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Intro to Studying Media

by: Ryan Notetaker

Intro to Studying Media BRC 350

Ryan Notetaker
SUNY Oswego

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About this Document

These Notes are the basic to how we critically look at media and how they change our perceptions.
Women, Children, and Minorities in the Media
Jennifer Fogel (P)
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Notetaker on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BRC 350 at State University of New York at Oswego taught by Jennifer Fogel (P) in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.

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Date Created: 09/17/16
 Introduction to Studying Media (Concepts) Dr. Jennifer Fogel SUNY-Oswego 9/1/16  What messages do media send about…  Media…  Entertain  Socialize and Educate ◦ Learn our social & cultural norms ◦ Appropriate behavior  Informs ◦ Surveillance, framing  Create community & consensus ◦ Parasocial relationships  Why Analyze Media Critically?  Interpret and understand experiences of self and others  Evaluate subtle and overt ways in which media shapes aesthetic tastes, ethical, social, and cultural values, political and ideological perspectives  Understand ways media industries package, market, & positions people as commodities  Explain reactions to varied media, and how they vary among audiences  What is Criticism?  Describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating patterned relationships among symbols in order to share an informed perspective with others  3 Components: ◦ Thesis statement (argument) ◦ Development of thesis through logical arguments ◦ Concrete and specific supporting evidence  Criticism is NOT…  Everyday unsupported opinions  Not necessarily negative  Not history ◦ Critics focus on “how and what does it mean” as opposed to “what and why”  Not personal opinion!  Kellner  Evolution of Media Studies  Literary studies  Film studies  Mass Communication Studies ◦ Media effects  Proving causality – “X” has “Y” effect  Quantifiable Methods  In this class: Cultural studies  What is Cultural Studies?  Multidisciplinary Field  Draws on 3 separate but interconnected areas of analysis: ◦ Political Economy ◦ Textual Analysis ◦ Audience Reception  Goals of cultural studies: Contextualize the media text w/I the society that informs its production, construction, and consumption.  Political Economy  Ways in which texts are produced w/I a society  Disney Buys Lucasfilm  Star Wars Disneyfied  Sesame Street on HBO  Textual Analysis  Media representations are never just simple mirrors or “reflections of reality.”  Textual analysis provides insights into how cultural texts are structured ◦ Semiotics: the study of signs & symbols  Textual analysis examines how these signs construct meaning and ideologies  Ideology: Defined  Ideology: images, concepts and premises which provide the frameworks through which we represent, interpret, understand and “make sense” of some aspect of social existence (Hall).  A structure of beliefs, principles, and practices through which we define, organize, and interpret reality  A deeply held cultural belief that structures the way we think about things without realizing it  Dominant Ideology  Media often articulate the dominant values or ideologies of our society/culture.  What seems to be “common sense”  Ideologies work most effectively when they are taken-for-granted ◦ EX: Women & the Household ◦ Codes of Gender  Adherence to codes of gender display is so pervasive and unquestioned that only when a code is broken does its socially constructed nature become visible  Identify a character or person in media who meaningfully challenges at least one code of gender?  Are there limits to how the code is challenged  Understanding Codes  Coding Childhood  Ideologies and Race (Hall)  Media often portrays race through common ideological beliefs, or “unquestioned assumptions” about race  We construct our own perspectives based on these how media frame certain ideologies  Media define what race is, what meaning the imagery of race carries, and what the “problem of race” is understood to be  Hall on “Racial Ideologies”  Context in which concept of race is expressed is important  We develop our ideologies w/I those that already exist – unconsciously  Ideologies work when they hold some kind of relevance to us  Grammar of Race  Overt Racism: coverage is given to openly racist arguments or advancing a racist view  Inferential Racism: naturalized representations of racist premise  Base imagery of race: ◦ Slave-Figure ◦ Native ◦ Clown or Entertainer  Django Unchained/The Help  Multiple perspectives on these films  Django ◦ Racist: A poor depiction of our nation’s past (Spike Lee) ◦ Role reversal on slavery – a revenge narrative ◦ Some African Americans cheered when he kills White slavers  The Help: white savior  Interracial Coupling  The Media often downplay issues with interracial couples  But in real life, many still have an issue with it.  Audience Studies  All texts can have multiple readings depending on the perspectives of the reader.  Audience studies focus on how actual audiences interpret, make sense of, understand, and use media texts  Subject position can affect how one might “read” a text.  Feminist Gamers & E3  Cultural Studies  Media provide the materials for constructing views of the world, behavior, and even identities  Cultural Studies demonstrate how culture reproduces certain forms of racism, sexism, and biases  CS aims to make people sensitive to how relations of power & domination are “encoded” in media texts


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