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COMM 350 Week 2 Notes

by: Mia Watson

COMM 350 Week 2 Notes COMM 350

Mia Watson
Texas A&M

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Theories of Media Communication
Heidi Campbell
Class Notes
Media, Theory, communication
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mia Watson on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 350 at Texas A&M University taught by Heidi Campbell in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Theories of Media Communication in Journalism and Mass Communications at Texas A&M University.

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Date Created: 09/08/16
Mass Culture Theory Mass Culture Theory: Background  Interest in lit/art analysis & “mass culture”  Inspired by Matthew Arnold; defending “culture” against “anarchy”  High vs. Low culture; educated minority must guide the masses o “Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world” o The educated minority they were the ones who funded and had skills of their culture, guide the masses, represent and show the lower class what they should strive for o Mass culture = low culture o High Culture refers to those forms of culture usually associated with the elite or dominant classes (ex: art, literature, theater, classical music) o Popular Culture refers to the forms of cultural expression usually associated with the masses, consumer good, and consumer products (ex: film, television, pop music) i.e. easily accessible for everyone FR Leavis  Leavism - critical analysis of cultural institutions o “literature life as affirming” & “mass civilization as life denying”  Concern with Relationship between civilization & culture o Civilization – “totality of social relations” o Culture – “value on which ‘fine living’ depended”  Mass media & social institutions are threat to society Reading: Leavis-Mass Civilization & Minority Culture;  Media is a threat to culture, geared to a certain class, knowledge of the high class giving to the lower class in a different way of saying it, media is negatively influencing the masses, media separates us in classes, standardizes 1. What is meant by “culture has always been in the minority keeping”? (66) a. Minority is the elite who set what the culture is (opera, art, literature) while the mass basically gets what is ever left for their own “pop culture” (film, TV), boundary set, elite and educated are the minority- lower class doesn’t have access to be in the minority 2. What does he mean by culture & “Language as the carrier of culture”? (68) a. Culture comes through language, the standards of language are held by a certain class and that is what keeps culture going, culture- language upon which fine living depends 3. What role does he say the press plays in “modern civilization?” (70) a. Press=unwashed masses, negative connotation, high class ideas dumbing it down to be more accessible for the masses, standardization=generic; common language, mass production to reach the masses, overturning the power of the high class, changing the agency of the audience, giving the masses more say/power 4. What is argued about the impact of advertising on society? (76) a. Marketing to the masses so have to change so it can be accessible, manifestation of culture becoming standardized, pessimistic Walter Benjamin- Work of art in Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)  Reproduction – re-creation and transmission of art & objects of tradition for mass public  Aura – originality & authenticity in a work of art that has not been reproduced o Culture is something that has aura; redefined.  Painting has aura, photographs do NOT  Authenticity, (all media is reproduction no authenticity)  “Mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art form is parasitical dependence on ritual” Leavis & Benjamin: Shared Ideas  Critique of mass/popular media and favors upholding tradition  Privileges language and art of the minority (elite) over that of the mass (general public)  Call to stand against degradation of culture brought on by media (reproduction of high culture) Summary of Mass Culture Theory  Key ideas: “culture”, minority culture, mass culture  Concerned with political questions of mass society- when we give info to the masses  control or freedom?  Media seen as expressing low culture Reading – Mass Culture 40 years later .. Bourgeois, Public Sphere, Opinion , the public


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