Sociology of Cultures Midterm
Sociology of Cultures Midterm Soc 220
Popular in Sociology of Cultures
Popular in Sociology
This 28 page Study Guide was uploaded by Taylor Randleman on Saturday January 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Soc 220 at a university taught by Professor Nalkur in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 40 views.
Reviews for Sociology of Cultures Midterm
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 01/02/16
Study Guide Questions – Exam 1 1. What are the four points of the "cultural diamond" and how are they related to one another? analytic tool to look at the social world to find meaning for the cultural objects Cultural Objects have Creators and Receivers And all 3 of these are located within the Social World Social World: The social context in which culture is created and experienced Economic, political, social, and cultural patterns and exigencies that occur at any point in time Cultural Object: Part of larger cultural system, Symbols, beliefs, values, and practices Creator: Including organizations and systems that produce and distribute cultural objects Receiver: The people who experience culture and specific cultural objects The lines that link these elements are important! These lines show possible ways that all are linked ways they influence each other Link between Cultural Object and Social World is often illustrative of: Link between Culture and Social Structure 2. What is the Cultural Industry System? Describe each component of the model and explain how it works. The Cultural Industry System: the organizations that turn out mass culture products, such as records, popular books and lowbudget films. The system works to regulate and package innovation and thus to transform creativity into predictable, marketable packages Components: a. Creators (Technical Subsystem) Creative artists: E.g., musicians, filmmakers, novelists, etc. They supply the initial INPUT into system But, oversupply of creators and products o Only a small proportion of potential cultural products ever get produced for an audience o An even smaller number become ‘hits’ b. Producers (Managerial Subsystem) Organizations: E.g., film studios, record companies, publishing cos. Face a lot of uncertainty due to: o oversupply of potential products o unpredictability of the consumer Producers try to reduce uncertainty by: o producing a regular flow of products o using market research o rationalizing the selection process Example: TV network programmers pitch their potential shows, by focusing on: 1. Reputation 2. Genre 3. Imitation (based on past success) **Can you think of examples for the new TV season? c. Media (Institutional Subsystem) The media that cover culture: E.g., disc jockeys, talk show hosts, book and film reviewers, etc. Media can influence the reputation of cultural products Media may ‘canonize’ or ‘valorize’ certain cultural objects Examples: Role of critics in elevating the status of film Rolling Stone’s ‘Greatest Albums of All Time’ d. Receivers/Consumers The Production Process: There are many steps between Creators creating a cultural object, and Receivers receiving the object. a. Input Creators provide “input” into the system The input must cross Filter #1 b. Filters Filter #1 happens between Creators and Producers o Creators promote their products (e.g., agents) o Producers try to determine what products will be successful Filter #2 happens between Producers and Media o Producers promote their products (e.g., PR depts.) Filter #3 happens between Media and Consumer o Media decides which products they deem worthy to review and publicize c. Feedback Producers use feedback to assess: o Popularity of artist or product o Effectiveness of their promotional activities Media feedback: o Airtime, reviews, general media attention Consumer feedback: o Box office sales; Nielson numbers; sales of books, etc. 3. Production of ideas & ideologies Griswold argues that we can apply this productionofculture perspective to the production of ideas There is an oversupply of ideologies Ideas compete for resources and audiences Ideas become stable if they are institutionalized, others fade away Ideologies may become ‘canonized’ or achieve a mass audience 3. What is the difference between “culture” and “society”? Older Definitions: a. HUMANITIES: “The best that has been thought and known” Issue of Ethnocentrism: Tendency to regard our way of life as the RIGHT way. b. SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: “That complex whole” Cultural relativity: Different societies create different values and different systems of meaning. 2. Contemporary Definitions (Social Sciences) a. MANY definitions Found some 160 distinct meanings of “culture” B. Social Structure: What Culture Isn’t Most contrast Culture with Social Structure (Griswold: “Society” = Social Structure – e.g., p. 4) Social Structure example: University/classroom Social Structure: patterns of relationships between actors (individuals and groups). Social Structure is “relational” How relations among people are structured How parts of society are related Cultur : Shared understandings (meaning; values; beliefs) that lie behind those social structural relations. “The expressive side of human life behavior, objects, and ideas that can be seen to express, to stand for, something else.” Culture is “expressive” – concerned with meaning Shared system of meaning that exists in any society C. Links between Culture and Social Structure 1. CoOccurrence Social Structure and Culture are intertwined! Can’t have one without the other Structure is shaped by culture (and vice versa) In order to fully understand a given Social Structure Important to understand the Cultural ideas behind it Example: Money How does money work? What does money mean? o University/classroom o US and Japanese business card practices 2. Causal Link a. Culture as “glue” (Theory) Culture holds Social Structure together Society exists and persists because its members SHARE common values and beliefs Ex. if society believes that children are sacred, then…how does it behave? What will it do? They have internalized values and beliefs that underlie social structure b. Culture as “lie” (Theory) Culture is produced BY Social Structure in order to prop up the Social Structure Society is marked by drastic inequality Culture reinforces the unequal social structure Provides beliefs that this is fair and right way “False Consciousness” 4. According to Peterson, what are the four key concerns of sociologists who study culture? What is the fifth element Griswold adds to this list? Define each of the five elements. Summarized what researchers typically MEAN when they speak of culture Usually 1 of 4 things: 1. Norms – the way people behave in a given society 2. Values – what people hold dear 3. Beliefs – how people think the universe operates 4. Expressive symbols – representations; often of social norms, values, and beliefs; includes art and media Griswold 5. What is the difference between “implicit” and “explicit” culture? Explicit Meaning: Culture operates in an explicit fashion Areas of social life that explicitly deal with meaning Religious institutions; Art; Media Symbols (often are explicit) Norms, Values, Beliefs (often are explicit) Examples: Barbie, Diamond ring, brands, Starbucks literary figure (fancy), not simplier just more tangible Implicit Meaning: Parts of life that have meaning, but that we “takeforgranted” “Rationales” or “logics” that underlie actions Sometimes we hold values and beliefs that are IMPLICIT: we do NOT recognize them as values/culture Birthdays not all societies care about this How long is a movie suppose to be? Take for granted that movies have plots, how you watch a movie with certain expectations Measurements vary portions determined by the social world Reification treatment of something as natural but forget the human origin of it Aspects of the 7 Day Week The week is ubiquitous, but takenforgranted Implicit culture The week is CULTURAL, NOT NATURAL Our 7 day week is a Social Construction: It does not correspond to any naturally occurring phenomenon. It is made by PEOPLE 6. What is the difference between “gatekeeping” and “framing”? Media has the ability to exert ideology in 2 ways: 1. Gatekeeping: Media promote particular things Shape what is let in and what is kept out The information that we have shapes how we view reality E.g., only some events covered by news **What does society/world look like if you only watched TV? Republican debate: Trump gets more time than others, not on important things Gatekeeping: What is let in and what is kept out. There are no universal "facts" that are waiting for reporting News items are those events that are defined by news personnel as being "newsworthy" “…of the million events which occur every day in the world, only a tiny proportion…are actually produced as the day’s news in the news media” b. Sociological research suggests: 1. “Reality” is socially constructed 2. Newsworthiness is determined by news media 3. Stories chosen because: 1. Interactions among newsmakers 2. Newsworthy “pegs” Research example: Newspapers and selection of front page stories (S. E. Clayman & A. Reisner. 1998. “Gatekeeping in Action: Editorial Conferences and Assessments of Newsworthiness.” American Sociological Review 63:178199.) Gatekeeping task: How stories are actually selected for the front page of newspapers. This task is carried out by editors in daily editorial conferences. Their research focuses on the actual practices through which gatekeeping decisions are made. What methods do the authors use? Audio recordings of editorial conferences at 8 daily newspapers, over one week block in 1989. Particularly, “story assessments” ***HOW do LEAD stories get decided? This process is not about reality or particular bias It is influenced by social relations between people in the organization a. The Editorial Conference Managing editor Department/section editors Design editors b. Phases of the editorial conference: i. Preliminaries ii. Story Review iii. Story Selection iv. Aftermath c. Focus on Phase 2: Story Review Promoting stories as page one material. Promoting practices: i. Ordering the reviewed stories ii. Story summary itself: focus on novelty, impact, significance iii. Evaluative Comments* Verbal assessments of newsworthiness = Story Assessments d. Focus on: Story Assessments i. Story Assessments Polarity Mild assessments “Mildly favorable” story assessments are much more common than stronger or weaker assessments Give assessment of story straightforwardly with not much explanation Strong and weak assessments Stronger assessments usually involve much more talk justifying this assessment Unfavorable assessments also involve more talk, explanations Why the asymmetry between mild and strong/weak? ii. Assessments and Professional Relationships Editors most often give “mildly favorable” assessments because this stance helps maintain good relationships with both their reporters and their editorial colleagues. How do relations with reporters affect assessments? Editors need to advocate for own reporters – show their support for their group. How do relations with editorial colleagues influence the assessments? But editors can’t advocate for every story of all their reporters because they know the news must be balanced out between all editors/departments. Reason for “Mildly Favorable” as norm Because of competing allegiances to reporters and editorial colleagues Tension between advocacy and detachment The “mild assessments” bridge this tension. Only advocate for the strongest stories of their reporters – occasionally. e. Assessments and Gatekeeping Outcomes These assessments are associated with placement: 78% strongly favorable – on front page 40% mildly favorable – on front page 0% unfavorable – on front page f. Discussion/Summary Assessment of newsworthiness is NOT based solely on the character of the story itself. Assessments of newsworthiness are the product of social interaction Judging newsworthiness is a public activity (news conference) Embedded in social relations News is a “social construct” Gatekeeping is a “social and collaborative” process 2. Framing: Media portray things in particular way The way that media PORTRAY cultural objects How things are portrayed has ideological implications E.g., portrayal of cosmetics in advertising Portrays a product or cultural object Train example: 1) function 2) journey about pleasure, Potato made it elitist and forbidden but the actual object hasn’t changed Informational context Advertising, branding, images Frame the way things are presented Following demand Feminist movement creation of Virginia Slims women are superior to men Creating demand: mouth wash idea of bad breath did not exist before ADVERTISING = payment for attempts to persuade people to support a product a) Early advertising Informational text, only Targeted to other businesses Generic products b) Modern Advertising Industry More than informational text Targeted directly to consumers Brand name products The function of advertising is now: exerting influence rather than providing information The framing of advertising industry takes place in certain social context a) Following Demand Advertisers have sometimes followed the demands and preferences of audiences Example: women and cigarettes b) Creating Demand Advertisers often create demand by: Educating and persuading consumers that they have particular needs Media try to frame by comparing to past events or valued ideas They make the issue/product relevant by putting a certain “spin” on it. The AUDIENCE can either accept or reject that frame or "spin" Framing: The way that media PORTRAYS product/cultural object Issues of framing highlight the limited power of media firms because Interaction between those firms and: o larger social context o consumers/audience/receivers 4. EXAMPLE of Creating Demand by Framing: Cosmetics Industry Kathy Peiss, Promoting the Madeup Woman (from Hope in a Jar) a) Consumer resistance to commercial cosmetics U.S. in the late 1800s Very few women used commercially produced cosmetic products Why? i) Safety concerns Health hazards with unscrupulous entrepreneurs ii) Negative images associated with cosmetics Aristocratic excess Female selfindulgence The "painted woman" signified: prostitute **In the U.S. in the 1920’s/1930’s, how did Advertisements FRAME (portray) cosmetics and women? b) Growth of Cosmetics Industry: Social Context i) Business Strategies The commercial industry emerges when: A few products, manufactured by large firms Broke out of their local market Secured national distribution And achieved brand name recognition ii) Link with emerging Motion Picture Industry Max Factor – makeup artist for stars o Starts own company Popularity of motion pictures o Influenced young women to use cosmetics c) Growth of Cosmetics Industry: Advertising & Framing 1910s, large scale national advertising for cosmetics 1920s, advertising had become a dominant force in women's magazines 1920s & 1930s see full force of advertising and framing i) FRAMING: Image of Women o Beauty as an end in itself o Movie stars in advertisements ii) FRAMING: Transforming Image of the “Painted Woman” o Proclaim the positive virtues of Cosmetics o Images from Movies iii) FRAMING: Categories of Physical Beauty o “Diversity” – but not TOO diverse iv) FRAMING: Personal Transformation o Individuality needs to conform to the NORM of BEAUTY! d) Summary The growth of cosmetics occurred, in part: As advertising persuaded women about the appropriateness of this product Companies FRAMED product in a particular way: i. Within social context Business strategies: cosmetic firms embraced mass production strategies Social Context: o The emerging motion picture industry o Addressing “painted woman” o Diverse but not too diverse ii. In interaction with their audience Must frame in a way that resonates with audience o Beauty and image of women o Personal transformation This example pushes us to take seriously the role of reception: Advertisements succeed or fail because of response of audiences 7. What is Barbie Nation about? How does what we saw relate to the Cultural Diamond? Barbie is a cultural object symbolic More than one type of cultural object? CREATOR(S): Handler/ Mattel RECEIVERS: The Doll Collector, Little girls, The male Doll Artist, The “Barbie Players”, The former fan/current photographer, Critics ***HOW does SOCIAL WORLD influence these interpretations or meanings of BARBIE? HOW does it influence CREATORS? HOW does it influence RECEIVERS? MORE than ONE Social World? Has a shared meaning that tells a story/idea even if we question it Product of certain social context Barbie was created to be a role model/aspiration because there were no adult bodied dolls at the time Generational difference This show reveals how Barbie played a very different role in the different lives of people The same cultural object can have different meaning depending on the receiver The creator can have an intent of use for the doll but the receiver ultimately determines it Fashion designer, erotica, future dreams The social world influenced interpretation of Barbie different cultures use Barbie differently, different generations Barbie reflects the changes in the social world 8. How do Marx's ideas entail a "materialist" approach to culture? What is “historical materialism”? Materialism: human reality (and ideas, culture, reason) is essentially based upon the material The material, economic order (Base) is the REAL FOUNDATION upon which the culture of society (Superstructure) is built Base = material forces of production and their economic foundations Superstructure = legal, political, religious, philosophic, aesthetic life BUT, Materialism is not all The "HISTORICAL" element is also key to understanding Marx How one groups of people could dominate another group of people through ideas (culture) What difference does culture make in our lives? Materialism: concrete things Marx work was a reaction to Hegel and idealism Did not think that social change could happen through ideas alone Ideas come from material existence Materialism: Material and economic order is their real foundation (base) upon which the culture of society sits (superstructure) Base: material forces of production and their economic foundation Superstructure: legal, political, religious, philosophic, and aesthetic life Historical materialism: humans as produce of subsistence Series of relationships, divison of labor Class is what drives history characterized by class struggle The ruling class is putting forth the main and commonly held beliefs 9. How does the Frankfurt School revise Marx’s work? Mass media is numbing us to a distorted version of reality it is the opiate of the masses 10. How is an “ideology” different from a “worldview”? Give examples of each. World view: The parts of life we take for granted Never imagine questioning and cannot envision decent moral people not sharing the same view These are our deepest beliefs that they have real consequences Entire belief system, way of seeing the world Luker piece Ideology: 11. Explain the “double jeopardy” Lincoln & Allen discuss in their study. What measures did the authors use to assess how gender and age functioned in film? How do gender and age affect outcomes in film acting? Double Jeopardy: “Devalued ascriptive characteristics may interact with one another with respect to certain outcomes.” (P. 611 in Lincoln & Allen) Research Question They assert: Being female and being older (both devalued characteristics) will negatively affect the number of film roles received and the star presence of actors. 1. Background Film Industry Studio system late 1920’s to late 1940’s Under studio system, the production and distribution of films were controlled by the major studies. **What affect would this system have on roles for actors? Decline in studio system after Supreme Court decision in 1948 By beginning of 1950’s, most actors only had contracts for single projects. **How might this affect roles for men and women? Gender inequality at work Screen Actors Guild (1999) study: At all levels of acting, women appear as lead characters in fewer films than men, and earn half as much as men. Gender and aging 43% of Americans are over age 40 (Census 2000) Roles cast in TV and Films: Women over age 40 received 24% of female roles Men over age 40 received 37% of male roles Research Question/Hypothesis Double Jeopardy Being female and being older (both devalued characteristics) will negatively affect acting careers. 2. Sample and Data Research design: Longitudinal analysis of actors’ careers from 19261999 Archival Data: Sample of 318 stars (168 men and 150 women) from 1926 to 1999. Sources: film reference publications (e.g.: IMDB and AFI list of 400 Greatest Actors) Measures: Number of film roles received by actors Average star presence: formula based on star billing in those roles (ranking in the credits) Gender and age (Control for number of Academy Awards) 3. Results: Focus on 19431999 (Graphs on p. 624 and 625) Figure 2: Effects of gender & age on no. of film roles Figure 3: Effects of gender and age on star presence So, Double Jeopardy effect does happen: Women receive fewer film roles and have less star presence than men These gaps increase with age. More disparity in work outcomes between men and women as they get older. Time period effects: The gender/age differences in film roles have become less pronounced in recent decades (80’s, 90’s). However, the differences in star presence have remained the same. 4. How does culture fit in? Explanations: Why do female stars experience age effects differently than male stars? Researchers have found: Perceived attractiveness of both men and women decreases with age. However, perceived “femininity” decreases with age, while perceived “masculinity” does not. Older women are rated as less feminine than younger women. (Same not true for men.) ***Can you think of implications for women in other professions – as they age?? This is how culture (often our implicit assumptions) has consequences!! 12. When Luker uses the term "worldview", what does she mean? What differences does Luker find between the worldviews of prolife and prochoice abortion activists? C. Luker: Conflicting Cultures Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood (Kristen Luker) • Why is the abortion issue so polarizing? In order to understand this question Luker examines: • How the current debate came into being • Who is on the different sides • How people come to differ in their feelings: – Culture ~ Worldview 1. Background a) Methods • Historical records (for past issues) • Qualitative data (for “current” debate) – Indepth interviews with 212 individuals – Activists from every major prolife and prochoice group in CA. – Why activists? Interested in those that are so concerned with abortion issue that they take action • Historically, moral status of embryo has always been ambiguous • Medical issue becomes public issue E.g., Finkbine case • Debate is not about “facts” But what those “facts” mean • Issue emotionally charged because of culture Particularly WORLDVIEWS. The worldviews of the activists are diametrically opposed: – No common premises – Very little common language 13. What is “cultural theory”? Why do sociologists do empirical work? 14. Identify the 3 components of the "ideology of intensive mothering" that Hays discusses. How did she identify this ideology (i.e. what methods did she use)? In what ways does Hays link the ideology of intensive mothering (i.e. culture) to social structure? This article focuses on a cultural object and its relation to the social world Cultural object: Ideology of childrearing books Social World: U.S. in the late 20 /early 21 centuries Background Historical background: The history of childrearing practices Historical documents demonstrate that: Most ideas about mothers and children are not inherently “natural.” Interviews: She conducted indepth interviews with 38 mothers of children under 4 years old She found that all subscribed to what she calls the “ideology of intensive mothering” Analysis of Childrearing books: She critically examines the advice of three bestselling authors of books on childrearing: T. Berry Brazelton, Benjamin Spock, Penelope Leach She finds that these books have an: “ideology of intensive mothering” 1. Cultural Object: Ideology of Intensive Mothering “Ideology” in these childrearing books: They all have cultural assumptions that underlie their model of good parenting. Their advice is not just “natural” or the way it’s always been. Model of childrearing (in these books) takes form of “ideology of intensive mothering” Components of “Ideology of Intensive Mothering” a. Mother as Primarily Responsible b. Intensive Methods c. The Sacred Child Childrearing as loving selfsacrifice Social World: Paradox between cultural object and social world This Ideology seems to contradict aspects of the larger Social World: a. Mothers in the Paid Labor Force Most women, even with small children WORK in the Paid Labor Force (PLF) **How does this conflict with the Ideology of Intensive Mothering? **Which aspects of the Ideology? b. Larger Cultural System: “Ethos of the Market” Our capitalistic society is dominated by a cultural “Ethos of the Market” o Rational pursuit of selfinterest o Individualism (individual fulfillment) o Priority of wealth and status (making money, gaining power, are all important) **How does this conflict with the Ideology of Intensive Mothering? **Which aspects of the Ideology? EXPLANATION of these PARADOXES between cultural object and social world Mothers Responsible and Intensive Methods Why do we have this ideology when most women work? i. Consequences of women’s powerlessness. These ideas are “hegemonic imposition” by those more powerful than women: o State: State leaders seeking an obedient citizenry (at no cost to the state) o Capitalism: Capitalists seeking a wellraised and consumptionhungry workforce o Patriarchy: Men seeking power over women ii. Race & class boundary maintenance These ideas are white, middle class attempts to “valorize” own social position This group can afford to have women stay home and “mother” iii. Cultural power of social subordinates Social subordinates (women) have actively shaped this ideology Mothers seek to valorize their role in home o Have a vested interest in defining their “job” as highly skilled o And, therefore, socially worthy b. Explanation for component of: Sacred Child (Childrearing is selfsacrifice) Why do we have this ideology when our larger society ideology is one of selfinterest? People are drawn to this moral vision of love and sacrifice Because it offers an alternative to selfish, materialistic market values We WANT a “haven in a heartless world” As a society, we’re searching for more than individualism And this is one place where we find it Because many women work now We don’t want society to be dominated by Rational, efficient, competitive, selfinterested SPHERE of WORK Ideology of Intensive Mothering shows complexities between CULTURE and SOCIAL WORLD Culture REFLECTS aspects of social world and REINFORCES power relations These components of the Ideology reflect and reinforce social world: Mothers Responsible & Intensive Methods Here, the ideology contributes to the power of particular groups Even though it is at odds with the reality of women working Ideology still reinforces Social Structure (power of men, state, middle class) In some sense it does REFLECT unequal POWER in system Culture also CHALLENGES social world This component of the Ideology challenges social world: Child is Sacred The notion of Child is Sacred CHALLENGES aspects of the larger cultural system This ideology is a form of OPPOSITION (cultural notions of selfsacrifice and love) to the ideology (“logic”) of the larger society (selfinterest and competition) She’s beginning to bring in other parts of the Cultural Diamond (e.g., receivers), that we will see play an important role in more recent versions of Marx and Ideology. 15. What is the difference between “idealism” and “materialism”? Idealism: The belief that ideas (consciousness/reason) are the sole motivator of historical change 1. Essence of reality = Reason, ideas 2. Reason reveals itself only gradually 3. Thus, history = growth of Reason the State was the best embodiment of reason Materialism (Hegel): referred to concrete things, (while idealism referred to abstract things); Hegel held idealism in opposition to materialism (Much of Marx’s work is a reaction against Hegel) “Materialist”: Material life (e.g., food, clothing, shelter) is essence of reality “Idealist”: Ideas (culture) are essence of reality 16. How is the news “socially constructed”? What is “gatekeeping” and how does it occur in newspaper editorial conferences? 17. Describe Shively’s findings with respect to the various audiences she studies. Examples of the “Active Audience” Empirical research on audience reception Two groups and their interpretation of single movie 1. Comparison of 2 groups **Who are the two primary groups she studies? 2. Audience Reception of one movie **What is the movie? 3. Similarities in reception **How are the two groups’ interpretations SIMILAR? 4. Differences in reception **How do the two groups’ interpretations DIFFER? 5. Other groups and possible interpretations **What about a third group she mentions at the end (“The Politics of Perception”)? **How did this groups’ interpretation differ from others? 1. Cultural Objects as “open” Some cultural objects are particularly “open” o They do not attempt to close off alternative meanings Often these become most popular Meaning of cultural object can be interpreted in different ways (multiple meanings) Can appeal to many audiences o for very different reasons 2. Active Audience Audiences are active in their response to cultural objects Social background/experience of audience shapes their interpretations Don’t passively accept intended meaning IV. Production of Culture: Bringing in Reception Two competing views: 1. Mass Culture Theory (e.g. Frankfurt School) (MC) 2. Popular Culture Theory (PC) Social World MC: MC: Creator = Culture Industry Receiver is Passive Creator Receiver PC: PC: Creator = People & Receiver is Active Culture Industry Cultural Object A. Mass Culture Theory and Passive Audience (Frankfurt School) 1. “Mass Culture”: Cultural Objects are commodities Cultural objects are produced by industries Industries’ sole motive is PROFIT Cultural products become Commodities Standardized Mass produced 2. Cultural Object is “strong” (or “closed”) Has its own meaning Meaning is influenced by creators/producers and social world 3. Receiver is “weak” Receiver is passive in response to cultural object Has no ability to interpret cultural object 4. So, Cultural Object seduces Receiver Mindless drivel of mass entertainment is overpowering Commodities make people numb & apathetic The receiver PASSIVELY accepts mass culture CRITIQUES of Mass Culture Theory: i. Media is not all powerful Media not so purposeful in their intentions Media not all powerful in ability to impose meaning e.g., Gatekeeping and framing are strongly influenced by social (business) context, and interaction with receivers ii. Simplistic view of receivers as passive only Research shows receivers are “active” too: e.g., Shively iii. Ignores multiple meanings in cultural objects Depicts media content as uniformly influencing people Research shows how the same media product can generate multiple meanings: e.g., Shively B. Popular Culture Theory and Active Audience 1. Cultural Objects are “Popular” “Popular” culture is culture of “the people”: ordinary, nonelite people Embodies wisdom, common sense, values of “the people” 2. Cultural Object is “weak” (or “open”) Creators/producers may intend meaning, but have no power to impose Cultural object can have multiple meanings 3. Receiver is “strong” Receiver is active in response to cultural object Interprets cultural object in light of own social experience 4. So, Receiver can “resist” intended meaning of Cultural Object Popular audience decodes meanings that resonate with own social experience Receiver actively constructs subversive meanings o Don’t accept intended meanings, but make own meanings V. Summary of Ideology and Mass Media Power of creators (dominant groups) Agency of receivers (audience) All influenced by social world (and material conditions) Audiences are active and can challenge the powerful Yet, the powerful often end up COOPTING ALTERNATIVES that come from receivers o They influence which alternatives get into the Production Process and how they are portrayed. o Narrow view of reality Make “alternative views” consistent again with IDEAS/IDEOLOGIES of the POWERFUL 1. Dominant groups have power Dominant groups in society seek to have their worldview accepted by all members of society They shape the “commonsense” view of world They do not impose ideas by force Mass Media is a Dominant Group Media define our reality Provide images of world for which we lack direct experience/knowledge BUT, this is not an easy task because of Active Audience o continual alternative interpretations 2. The Audience is Active Cultural objects are “open” Audiences are active o Adapt content to own experiences Audiences have “agency”: They can resist dominant group’s manipulation 3. Ideological Influence is a continual PROCESS Often, audience resists commonsense interpretation: offers “alternative” interpretation Producers respond to audience interpretations Producers seek to incorporate alternatives into their business model Turn the “alternatives” into a profitable commodity (back to dominant view) 18. What does Weber mean he talks about culture functioning as a “switchman”? Like a switchman on train tracks: Ideas can direct which path the “material” train takes Culture shapes Social World Like Marx, Weber says people do pursue their material interests Material conditions are important People care about food, clothing, shelter Unlike Marx, Weber believes people also have ideal interests The realm of ideas/meaning matters too o Ex. Status and consumption For these Protestants, salvation (religious idea) matters Thus, culture shapes HOW people pursue material interests Protestants had material interests (earning a living) AND ideal interests (salvation) And their ideal interests (salvation) shaped HOW they pursued material interests(capitalism) “Switchman” vs. Toolkit (see Griswold, pp. 4142) Weber: Culture is a “meaning system” Culture is a coherent, societallevel system Systematic set of ideas and values which guide people’s behavior This is fundamental to culture as “switchman” Contemporary scholars: culture is more complex and fragmented Many different cultural strands in society People behave in contradictory ways, not just according to one coherent belief system Contemporary Example People USE different cultural notions, at different times, in different ways Ideas determine which way we go how we are going to spend our money Realm of idea/ meaning Consumption: food/ way that it is prepared Food as ambitious, way different than food as subsistence, the judges are critiquing food as an art McDonalds wouldn’t be critiqued because the values come from the cheapness not the quality Ideas allow really expensive restaurants to exist El Bulli emotional and intellectual response, no mention of being full To watch top ched, must have cable, have money Now you can learn the vocabulary and have new idea about food Culture shapes how people pursue material interests 19. What are the main components of the Protestant Ethic? (Describe in detail.) The Protestant Ethic (religious doctrines) Weber observed that Protestants were drawn to capitalist commerce much more than Catholics So, he looked at two religious doctrines from Protestant Christianity o “The Calling” and “Predestination” a. The Calling Martin Luther (14831546, German, Reformer) Prior to Luther, serving God = religious work Luther: can serve God in ANY kind of work God “calls” all people to serve Him in their work Pursuit of one’s work is a way of serving God Weber: this doctrine motivated people to work hard, in serving God b. Predestination John Calvin (15091564, French, Reformer) God has already decided on everyone’s place in the afterlife (heaven, hell) Can we change our destiny? No. This creates great anxiety Clergy suggested ways to deal with anxiety: i. Assume you’re predestined for heaven ii. Then, live your life to demonstrates this: hard work, selfcontrol, no hedonism Weber: this doctrine motivated people to: Pursue profits without stopping to enjoy the gains People wanted “hints” that they were saved So, they work hard and don’t rest to enjoy gains, because this might be sign they aren’t saved. Protestant Ethic: Culture as “Switchman” The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism How might a religious movement (Protestantism) have influenced economic life (capitalism)? Protestant Ethic Spirit of Capitalism Capitalist economic system 1. The Spirit of Capitalism A set of attitudes about work that directly contrast with “traditional” work attitudes Unique to the “West” (Western Europe & U.S.) a. Traditional work ethos Work in order to live (meet material needs) b. Spirit of Capitalism: Profit seeking: work incessantly for profits, beyond needs Rational calculation: “time is money” (selfmotivation for work) Asceticism: Profits for profits sake, not enjoyment Protestant Ethic Spirit of Capitalism: Change way people worked These two doctrines changed the way people worked and viewed work: a. Built up capital Those who made these profits usually reinvested Thus, they became very good capitalists b. Developed attitude of “hard work” good for its own sake Work as an end in itself (and way to serve God) This is an important part of “spirit of capitalism” Rather than traditional work as a means to an end. These religious ideas contributed directly to a “spirit of capitalism” Which, then, directly influenced economic behavior Even nonreligious people bought into “spirit of capitalism” in order to keep up economically Religious set of ideas around which set of constitutions are built Lead to the spirit of capitalism: set of attitudes, loving your work, following your calling, contrast with traditional working in order to live belief, what motivates you to work past only basic needs Time is money Generating profit became a goal money to have more money Theory of hard work finding your calling, what you are meant to do Predestination making and saving lots of money hard work as a virtue in and of itself 20. What are the key differences between Marx and Weber? Both agree that culture plays a role in inequality a. Marx: Ideology Dominant group’s ideas keep class structure in place Dominant ideology “brainwashes” subordinates into accepting “their place” b. Weber: Status Groups Status Groups play a big role in creating and maintaining inequality Lifestyles of status groups work to exclude others from resources and power STATUS GROUPS take active steps to make sure that their STATUS POSITION remains solidified (or improved) HOW does culture play a role here? Weber believes that culture has an influence on the social world reverse of Marx Weber is more interested in consumption ideas on their own do matter TV show: talks about ideas, feelings, presentation, not price and budget for clothes Say yes to the dress: identity and type of bride they want to be the personaility and idea of Grace Kelly, what people purchase have meaning, meaning that is important for themselves Idas and values, what we want, proceed money People will work hard for a cause that they believe in even if they don’t make as much money doing it a. Marx: Class Class = Groupings of people who differ in roles they play in the system of production Emphasizes 2 classes: owners and laborers Owners have POWER b. Weber: Inequality involves differences in market power (class), status, and political power Inequality involves a combination of economic and NONeconomic factors Inequality has 3 dimensions 1. Class: economic position (continuum) 2. Status: degree of prestige or social honor 3. Power: ability to make other people do what you want (political power) Weber: Class and Status a. Weber: Class Class = the power one has in the marketplace (economic position) More than 2 classes 1) Big property owners (capitalists) 2) Little property owners (pettybourgeoisie) 3) Skilled workers (specialists, technicians) 4) Laborers (proletariatsell labor only) b. Weber: Status Status: the evaluations that others make of a person's social standing (e.g high status = prestige or honor) Status is based on IDEAS and VALUES, not just economic position Examples: Studies on Social Ranking & Occupational Prestige These show that we rank people based on cultural factors (prestige) not just economic 21. Discuss Weber’s take on class and status. Status groups create “status cultures” Status group: cohesive social groups that: possess distinct subcultures (e.g., lifestyles) and often draw boundaries with outsiders (e.g., exclusion) i. Can be in same class, but not feel any “commonality" or "cohesion” E.g., plumber & banker E.g., “old money” and nouveau riche ii. People in same status group see themselves as having some commonality They share a distinctive lifestyle iii. People of same status often try to be “exclusive” They create ways to control who interacts w/ them and who can join their groups Status Culture: involves distinctive cultural traits, attitudes, and styles that exclude others Helps the group monopolize social, economic, and cultural resources or “cultural capital” Cultural Capital: Cultural resources, advantages Cultural knowledge that can be used and exchanged for gain “Knowledge and familiarity with styles and genres that are socially valued and that confer prestige upon those who have mastered them.” –Bourdieu & Passeron Culture contributes to Inequality Status groups status cultures cultural capital Status groups create status culture through deliberate activity– by using their own lifestyle and cultural resources to exclude others. Status Groups establish own cultural traits as the most valued culture (cultural capital). Maintain status/power by knowing and using this cultural capital So, knowledge of this culture gives people advantages in society. 22. What are the key findings in Aversa’s study? What does it demonstrate (about cultural capital)? **What are the two status groups here? (Are their economic positions very different?) **What are their distinctive lifestyles? **What happens when they come into contact? **Do they do things to mark themselves as different from each other? **Exclude the other group? The Role of Culture in Inequality 23. How does the movie, “Spellbound” demonstrate they way economic capital and cultural capital are linked? What kinds of advantaged does cultural capital afford the spelling bee participants? examples of: economic class status group and status culture and cultural capital Random: Weber emphasizes the opposite direction: Influence of Culture on the Social World Weber appreciates importance of material life but ideas can bring about social change Ideas (culture) can influence how the economy is shaped For Marx, the Social World (material conditions, economic base) causes Culture (ideas, ideology) The type of economic system determines the type of culture you have Major theorists: Marx, Weber, Durkheim All are interested in: Where does MEANING (culture) come from? (Griswold has a nice discussion of meaning & culture) What difference does culture make in social life? I. MARX Marx dealt extensively with: How one group of people could dominate another group of people through ideas (culture) Marx has a REFLECTION VIEW of CULTURE CULTURE reflects the SOCIAL WORLD (See the Diagram on p. 44 of Griswold
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'