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SMAD 150 Notes, Week 4 (9/19)

by: Sophie Witmer

SMAD 150 Notes, Week 4 (9/19) SMAD 150

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Sophie Witmer

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These notes cover this week's PowerPoint and lecture on How Audiences Use Media. REMEMBER: first exam = in TWO MONDAYS!!! (October 3)
SMAD 150 Mediated Communication: Issues and Skills
Dr. Leidholdt
Class Notes
Media, audience, bullet, Theory, reception, analysis, uses, and, gratifications, propaganda
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophie Witmer on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SMAD 150 at James Madison University taught by Dr. Leidholdt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see SMAD 150 Mediated Communication: Issues and Skills in SMAD at James Madison University.


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Date Created: 09/21/16
SMAD 150 Notes 9/19    Exam 1: TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY (October 3)       How Audiences Use Media     ❖ “Life without media has become utterly unimaginable.”   ~Ien Ang, “The Nature of the  Audience”      ​ More on How Audiences Use Media    ❖ 3 Big Theories  ➢ Bullet Theory  ■ Popular during 20th century  ■ Thought to be too simplistic at first  ➢ Uses and Gratifications  ■ Reaction to Bullet Theory  ■ Targets active audiences  ➢ Reception Analysis  ■ Focuses on the interpretive process of different audiences      Bullet Theory    ❖ Powerful Media / Passive Audiences  ➢ Some early theorists were concerned that the media… were acting like  ‘hypodermic needles’.”   ~Ang      ​ More on Bullet Theory    ❖ Researchers believed media exerted powerful direct effects  ❖ Pessimistic view  ➢ Everyone can be swayed and manipulated by the media / propaganda  ■ Ex. WWI propaganda  ■ Ex. Adolf Hitler propaganda convinced Nazis they were a “master race”          Propaganda Posters    ❖ “Destroy This Mad Brute”      ❖ “The Eternal Jew”              ​ More on Propaganda Posters    ❖ Most of the time the posters displayed stereotypes      Uses and Gratifications Perspective    ❖ “... media audiences… are actively involved, both emotionally and intellectually, with  particular forms of media material.”   ~Ang  ❖ Uses and Gratifications is separated into four spheres of choice      ​ More on Uses and Gratifications Perspective    ❖ Gratifications ​ →​  Functions  ❖ The question is: How do we use the media?  ➢ The question is NOT: What does the media do to us?  ❖ We are ACTIVE participants  ❖ Criticism: audience is completely active (habitual)      Uses and Gratifications    ❖ Information  ➢ Finding out about society and the world  ➢ Seeking advice on practical matters  ➢ Satisfying curiosity and interest  ➢ Learning   ■ Weather, sports, news, JMU classes, etc...  ❖ Personal Identity  ➢ Finding reinforcement for personal values  ➢ Finding models for behavior  ➢ Identifying with valued others  ➢ Gaining insight into oneself  ■ Song lyrics, modeling oneself after a celebrity, etc...  ❖ Integration and Social Interaction  ➢ Gaining insight into circumstances of others  ➢ Gaining a sense of belonging  ➢ Finding a basis for conversation  ➢ Helping to carry out social roles  ■ Social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc…)  ❖ Entertainment  ➢ Diversion from problems  ➢ Relaxation  ➢ Cultural and aesthetic pleasure / enjoyment  ➢ Filling time  ➢ Emotional release  ➢ Sexual arousal  ■ Movies, videogames, netflix, pornography, etc…      Reception Analysis    ​ ❖ “Media texts acquire meaning only at the moment of r     ​ More on Reception Analysis    ❖ “Audience­centered theory”  ❖ How the audience interprets media messages  ❖ Preferred / dominant meaning for all messages, but audiences develop “negotiated”  decoding or “oppositional decoding” (drastically different)  ❖ Meaning comes from the AUDIENCE  ➢ We put our OWN meaning into media messages      Reception Analysis (cont.)    ❖ “Reception researchers are interested in social meanings, NOT in individual  interpretations of media texts.”   ~Ang  ➢ “Subcultures”  ➢ “Interpretive communities”  ■ Shared interests bring audiences together  ➢ Media texts are able to allow audiences to reflect on themselves  Summary    ❖ Bullet Theory  ➢ Audience is passive / media are powerful  ❖ Uses and Gratifications  ➢ Audience is motivated and selective  ❖ Reception Analysis  ➢ Audience produces meaning                       


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