CAS SO 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Public Service Announcement, Antonio Gramsci, Herbert J. Gans

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Sociology 100
Textbook notes- Chapter 3: Culture and Media (pages. 90-109)
Media
May be defined as an format or vehicle that carries, presents or communicates
information
Examples: Newspapers, periodicals, magazines, books, pamphlets, posters,
etc.
From the Town Crier to the Facebook Wall: A Brief History
We generally refer to media as mass media.
Before the invention of the printing press, the media did exist: the town crier would
bring the news to the royal messenger who traveled by horseback
Did not really reach the masses
People mainly relied on passing along information by word of mouth.
Because of the printing press, media and mass media have become virtually
synonymous.
Television have also made a great impact on mass media.
Hegemony: The Mother of All Media Terms
Media both reflects culture and works to produce the very culture they represent.
Antonio Gramsci: an Italian political theorist and activist that came up with the
concept of hegemony.
Hegemony: a condition by which a dominant group uses its power elicit the
voluntary “consent” of the masses
takes place in the realm of private institutions (such as families)
The Media Life Cycle
We live in a media-saturated society, but one of the most exciting aspects of
studying the media is that it allows us to explore the tensions and contradictions
created when large social forces conflict with individual identity and free will.
Texts
Textual analysis, analysis of the content of media in its various forms, one of the
important strands of study to materialize in the wake of Gramsci’s work.
We are not just passive receptors of media; as readers or viewers, we experience
texts through the lens of our own critical, interpretive, and analytical processes.
Back to the Beginning: Cultural Production
Media is not spontaneous; not organic but it is produced
Herbert Gans went inside the newsroom at CBS to carefully observe the processes
by which these news outlets made their decisions on editorial content [rules outline
values]
noticed “invisible” influences on the media
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