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Sociology 101

by: Madison Pamfilis

Sociology 101 Sociology 101

Madison Pamfilis
GPA 3.148

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About this Document

These notes cover the material that we went over in class during the week of February 16th, as well as the relevant notes that I took from the textbook chapter eight.
Intro to Sociology
William Tsitsos
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Pamfilis on Tuesday February 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 101 at Towson University taught by William Tsitsos in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Towson University.


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Date Created: 02/23/16
Lecture (2/16/16)  WASPs: White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, “old money”, reference to the founding fathers of America o Generally used sarcastically (almost an insult)\ o Who holds the power in the USA  WASP dominance is apparently in decline  Media and Technology (Ch. 8) o Planned obsolescence: “When a company plans for a product to be obsolete from the time its created” o The functionalist argument: as a social institution, media have some benefical purposes to society  Possible social functions?  the types of connections and communities made possible by technology, moral socialization  Media and technology have become institutionalized because they serve a function to society  Media/technology the SI Argument: social media and the idea of front/back stage (Goffman) o Sherry Turkle (TED talk) “Alone Together” Lecture (2/18/16)  Homogenization of Media (pg. 173) o Homogenous- the same, lacking diversity (opposite: heterogeneous) o Mainstream news and entertainment is increasingly homogenized o Coverage of national events and political issues will likely be the same o Alisa Miller (TED talk) “How the News Distorts our Worldview” o Sensationalism: method of focus in mainstream media  Concentrated media ownership o On the surface, there are endless opportunities to find diverse media coverage numbers are misleading  In 1983, only 50 corporations owned the bulk of mass media outlets  Today, only 6 conglomerates control the US’ mass media  Fragmentation of media o Simultaneous to homogenization among the major news outlets, the opposite process is occurring in the newer media streams o With so many choices, people “customize” their news experiences to miniz=mize chance encounters with information that they disagree with  Other media and technology issues o The digital divide: unequal distribution of access to technology o The knowledge gap: increasing gap in information for those who are without access to technology  Form vs. content o Form: the Form that media takes (print, online, social, televised, etc.) o Content: the subject or substance of the news Chapter 8: Media and Technology 8.1: Technology Today  Technology: the application of science to address the problems of daily life  All aspects of our lives today are influenced by technology  Knowledge gap: an ongoing and increasing gap in information for those who have less access to technology  E-readiness: the ability to sort through, interpret, and process knowledge  Digital divide: the uneven access to technology across race, class, and geographic lines  Planned obsolescence: the business practice for planning for a product to be obsolete from the time that it is created; money making scheme (think: IPhones) 8.2: Media and Technology is Society  Technology and the media are interwoven, and neither can be separated from contemporary society  Technology has influenced how and where information is shared  Utility patents: regulatory body granted for the invention or discovery of any new and usefulo process, product, or machine, or for a significant improvement to existing technologies  Design patents: commonly seen in agriculture and industrial design, given to someone who has invented a new and original design for a manufactured product  Plant patents: recognize the discovery of new plants types that can be asexually reproduced (examples: GMOs, Monsanto, etc.)  Evolutionary model of technological change: a breakthrough in one form of technology leads to a number of variations  Types of media and technology o Print Newspaper o Television and radio o Film o New media (social media)  Synergistic advertising practice: ensure that you are getting the same message from multiple different sources; used to reinforce the same message, either consciously or subconsciously.  Homogenization: lack of diversity/same messages (in mainstream media)  Fragmentation: gives consumers the ability to “customize” their advertising or news experiences 8.3: Global Implications  Media globalization: worldwide integration of media through the cross-cultural exchange of ideas  Technological globalization: cross-cultural development and exchange of technology  Multinational corporations are the primary cause of media globalization as they control global mass-media content and distribution  Because of this, diverse viewpoints and opinions are difficult to find, even with the seemingly endless stream of news  Risks of media globalization: cultural and ideological bias, risk of cultural imperialism, gambling, child pornography, sex trade, access to illegal and illicit information  Technological diffusion: the spread of technology across borders 8.4: Theoretical Perspectives on Media and Technology  Functionalist standpoint on Media and Technology: media/technology serves a function or purpose to society o Commercial function: advertising on television, in movies, on billboards, buses, in sports stadiums, etc. as ways of connecting with consumers to promote goods and services o Entertainment function: obvious manifest function of media o Social norm functions: serves to socialize us, to pass along norms, values, and beliefs to the next generation; media teaches us what is good and desirable, how to talk, how to behave, and how to react to events o Life-changing functions: manifest function of technology (either for better or worse), example: childhood obesity, decrease in physical activity, communicate with people half a world away o Narcotizing dysfunction: when people are too overwhelmed with media input to really care about an issue, so their involvement becomes defined by awareness instead of by action about the issue at hand  Conflict perspective: focuses on the creation and reproduction of inequality – social processes that tend to disrupt society rather than to contribute to its smooth operation o Control of media and technology: powerful individuals and social institutions have a great deal of influence over what forms of technology are released as well as what kind of media is available for our consumption o Gatekeeping: the sorting process by which thousands of possible messages are shaped into mass-media appropriate form and processed into a manageable amount o Technological social control and digital surveillance o Panoptic surveillance: a form of constant monitoring in which the observation posts are decentralized and the observed is never communicated with directly (ex: security cameras, cell phone tracking, facial recognition software)  Feminist perspective: focuses on the ways in which women are portrayed in mass-media and advertising o Creates ideals of what “society” finds attractive, and reinforces stereotypes o Gender gap in technology related fields, obvious bias towards men o Cyber feminism: the application to, and promotion of, feminism online  Symbolic Interactionalism (SI) Perspective o Neo-Luddites: people who see technology as symbolizing the coldness and modernization of modern life o Technophiles: those who believe that technology symbolizes the potential for a brighter future o Social construction of reality: media create and spread symbols that become the bassi of our shared understanding of reality and society o Primary group: the small informal groups of people who are closest to you o Reference group: a group that influences an individual and to which an individual compares herself, and by which we judge our successes and failures o Social networking and social construction: corporations can easily and subtly promote their services and products on social media sites


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