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Chapter 1:Thinking Critically About Mass Media

by: Consuela Horton

Chapter 1:Thinking Critically About Mass Media SCOM 2050

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Speech & Communication > SCOM 2050 > Chapter 1 Thinking Critically About Mass Media
Consuela Horton
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About this Document

Chapter one of the book. Notes taken 8/29/16 and partially 8/31/16
Melanie Chambers
Class Notes
Media and Society





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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Consuela Horton on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SCOM 2050 at Georgia State University taught by Melanie Chambers in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see MEDIA, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY in Speech & Communication at Georgia State University.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Monday, August 29, 2016 Thinking Critically About Mass Media Why are we studying this? • Ubiquity: On average, people spend almost 5 hours a day intentionally involved in media activity - But, total “media time” is more than 2/3 of our waking life. • Information: Virtually everything you know about the world is delivered to you by the media. • To improve media literacy - The ability to be (a) critical consumers if mass media institutions, (b) engaged citizens and (c) to accept responsibility for the shape and direction of media culture. Modern media both influences culture and is deeply influenced by it. To operate as citizens and consumers we need to develop “visual literacy”- the ability to decide meaning from common images. What are we studying? • Mass Media: the vehicles through which messages are disseminated to mass audiences. - interpersonal communication: between two individuals, usually face to face. - group communication: an audience of more than one, all within an earshot. Media Maturation Model • Most media technology (and most technology of any kind) goes through four predictable stages - Innovation: the technology is just being explored (and not necessarily for the same thing it ends up becoming). - Entrepreneurial: a commercial use is discovered for the technology - Stability: the commercial use becomes stable and widespread-a true “mass” medium 1 Monday, August 29, 2016 - Convergence:older media configured on newer media Media Convergence • Media become converged in two different ways - Product convergence Products that were produced in one medium become available in another medium. EXAMPLE: Oral-email, social media; print newspaper-online - Business Convergence Multiples companies that produce different media get purchased by a single corporation (consolidation) for resource management and maximization of profits EXAMPLES: Use of fewer employees to generate multiple versions of the same story (for use through multiple outlets-TV, newspaper,radio) High Culture vs. Low Culture • One perspective on media sees it as a cultural continuum. - High culture is associated with higher levels of taste, education, complexity, wealth, and cultural durability, “fine art.” EXAMPLES: Types of cars, ballet, opera, high-end fashion, symphony, classical literature - Low culture is associated with mass popularity, throw away culture and simplistic appeals, taste of the masses. EXAMPLES: Reality TV, tabloids, video games, rock music. • Some people see high and low cultures and being in competition. - Some argue that low culture makes us incapable of appreciating high culture. - Exploitation of high culture (“low culture” takes images from high culture and use it) - Short life span of low culture - Drives out and cheapens higher forms of culture. 2 Monday, August 29, 2016 - Big Mac Theory-People have become so addicted to mass produced products that they have lost the taste for finer, high quality, high culture products. Culture as a map Skyscraper (one way of viewing culture) is hierarchal • • Culture Map-not hierarchal - Good and bad culture determined by personal taste and aesthetics at a point in history. Different practices and media artifacts can be mapped according to their • characteristics - Conventional/innovative, popular/niche, religious/secular, etc. • Our media preferences locate us on the map - Some of us have preferences that are focused, others are “all over the map” - Complex tastes, needs, interests • The map is always changing, not a permanent fixture - So our tastes-over time, we might move from one part to another • One part of the map isn’t inherently superior to another. Postmodern Culture • Skepticism toward the rand narratives to the modern age - EXAMPLE: Communication Reach Local (Pre 1800s) National (1800s-1950s) Global (1950s-present) - EXAMPLE:Key social values Belief in natural/divine order (pre 1800s) Individualism/Nationalism/Efficiency (1800s-1950s) 3 Monday, August 29, 2016 Antiherarchy/Skepticism (about the government, diversity, multiculturalism etc.) Four Features of Postmodern Culture • Populism - Appeal to ordinary people by creating conflict between “the people” and “the elite” EXAMPLE: Criticism of large companies Diversity • - Fragmentation, old and new cultures EXAMPLE: Food courts in malls with multiple cultural restaurants • Nostalgia - Sticking with more traditional EXAMPLE: Modern technological advancements dehumanized, X-Files (mystical and supernatural versus rational and scientific approach) • Paradox - Integration/convergence retro and contemporary beliefs EXAMPLE: Technological advances like social media integrated into nuclear family values of the 1950s What You Should Know • What culture is (Pages 5-6) • What media literacy is • Media Maturation Model • The role of mass media in relation to culture (Page 6) • The linear Model of Mass Communication (Pages 9-10) • Figure 1.1- Know the 3 biggest platforms for daily media consumption, in order. • The two ways in which media converge • High culture vs. Low culture. 4


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