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Reading Media Critically COMM 3300.002

by: Nicholas Notetaker

Reading Media Critically COMM 3300.002 Comm 3300-002

Marketplace > University of Texas at Dallas > Communication Studies > Comm 3300-002 > Reading Media Critically COMM 3300 002
Nicholas Notetaker
GPA 2.76

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About this Document

A study guide over Sociological critique when analyzing media
Reading Media Critically
Lisa Bell
Study Guide
UTD, Media, sociology, Bellutd, readingmediacritically
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Nicholas Notetaker on Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Comm 3300-002 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Lisa Bell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Reading Media Critically in Communication Studies at University of Texas at Dallas.

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Date Created: 05/03/16
Sociological analysis Sociological analysis  Sociologist- a person who tells everyone things they already know in language they can't understand  Sociological- focus on the social relationships of men and women  Examine the public arts with a concern for human interactions and personal relationships  Questions to ask: o Who does what to whom and why o What patterns are discernible in the materials we study?  Sociology's basic concern is: how groups and institutions function o Institutions- ways of patterning and organizing social life  Psychology's basic concern is: individual psyche and the unconscious  Anthropology's basic concern is: culture  Political science's basic concern is: power and government  Can be combined to make social psychologists, political sociologists, social anthropologists, etc. Emile Durkheim on our social Nature  Emile Durkheim- important sociological theorist and founding father of French sociology  an individual's intellectual activity is not as rich or as complex as a society's intellectual activity because a society's thought is enriched by historical tradition  individuals have a complex relationship to society  Much of what individuals think is influenced by our societal membership  according to Pierre Bourdieu, our opinions and taste are socially determined  Also feminists argue that gender is socially determined and not natural  other scientists believe race is socially constructed  uses-and-gratifications approach- how people use the media and the gratifications the media offers them Some Basic concepts Alienation:  alienation- means no ties, an alienated person feels like a stranger with no connections  alienation ties in with bureaucracies  Bureaucracy- necessary to deal with large numbers of people in a fiar and efficient manner but they are also impersonal and tend to generate feelings of alienation Anomie:  anomie- means no norms, different from alienation where anomie has a group quality where alienation does not  society deals with anomie by setting up rules of conduct in life, and to facilitate this, they develop bureaucracies  criminal gangs are anomic, big problem is that people join gangs to escape from alienation Bureaucracy:  Bureaucracies- collections of more or less anonymous people who follow fixed rules and routines in running organizations; they are typically characterized by hierarchies of authority, impersonal handling of problems, and a great deal of red tape  Max Weber suggests that as societies evolve and become more complex, they move from being led by charismatic individuals to being led by politicians and bureaucrats in a "rational-legal system"  One of the inevitable by-products of bureaucracies is depersonalization, which results in a sense of powerlessness and alienation Socioeconomic class:  Class- group of people with something in common  Socioeconomic class- a person's class level or place in the hierarchy of classes in society  Lloyd Warner's society classes in America: o Upper-upper, 1.4% o Lower-upper, 1.6% o Upper-middle, 10% o Lower-middle, 28% o Upper-lower, 33% o Lower-lower, 25%  The lower-middle and Upper-lower constitutes the "common man"  Socioeconomic class is determined by a number of components, including education, income, and occupation, and different social classes have different lifestyles, ways of raising children and values Culture:  The means to learn how to interpret and analyze our culture's mass-mediated texts, the content of the mass media, is a way of learning about our culture and, indirectly because we are member of this culture , about ourselves  Elite culture- art forms such as opera, ballet, symphonic music, poetry, and serious novels  popular culture- mass-mediated texts such as sitcoms, radio and television commercials, genre novels, pop music, and sports contests  Media analysis techniques can be seen as a contribution to this field in that it uses a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to analyze texts and mass- mediated culture Deviance:  Deviance- behavioral patterns different from typical or conventional ones  deviance generates anxiety in people because it forces them to consider the validity of their own practices as well as their own attitudes about what is normal Elites:  Elites- top of the social pyramid  the media document heroes as young, educated, white, working class characters Ethnicity:  Ethnicity- conventionally understood to mean certain cultural traits, religious beliefs, and traditions that distinguish groups in society  ethnic groups are often stereotyped in the media, but this practice is now under attack, ethnicity is often confused with race Functionalism:  something is functional when it contributes to the maintenance and stability of water entity it is part of  something is dysfunctional when it is destabilizing or destructive  something is nonfunctional when it has no particular effect on the entity of which it is part of  something that is both functional and dysfunctional may complicate matters, such as television  We can apply functionalism in terms of whether their functions are intended or unintended, conscious or unconscious  Manifest function of television news programs might be to inform, whereas the latent function of these programs might be to indoctrinate viewers with certain political values and beliefs  When media analysts look at roles in the media from a sociological perspective then they must examine the roles assigned to people and the impacts media dissemination of these roles might have on individuals and on society in general  functional alternative explains situations in which an original institution loses its viability and replaced by a substitute institution  Brief aspects o Functional: maintains an organization, society, or the like o dysfunctional: destabilizes an organization, society or the like o nonfunctional: plays no role o manifest function: intended and recognized by people o latent function: not intended and not recognized by people o functional alternative: substitute for original institution, practice Lifestyle  Lifestyle is a comprehensive term that covers a person's tastes in fashion, entertainment and recreation, literature, and related matters  style suggests fashion  lifestyle is used to describe how people fashion their lives  lifestyles are connected to our socioeconomic class and reflected in our image  people's lifestyles are the sum of their various taste decisions Marginalization  marginalization is the process by which individuals and groups with values and beliefs that differ from the norm in societies are delegitimized and given secondary status Mass communication and Mass media  mass communication involves the use of mass media to communicate with large numbers of people at the same time Mass society  mass society- a society in which large numbers of people live in given areas but have little involvement with one another Race  race is contentious  race is socially constructed  people use the idea of race to deal with otherness, as a lens through which to view people who look different from us and in many cases come from cultures different from ours Social role  social roles are formed by the behavior we learn relating to expectations people have of us in specific situations  individual roles are determined by that person's place in society Sex and Gender  many media critics argue that the mass media are sexist and have consistently assigned women to destructive roles Socialization  socialization is the process by which people are taught the rules, roles, and values of their society  formal socialization is family, church, or school  informal socialization is media  most people do not recognize they are being taught by informal socialization  identities are shaped by "significant others" :: i.e. being our parents, siblings, teachers, and friends who give feedback on who and what we are Status  status refers to the position a person has in some group or organization and the prestige attached to that position, and so status is associated with a person's role Stereotypes  stereotypes can be positive, negative, or mixed, but they give millions of people oversimplified and sometimes pernicious images of races, sexual roles, and occupations Values  values are the attitudes people have relative to what they believe to be desirable and undesirable  people's values affect their behaviors


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