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UCSB / Communications / COMM 145 / charles mullin ucsb

charles mullin ucsb

charles mullin ucsb


School: University of California Santa Barbara
Department: Communications
Course: Media Entertainment
Professor: Charles mullin
Term: Winter 2016
Tags: communication and Comm145
Cost: Free
Name: COMM 145 Week 1
Description: week 1 notes
Uploaded: 02/07/2017
6 Pages 96 Views 1 Unlocks

- What is Entertainment?

• Most research has been on traditional effects (exposing people to media messages and seeing how it affects them— what are the outcomes?

• Why do we find things entertaining?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Week 1 Lecture 1 - 1/10/17 - Scholarship on Entertainment • Why do we find things entertaining?  • Most research has been on traditional effects (exposing people to media messages  and seeing how it affects them— what are the outcomes?)  We also discuss several other topics like healey sdsu
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• Entertainment is hard for empirical social sciences to address since it often seems  too evaluative/subjective… more like humanities; some past research (e.g., humor  research) seems a little facile (overly simplistic) or uninformative  • “Cultural studies” is a type of non-empirical scholarship that sometimes may be  related to Comm. discipline (not in our department, but probably in Film Studies) • Scholarship in this area is now getting hotter, due to: - New technologies re-emphasizing active audience model posited by ‘uses and  gratifications’ perspective (more access to new forms of entertainment— more  choices at any point in time)  - Uses and Gratifications: how people choose their media based on what they  think they need and where they can go, what people do and why they do it,  looking at how you exercise choice (we now have much more choice based on  technology)  - Influential researchers like Peter Vorderer, Mary Beth Oliver, Nabi, Weber • Vorderer sees entertainment as an opportunity for growth, social identity, social  support, empathy, etc.  • Interesting mix of research/theory re: personality (individual differences), cultural  determinants (more than race), social identity (how we select content for social  identity goals), industry economics  - Consumer Media Usage • Each month consumers are spending more time with more media, across all  devices under the sun - 208 hours per month of 480 total ‘awake’ hours 1Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - New media technologies may shift balance from nomothetic (tries to explain  broadly what happens to most people) to more idiographic theories (effects are  individuated— does not explain a broad pattern, can be problematic theories)  - What is Entertainment? • “An amusement or diversion intended to hold the attention of an audience or its  participants”… fine, but also sort of a useless definition (Vorderer would disagree  with ‘diversion’… like wasting your time with something trivial)  - What about “multitasking” uses of entertainment (e.g., music while studying)? • “Youth” pack nearly 11 hours of media use into about 7.5 hours per day;  multitasking has been increasing steadily over the last couple decades  - What about “intentional fallacy”? • What the creators of the media are trying to achieve might be different from  what the viewers get from it  - Casa Blanca (1942): explicit political attempt/message to get America to  enter WWII and viewers saw it as a romantic drama (example of intentional  fallacy)  - Is news entertaining?  • More than just “staying informed”, there is definitely entertainment value to  news - Does entertainment need to involve some form of storytelling? • No, jazz is entertaining but does not tell a story in itself  - Generally, we used to assume “A” produced it to profit from “B’s” consumption of  it, through new technologies may call that into question  • Many people can produce content now but do it for sheer joy of expression/ creativity  • Technological role: various forms… literature, music, movies, TV shows, video  games, etc… may be delivered via various technologies, which could impact  reception, use, and function • “Effects” may be conceptualized as: - Individual or societal  2Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - Intended consequence or unintended  - Manifest (observable in the short term, measurable, tangible) or latent (subtle  effects which may not become clear until years later) • Latent aesthetic (style) impact of entertainment culture and experience may be  huge and barely recognized  • Post-modern cultural cannibalism: Black Keys album jacket references Pet Sounds  (Beach Boys) and a late-70’s album by edgy Brit band XTC - Family Guy: extreme example of cultural cannibalism, always referencing  something  Lecture 2 - 1/12/17  - History of Entertainment  • Primitive humans: communication, fire, social, and farming innovations provided  “leisure” for rituals and comforts  - As social organization is formed, it becomes easier to survive and gives you  more leisure time  - Entertainment used to be more anchored to a special time, whereas now it is not  “special” but happens pretty much anywhere • Egyptian (et. al) around 2000 BC: Aristocracy, and also middle class, use leisure  time for non-ritual entertainment  - Egyptian cultures have more rigid social stratifications; entertainment is reserved  mostly for the Aristocracy  • Things of sensual nature: getting drunk and having sex (orgies)  • Greek culture 500-300 BC: Drama, “intellectual arts”, the function of entertainment,  games flourished, dichotomy between “privileged” and “common”, reflection on  leisure to elevate the human condition  - Emotionally robust communities, entertainment was more than simply getting  drunk and having sex (i.e. Egypt)  - Function was to incentive people to become soldiers and reward them for that  3Tuesday, January 10, 2017 • Roman Empire 1-4th centuries AD: More democratization of entertainment as a  result of wealth; emphasis on spectacle (the entertainment is garish or bizarre to  witness; throwing Christians to the lions, Bad Girls Club today); used to pacify  colonized groups (“breads and circuses”) - We will send our soldiers to your town, improve it, protect it, bring you benefits,  and in exchange we take resources out of you  - Entertainment could be used as a weapon (“weapon of mass amusement”); if  you don’t want to have unhappy or angry citizens/soldiers, give them food and  entertain them— pacify; keeping your colonial subjects in line  • Christianity regulated and sanitized leisure and entertainment  - Saw entertainment as a way to promote orthodoxy/theology, would persecute  tellers of tales that were inconsistent with church doctrine  • Around 1600’s, social and domestic entertainment pursuits flourished, partly as a  result of technology (moveable type printing press), and literate middle class - Pre-industrial revolution (“food chain” stays within boundaries, smaller  communities) —> post-industrial revolution (scope of everything is expanded,  factories in cities with workers, beginning of industries building, emergence of a  literate middle class) • Combination of social change, literacy, and technology improvements —>  entertainment pursuits/opportunities arise  • Technology innovations of the last century have vastly increased the range of  entertainment options and the role it plays in our lives; trends incl. (film, gaming,  internet, phones, etc.) - Multi-tasking  - Disintermediation: a rock band needs a label to have access to an audience/on  the radio (intermediary)  - Niche marketing: instead of creating content that has a broad appeal to mass  audiences, we create content for a small niche of people  - Social facilitation: fandoms, social communities of supporters for a show - Active/interactive audience models: we are not passive recipients, we interact  with the content in how we seek it out 4Tuesday, January 10, 2017 • So, entertainment historically relates to societal resources, class, and technology - Entertainment Production Industry Economics & Trends  • Factoids: Leisure WAY up… 8 less work hours/week since 60’s (particularly low for  socio-economic status/SES)  • Individuals spend ~$1,000 per year on entertainment purchases; trend is away from  ‘product ownership’ and towards ‘access’/‘subscription’  • Gaming revenues outpace movies box office, and also music sales  • Reading is up slightly recently after decades of steady decline  • TV viewing is up a little recently— around 34 hours per week (multi-tasking  compensates for any displacement due to new technologies)  • Trend from BC to cable continues, though weakest network (NBC) still had twice  the viewership of strongest cable (USA)  - Entertainment industry goal/strategies: • Maximize profit  - “Marketplace” vs. “public interest” concerns; how does the industry maximize  profits? It finds what the public wants and gives them what they want (a lot of  money is spend on market research)  • Keep in mind, the entertainment industry involves: content creators, producers/ marketers, and distributors - Individual content creator may have different economic goals than producer/ marketer/distributer  - Who pays for content? (thus, many… in whose interests?) • User— films, magazines, music, games  • Advertisers— most TV; lots of web content  - As ad revenue declines (largely due to ad skipping), revenue strategies tilt  towards:  • Product placement  • ‘Narrowcasting’, including ‘data-mining’ (I am thinkings ads here)  5Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - You want to be efficient in how you target the small audience you want to hit;  who is our intended market and how can we hit them?  - Data-mining: looking at all of the things individuals electronically do; making  up a “digital fingerprint” and showing you ads that reflect who you are  - Pull vs push ad strategies  • Push: pushing a message on you whether you like it or not • Pull: inviting you to participate in a persuasive exchange; “click here!”  6

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