the information society:
- Daniel Bell argued for the information society-> shift in postindustrial society
inspired by advanced scientific knowledge organized to create new wealth
producing technologies
- Information technologies moving us into a new stage of civilization
- Technological determinism-> True force of social change is introduction of
new tools/machines
- The Political Economy of Media- Power and Wealth:
- Political economy of media-> Relates media in relation to issues of
- Looks at social institutions that govern
production/distribution/consumption of information
- Interested in who controls access to means of communication
- Challenge notion that communication systems in liberal democracies are
- See media under capitalism and designed to produce a profit
- High concentration of ownership in fields of media
- Commercial ownership brings about serious distortions in communication
- Commercial entertainment keep people in buying mood and distracts people
from making criticisms
- Media Audiences- From couch potato to co creator:
- Hypodermic model-> Sees media as feeding audiences messages that make
them act in a particular way
- Media regarded as dangerous and people as passive zombies
- Cultural studies school->Sees popular culture as a place where contending
culture agendas/beliefs are in conflict with one another
- Values/identities being shown to audience can be interpreted in different
- Meaning of subject depends on audience members class/ethnic position
- Active audience theory-> People respond/interpret media in different ways
and this can be a significant aspect that leads to cultural authority issues
- In this view easy to lose sight of macro structures that shape media’s overall
- Gender and the Media:
- Identities as male/female, homosexual/heterosexual are socially constructed
through images presented by the media
- Media helps people define what is seen as attractive or the norm
- Feminist sociologists argue that men control media for their own purposes
- Soap operas seen as more female programs than male (sports, action shows)
- When media rapidly developed women were directly targeted due to women
staying at home
- Men practice silent television watching
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