Introduction to Media and Culture
Introduction to Media and Culture Comm 121
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This 20 page Bundle was uploaded by Gillian Gagne on Sunday January 11, 2015. The Bundle belongs to Comm 121 at University of Massachusetts taught by Zachary McDowell in Fall2012. Since its upload, it has received 341 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Media and Culture in Communication Studies at University of Massachusetts.
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Date Created: 01/11/15
Comm 121 Chapter 8 09242012 Key Questions 0 What is quotactive audiencequot why does it matter 0 What are quotnew mediaquot how do they relate to active audience 0 How do human agency and social structure interact in an audience s reading media text 0 What kind of roles do fantasy and pleasure play in media consumption Active Audience 0 Media consumers are competent 0 An active audience can use media texts as material to fashion their own narratives 0 Active audience can become a creator 0 Line between producer and consumer can be blurred o Prosumers users usergenerated contents 0 A focus in recent media research In what ways are audiences active Interpretive freedom 0 Audiences may not construct the meaning intended by the producer 0 Not all audience members construct the same meaning from the same media texts Collectivelnterpretation 0 Media use is not just individual but also social 0 Membership in 0 Reading Media Text quotPolysemyquot 0 Media texts have multiple meanings 0 Human agency makes sense of the meanings o Interpretive approaches to media text 0 Dominant reading 0 Oppositional reading 0 Negotiated reading 0 The case of the cosby show 0 Different interpretations by race p261 MS White audiences end of racism Black audience positive but no end of racism Commercial Media and Openness of Interpretation Openness O Sructure and Interpretive Constraints Audiences however are not necessarily interpretive quotfree agentsquot 0 Media meanings may be limited by social structure 0 Decoding Media and Social Positions 0 The case of Nationwide 0 Bank management said the program was commonsensical 0 Labor unionists said the program favored management 0 Gender class and television 0 Middle class women were more receptive to depictions of women on television 0 Working cass women were consistently critical of the image 0 Race news and meaning making 0 o 0 International readings of American TV shows 0 Audiences quotdecodequot messages according to their own structure 0 Culture plays a role in interpretation 0 The case of Dallas Different receptions based on nationalities o The case of Friends Different interpretations based on Social Contexts of Media Use 0 Why do women watch read quotIowbrowquot romance novels and soap operas 0 Women enjoyed the process itself reading the novel was a quottime outquot 0 Fantasy escapism 0 Creating your own stories and taking control over gender roles 0 Watching television with the family 0 Differences in gender 0 Active Audience and Interpretive Resistance Oppositional readings of popular media texts 0 Culture jamming Parody or criticism of mainstream culture 0 The case of quotno commentquot Feminists oppositional readings of mainstream culture Helped create a feminist identity 0 Teenage girls reading of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper Different readings from the mainstream interpretation Key Questions 0 How and why do media matter in today s politics 0 How do media affect political processes both for political elites and ordinary citizens What are the major tenets of major media effects theories Media and Political Elites Politics of image 0 Personalities are emphasized o The case of Kennedy vs Nixon o The case of Obama vs McCain 0 Image management tactics 0 Setting the stage 0 Photoop o Pseudo events Impact of Image Politics 0 Focus on images not issues 0 Politics is reduced to quotselling productsquot 0 quotHyperrealityquot 0 public is often unable to distinguish between image and reality Decline of Parties and Mediating Institutions 0 Traditional political parties and other political institutions are on the decHne 0 Media serve as the vehicles for conveying political messages and mobilizing voters 0 Impact 0 Citizen alienation Professionalization of Political Communication 0 Proliferation of PR and spin tactics 0 Setting the agenda 0 Planting stories 0 Managing journalists Politics as a spectator sport 0 Horserace coverage 0 Celebrity politics Media Effects on Individuals 0 The hypodermic model 0 quotSilver bulletquot theory strong media effects 0 Based on the larger quotmass societyquot theory 0 The minimal effects model 0 Challenged the hypodermic model 0 Twostep ow of in uence Agendasetting model 0 Media and politicians set important agenda for the public We look to the news media to cue us as to where we should focus attention 0 Priming Cultivation Theory 0 Exposure to television over time cultivates viewers perceptions of reality so that the world is full of crimes and problems 0 Negative effects of television are small but gradual and long term 0 quotmainstreaming effects 0 quotthe mean world syndrome Problems with media effects research 0 Narrowly con ned in voting studies 0 Difficulty in measurements Factual learning is not same as in uence Media and Social movements 0 Relationship between media and social movements 0 Movements ask the media to communicate their messages to the public 0 Media look to movements as one potential source of news 0 Media hold the upper hand 0 Strategies of social movement organization to gain media coverage 0 Catering to the media 0 Framing stories 0 Use of alternative media Internet and Political News 0 Political campaigns and the internet 0 Lower cost 0 Diverse formats 0 Social movements and the internet Organizing the grassroots 0 Independent and powerful new media contributed to the growth of social movements 0 The case of WTO protest in Seattle in 1999 Sophisticated use of independent media Key Questions 0 What are the criteria differentiating new media from traditional media 0 Is technology an external force to society or does society shape technology 0 How are media Traditional vs New Media 0 Traditional Media 0 Onetomany communication 0 Anonymous recievers o Oneway communication channels 0 Clear distinction between producers and recievers New Media Blur the distinction between individual and mass audiences Blur the distinction between producers and receivers Audience sometimes is known 0 Interactive communication 2way 000 Because of new media we can reconsider media as a whole help us understand what we missed in old media Technological determinism quotwhat technologies do to the peoplequot overwhelming and inevitable effects of technologies on users organizations and societies technology as an extra force introduced to society Criticisms o No human agency is assumed 0 Culture norms regulations affect technology Horizon of Opportunity quotBlindersquot on a horse agency is being able to turn your head Technological deterministic Think that people have no agency against technology Social Construction of Technologies quotWhat people do with technologiesquot Media technologies are embedded in ongoing social processes that affect their evolution Human agency takes the center stage 0 Economic cultural regulatory forces The case of radio The case of Web 20 O O O O Shift in how software developers and users utilized the existing medium Marketing hype Participation inequalities Web 20 brand new media technologies that focus on group collaboration communicate with others without hierarchy quotdemocratic system of conversationquot Medium Theories McLuhan s message 0 O quotthe medium is the messagequot format not content matters technology deterministic people think he is Writing in 60 s wrote loosely To understand the content we must also look at format Medium message amp massage Medium something passes through air water etc is a medium when something passes through a medium it is massaged transformed Understanding the medium is understanding how is it massaging content ex Massaging molding clay By understanding mediums amp how they effect content is real key to understanding media If you think about complexities of certain media you begin to understand what is going on with content how something is delivered is more important than what is delivered ex Zach says quotyoure going to diequot medium is tone of his voice Media s impact on time and space o Neverending news cycle 0 Time shifting o Crossing social boundaries Key Questions Why are those who examine the ideology of mass media generally wary of inquiry about the reality of media images What are the dominant ideologies behind media contents What does it mean that advertising created consumer culture Ideological Analysis in Media Ideology 0 They don t know it but they are doing it Karl Marx o Hiddennormalized Ideological Analysis 0 Study of media images sent Ideology as Normalization Ideology de nes what is being normal in society Dominant ideologies o Takenfor granted rarely questioned ideologies Democracy capitalism Christianityetc Media has the tendency to display a narrow range of behaviors of lifestyles Theoretical Roots of Ideological Analysis 0 Marxist origins o Ideology as a powerful mechanism of social control whereby members of the ruling class imposed their worldview o Gramsci s view of ideology Power can be wielded at the level of culture or ideology Hegemony control of consensus promotion of dominant takenforgranted ideologies Mass media are one of the principal sites where the cultureal leadership the work of hegemony is exercised News Media and the Limit of Debate 0 News media can be ideological Ideology in News 0 How does ideology manifest in news 0 Limited viewpoints Small group of analysts are regular commentators and news sources 0 Most news favors the insiders government establishment view official news Economic News as Ideological Construct Ideologies present in mainstream economic news 0 Focus on the activities and interests of investors and buisinesses probusiness as being normal quotprolabor as being deviant 0 economic crisis coverage topdown perspective government and businesses Movies Military amp Masculinity ActionAdventure lms 0 Ideology of polarity us vs them 0 Ideology of the rugged individual 0 Ideology of the American dream 0 Ideology of manhood Vietnam lms and war lms today 0 Ideological projects to overcome vietnam syndrome 0 Ideology of manhood Ideology and Popular TV Images of family 0 Dominantly white upper middle class happy secure 0 Changed toward family con ict and struggle in the 1970s 0 Work family programs The new momism o The old quotperfect motherquot image resurrected 0 Celebrity motherhood Rap Music Shows the development and change of ideology Original rap music o Criticism of the dominant ideology of racism within the America power structure 0 Empowering black youth quotsurvival in a hostile worldquot Ideological contradictions in today s rap 0 Rap music is often full of lyrics degrading women 0 Challenging oppressive dominant ideologies racism 0 Affirming other oppressive dominant ideologies sexism Commercialization of rap 0 Many rap artists who became rich and famous aunt their capitalist lifestyle Advertising and Consumer Culture Todays advertising 0 Celebrates and takes for granted the consumercapitalist organization of society 0 Normalizes middleclass or uppermiddleclass lifestyle 0 Promotes a worldview that stresses the individual and the realm of private life Historical Development of Advertising Selling consumerism in the early 20th century 0 Selling a new way of American life 0 Ads were a tool of social integration Erasing differences among people Advertising and Globalization 0 Ads promote an American way of life 0 Freedom and individuality equated with consumer choice 0 Cultural imperialism Use of foreigners in American ads 0 As quotthe othersquot Unequal relationship between Americans and Foreigners 0 As exotic Endorses certain products 0 As normal Used in global business ads Alternative Media and Ideologies Media images can and sometimes do challenge this mainstream status quooriented ideology by providing a critique of contemporary social organization and norms However 0 Alternatives remain on the margins o Commercialization makes it dif cult to maintain a critical edge Concern for pro tability distribution False consciousness working class person believes his own interests are the same as the interests of the rich people What does Marshall Mcluen mean by quotthe medium is the messagequot 0 we usually look at content not whats delivering it more important than content itself about 2 paragraphs How does structure and agency interact What is it What does it make us think of society etc Provide examples Issues in Media Representation Media representations are not reality 0 Don t re ect actuality but quotRePresenting and quotre constructingquot reality 0 Objective reality no such thing falsehood Subjective reality Media often do not try to re ect the real world Ambiguity in de ning what is quotrealquot 0 Media gets away with a lot Do media rms have the obligation to re ect the reality Mainstream media historically have reproduced social inequalities based on race gender and sexual orientations Signi cance of Media Content Content as a re ection of producers Content as a re ection of audience preference Content as a re ection of society in general Content as a re ection on audiences Content as a selfenclosed text Content analysis study content as opposed to mcluen Race Ethnicity and Media Race is socially constructed no such thing as a quotmexican race Asian race etcquot people all evolved from the same place 0 The quotwhite normquot is normal in American media and society The white viewer will not notice race unless a character on television etc is ethnic Racial Signi er o Signi es race as important trait to notice 0 The absence of racial signi ers for white signi es whiteness Race and Ethnic Diversity Early television featured few minorities o Underrepresentation of Asians and latinos The growing representations of minorities in TV if any may be attributed to 0 Growing minority population 0 Advertisers interest in the new market minority populations have money and want to buy things 0 Growth of different media outlet Growing Minority Media Television programs have been diversi ed Growing diversity or fragmentation o Concern that media fail to play a role of a common socializing agent Race and Media Roles Early images of race stereotypically racist images 0 Servant entertainer enemy erratic semicivilized criminals latin lover fumanchu etc Modern Racism Slow change toward better representations of minority races 0 More inclusive and growing sensitivity in media Controversial racial and ethnical images continue 0 Belligerent Arabs Subtle racism 0 Crime stories overrepresent black perpetrators and white victims 0 quotunderclassquot minorities Controlling Media Images of Race What can we do to deal with subtle racism in media Who owns the media is a key issue 0 Historically af uent white men tended to be media owners Minorities strategies 0 Developing alternative media 0 Trying to change mainstream media from within Systemic system throughout quotSystemic racismquot Class and Media Targeting af uent people 0 For advertisers quotsome people more valuable than othersquot The issues of race and gender need to be combined with class Media Representations of Class Tabloid talk shows and Hollywood lms 0 Trash images of common folks 0 Lazy insubordinate union members News media 0 Focuses on middleupper class business activities 0 Stock market reports as a prominent feature 0 Underrepresentation of workingclass families Overrepresentation of glamorous professional jobs Negative stereotypical portrayals of working class Implications o Workingclass individuals are blamed for their failure 0 Ignore structural problems GenderSexuality in Media Women and Media Women and media control 0 Increasing media jobs for women 0 But few at the director and executive level Women and media content 0 Mother homemaker sexual objects o In news women were largely presented as quotordinary peoplequot while men dominated as experts Women s sports coverage 0 Less important than men s o Sexualized Sexual Orientations and Media Early media portrayals of GLBT o quotsymbolic annihilationquot psychopath deviant comic ex Drag queens marginal unhappy 0 increasing GLBT in modern media Did we achieve fair representation of gays and lesbians in the mainstream media then Increasing GLBT representations today however 0 Nonsexualized o Appeared in isolation o Stereotypical images remain Ex Gays are always girly Regulations The case of Pirate Radio For pirate radio 0 Provides an alternative voice 0 Liberates the airwaves and break the corporate broadcast media s stranglehold on the free ow of news information andideas Against pirate radio 0 Radios use public airwaves to reach an audience Airwaves are public spaces and thus need to be regulated 0 Pirate radio signals may interfere with the signal of another stationairplane tower Lessons from the pirate radio case Major ideological differences exist Who s bene ting from regulationderegulation Public good vs pro t capitol businessetc where is balance Government vs business History Copyright law for a limited time life of author plus 70 years quotmickey mouse protection planquot
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