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ARTS1090

Media rituals (Nick Couldry)


Any actions organised around key media-related categories and boundaries, whose performance reinforces, indeed helps
legitimise, the underlying value expressed in the idea that the media is our access point to our social centre
E.g. Facebook pages on certain shows, interactive mediums
The term media rituals encompasses a vast number of things: from certain ritualised forms of television viewing to
peoples talk about appearing in the media, our automatic heightened attention if told that a media celebrity has just entered
the room.
The term media rituals refers to the whole range of situations where media themselves stand in, for something wider,
something linked to the fundamental organisational level on which we are or imagine ourselves to be connected as members
of society
E.g. Australias Funniest Home Videos, Olympics, Royal Wedding and birth of the royal babies
Dictatorship of the media, consciously dependant on the media, subconsciously/consciously participate in these media rituals,
myth of a shared centre
E.g. Checking phones when you wake up and before you sleep
E.g. Embedded in our culture to keep the television in a part of the room thats most comfortable for us to watch.
Domestication (Roger Silverstone)
The way in which technology becomes integrated into the social and cultural processes of the home; incorporated into our
everyday lives
Moral economy values and priorities of the home

Concepts:
Technological determinism
Presumes that a societys technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values
Determination to improve or invent new technology
Destabilises society: clash between old and new media
McLuhan New media do not replace prior media but modify or closure them transformative qualities of old media
e.g. typewriter to the keyboard

Constructivism
Applies the general philosophical constructivism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one
another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artefacts with shared meanings

Commodification
Component of the process of domestication (design, marketing, market research, knowledge of pre-existing consumer
behaviour) that prepares the initial appropriation of a new technology
Inevitable/necessary initiation, operates for the individual (mobile phone), the household (our broadband), the
organisation (our network)

Conversion
Involves reconnection, perpetuation of the helix of the design-domestication interface
A means of participating in social life

Consumption
Involves display, the development of skills, competences, literacies
Process of consumption in which consumption is linked to invention and design, and to public framing of technologies
as symbolic objects of value and desire
E.g. sharing pride of ownership

Objectification
Location of information and communication technologies in the material, social, cultural spaces of the home
Displaying the device, locating it in the home

Incorporation
Injection of media technological practices into the temporal patterns of domestic life
The way technology participates in routines of daily life

Centripetal media
Moves towards a centre: public into private
Structured around the media/press being orientated on the outside, broadcasting news and entertainment to a private
bounded community

E.g. television

Centrifugal media
Moves away from a centre: private into public
Defined by us being at the centre
Broadcasting to the public (enabled by technology), disseminating once private ideas to the public
Allows us to regulate what we consume as opposed to selective broadcasting of the past media
Can be negative as unsubstantiated information can be misconstrued/private issues being made public are also a cause
for concern
E.g. mobile phone

Discourse (e.g. the couch potato)


Socially instituted ways of thinking, writing and talking about something

Media Ecology
Study of communication technologies as cultural environments
Emphasises the transformative power of the media
E.g. framework to start understanding how text messaging affects love, how computer keyboards restructure brain patterns,
how my photo editor undoes my philosophy of life
Determinism: sees them as being a direct effect of a cause, social understanding of a cause, effect and relations e.g. violent
media content on behaviour, the more violence you are exposed to through the media you in turn will become more violent
(video games)
Critique social/contextual rather than violence being from media technology
Technology cause changes to our broader social structures
Mediation: Time (Scannell and Hartley)
Temporal structures of broadcasting are fundamental to how they relate to our everyday lives
Temporality: different notions of time, our experience of time (objective/subjective\
Way in which a television service links to our everyday life through subtly structuring our experience of time
Temporality of media
Way in which media subtly shapes our experience of time in everyday life
Fundamental to the ways in which they become part of our everyday life and our everyday routines and rituals
Notion that broadcasting media contributes to our sense of eventfulness of days how we are able to distinguish today as
this day in particular
Care structures: care structure of the news are designed to routinize eventfulness, to produce it as an everyday phenomenon
every day and thereby historicizing dailiness
E.g. mobile phone divides up someones day based on time: alarm clock will wake them at an designated time, the Weather
app will tell them what the weather is like in the suburb theyre in (how they can dress for the weather, if they need to take an
umbrella etc.), the TripView app will tell them what time their form of public transportation will arrive/leave, etc.
Dailiness can relate to routinisation continuous, uninterrupted, never-ending flow; rhythms of everyday life are punctured
by recurring events
A daily service that fills each day through all the hours of the day, today, tomorrow and tomorrow
Cyclical process by which people unconsciously shape a daily, yet continuous routine that may last for years
Broadcasting structuring their schedule around providing daily services of radio and television for listeners and viewers (the
future is always already someway structure in advance)
E.g. television shows shown on a particular day at a particular time each week, can structure our weekly, daily schedule
my-time tea-times in households being disrupted when their program had changed its daily schedule
The way in which television is broadcast centred around a viewers attitudes and institutional arrangements, morning and kids
shows, soap operas tea time viewing; an attitude of expectancy, powerfully enhanced by the ways in which time in the
fictional world runs in parallel with time in the actual world
Broadcasting, whose medium is time, articulates our sense of time seasonal viewing; Christmas specials, cooking and
outdoor shows
The care structure of the news, all geared to today, contribute to our sense of the eventfulness of days.
Routinised actions and customers that are associated with reading the newspaper (sense of normalisation) e.g. weekend
edition of the newspaper marking a time for relaxation and privatised space
How the media/its technology affect time to think how different our lives would be if television, radio, magazines,
newspapers etc. were non-existent (dictation of our lives)
Dailiness structure is slowly fading away almost every household owns a computer with access to the Internet
With new forms of media we are able to structure the media to fit our lives and schedules rather than being constrained by
structuring our lives around media e.g. broadcasting schedules
Convenience/flexibility of technological developments vs. older/traditional forms of media

E.g. Dailiness and care structures of cable (Foxtel) vs. on demand (Netflix)
Netflix revolves around our own personal time/schedule as opposed to Foxtels scheduled shows
Recommendations based on what you watch
No advertisements
Sports on Foxtel more variety of sport programs (streaming), live sport vs. flexibility/re-runs (excitement)
E.g. Newspaper vs. online news
News is instantaneous as opposed to waiting for the daily/weekly delivery in the mail
Streaming constantly: live updates e.g. Sydney Siege (social implications widespread panic around Sydney city)
Quality of the news can be degraded newsworthy vs. filler articles to satisfy the consumer/reader
Online news can sometimes be basic facts to keep up with the growing consumer need for instantaneous news
Mediation: Space (Shaun Moores)
Public events now occur, simultaneously in two different places: the place of the event itself and that in which it is watched
and heard. Broadcasting mediates between these two sites
Consequence of radio and television
Transformed possibilities of being (being in two places at once) for audience members in their multiple, dispersed, local
settings
Broadcasting permits a live witnessing of remote happenings (physically in one place) and removes the farness
Liveness, immediacy, simultaneity
E.g. Public speeches/press conferences, music festivals, sporting events, opening ceremonies, etc.
Mediation media occupies a space between us and our world, an active space of social negotiation
Articulates an implied set of shared values and preoccupations public interest imagined communities
Transition from print to online: represents a shift in temporality in news spatial context of relevance, social function of news
in terms of how it relates space and identity
Network mobility: does it diminish the importance of place?
Location and micro-coordination
Dislocation of work and domestic communication and relations
Communication no longer governed by rules of space
Public/private space
Conception of place pluralised by electronic media:
Pluralised social relationships opportunities for relating instantaneously to a wide range of spatially remote others as
well as any proximate others in the physical settings of media use
Potential pluralising of relationships raises issues to do with the presentation of self or with performing identity in and
across multiple social realities
E.g. Internet: creation of virtual places in Cyberspace or text-based virtual realities (social media) media settings for
social interaction
E.g. Mobile telephony
Networks (Castell)
A network society is a society whose social structure is made of networks powered by microelectronics based information
and communication technologies
A network society is a society where the key social structures and activities are organised around electronically processed
information networks. Its about social networks which process and manage information and are using micro-electronic based
technologies
Network society doesnt have a centre/provides feedback (doesnt collect information from a central point interactive)
From broadcasting to networking: rise of the information-technology paradigm
New economics based on information, globalisation and networks
Space flows displaces the space of places
Logic of networking applies to all social processes and organisational forms
New media driven by the shift from content to distribution
Composed of nodes: increasingly decentralised; all nodes are equal from the perspective of the network; every node is
connected to everywhere else in the network
Time and space relating to the network society set of globally connected nodes: space has become abstracted, virtual,
symbolic space, online community
Space of flows: network of communications, defined by hubs where these networks intersect
Sharing of values: communication made of common grounds; in the networked society the whole world is connected
Characteristics of networks:
Flexibility
Scalability

Survivability
Difference between an Information Society and a Network Society:
Information society: centralised, more information/more access to information; one-way path e.g. in an office/skyscraper the
information is located at the top (centralised point)
Network society: technology emphasises a network; aspects that weve seen in already-made networks; operating through this
changed technological infrastructure
Media 2.0
Media has changed from the tendency to celebrate key texts and powerful media industries
Piracy and file sharing
Focus has shifted to the everyday meanings and uses diverse audiences bring to their experiences of media
Instead of mass passive audiences, we have an active, intelligent, creative and participatory audience
E.g. online interaction social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), BlipTV, forums, online voting, etc.
Web 2.0
Cultures that emanate from these networks
Culture changes that occur with this core idea of treating the web as a platform (de-emphasises content)
Web 1.0: uploading content and in media, traditional media providers trying to port their content from the traditional form to
the web
Difference: idea of taking advantage of the networking possibilities of the web, treating it as a platform and not as an archive
or receptacle for content
Radical trust: platform for selling and buying things; trusting that the item is as described; trusting that itll be delivered e.g.
eBay has ways of signifying and materialising trust in terms of our gold stars and number of transactions weve successfully
conducted and our reputation thats documented in relation to those transactions
E.g. CouchSurfers backpacking accommodation, staying at a strangers home for free
E.g. Wikipedia distributed document that is produced by a multitude of people simultaneously
Castell: the hacker has become a central figure in contemporary culture were all hackers; using the network to bypass
traditional structures of power and authority e.g. file sharing
Relationships 2.0
Post social relationships: social media phenomenon e.g. Facebook not as socially involved with our contacts as we once
were
Strong social ties with people in our immediate physical environment vs. weak ties as having 200 people on our Facebook
Changed the nature of relating: no long have the mutual narrative we used to have with people where we do things and
experience things together (not on the same scale)
Social networks create different types of relationships e.g. more likely to catch-up with somebody rather than experience
things with them
More of us keeping up with them e.g. poking somebody on Facebook can equate to sending a pulse down the network;
keeping the contact alive
Catching up is becoming increasingly important in maintaining our weak ties
Facebook: apt metaphor for the way value is realised from those networks by commercial interests
How connected you are and how that connectedness exposes advertising and other types of commercial arrangements to
people within your network (underlying value of Facebook in terms of its commercial evaluation)
Media Convergence (Nightingale and Jenkins)
Generally thought of as the synergistic (interaction/cooperation of two or more) combination of previously separate and
distinct media platforms (television, radio, telephony, data)
Describes technological, industrial, cultural and social changes in the ways media circulates within our culture
Flow of content across multiple media platforms
Migratory behaviour of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kind of entertainment experiences
they want
Situation in which multiple media systems coexist and where media content flows fluidly across them
Recently: convergence of a brand/franchise across multiple mediums e.g. Game of Thrones
Digitisation is forcing a convergence of media platforms not into a monolithic whole but a diverse space of interlocking and
overlapping media
Technological Convergence
The combination of functions within the same technological device
Conversion from analogue to digital
E.g. digital television, digital radio, mobile technologies, Internet (World Wide Web)
Profound shift from traditional broadcast means of distribution to network means of distribution

E.g. passive reception, audiences active reception, users and communities


Industrial Convergence
Increasing concentration of (traditional) media ownership
Increasing grassroots media production (ability to store, appropriate, manipulate, distribute) collective intelligence
Trends represent an increasing conflict over the redistribution/redefinition of media power
E.g. P2P File Sharing Technology; torrenting PirateBay
E.g. Google knowledge always ready-to-hand, assembled according to the logic of the database, impervious to
barriers of space/time
Textual Convergence
McLuhan the content of one medium is always another medium
Television: closely aligned with everyday life; experience characterised by glance (as opposed to film gaze);
immediacy, simultaneity, liveness
Mobile Media/Internet: on demand; explicit sense of agency (presence, choice, volition); short-form, repackaged for
space of consumption e.g. Vine
Deconstruction: evolve as the media does e.g. video distribution Netflix, video on demand etc.
Disintermediation: become more subservient to the other forms until they have been replaced in stature completely and are
subsequently forgotten; breaking down of the traditional structures which mediate the relationship between content producers
and consumers
Impacts:
1. Traditional new corporate ^reach e.g. robots spread across the globe handing out papers
2. Radical new technology ^richness ^rich e.g. the invention of robots

Richness (quality): ability to emphasises product attributes and/or reinforce branding

Reach (quantity, numbers): how many individuals saw an advertisement at least once in a defined relevant period of time e.g.
Facebook page number of how many people you reached

Internetisation and Mediatisation: refers to the convergence of new media (Internet) with old media (broadcast media)
new media forms feed off of ideas from old media forms and utilise traditional techniques in new ways e.g. billboards to
advertise now use television commercials/internet banners
Transmedia Storytelling and Branding: stories are told across multiple platforms/intimately connected to brands and
franchises spread across media by corporate conglomerates, can allow for convergence of audiences (people that enjoy video
games video game gets turned into a movie)
Affective Economics: emotional drive to draw people in and influence consumption of a particular, new product, seeks to
create a deeper, more emotional connection between the consumer and the product e.g. product loyalty of Apple
(impacted/defined by a brand)
Audiences:
New forms of audience participation emerge
Fan communities: fragmented, diasporic communities often involved directly in distribution via P2P technologies
New modes of active engagement: video games; fantasy games (e.g. fantasy football), gambling
Digital media (YouTube, Facebook etc.) reducing and restructuring the audiences of the television industry
Television (traditional media in general) must undergo a process of convergence
E.g. Game of Thrones and Media Convergence:
Transmedia storytelling each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story
Key bits of information are conveyed through five novels, five seasons of a television series, video games, social media
sites, fan-created wikis/websites, etc.
Provides a set of roles/goals which readers can assume as they enact aspects of the story through their everyday life e.g.
action figures, video games, board games, role playing games online
Mobility (Gordon, de Souza, Hinton and Hjorth)
Ability to move through space 21st century, communications mobility
Ability to stay connected while moving
The possibility of our mobility both bodies and data are linked to databases and networks e.g. biometrics in airports

Fundamental changes in how social, political and economic spaces are organised and controlled Who can travel? Who
cannot? Can money travel?
Cosmopolitan identity: both modern (technological, gadgets, etc.) and global (mobile roaming, freed from local and national
space)
Urban spaces are being mediated by technology
Macrosociology: approach to the discipline which emphasises the analysis of social systems and populations on a large scale,
at the level of social structure, concerns individuals, familiars and other constituent aspects of a society, but always does so in
relation to a larger social system of which they are a part
Communication technologies frequently work to obscure the way they mediate space
Communication is no longer governed by the rules of space
Public/private relates to Mooress doubling of place
Public often understood in spatial and regional terms; problems of a public/private nature are seen as transgressions of the
boundary between the two

Mobile phones
Reconfiguring global communications and power; no longer just a telephone
Mobile media mediated intimate relations and how we experience/think about spaces and places
Crucial to our everyday life portable, personal, intimate, collective, public, networked (telecommunications network,
mobile games, mobile Internet, mobile photography, etc.)
Success: dependant of their design and the willingness of the consumer to teach themselves new things
Mobile networks are unlike television or radio private rather than mass-form communication
Social controversy over early mobile use intrusion of private phone space in public areas e.g. use in cinemas, public
transport, restaurants, etc.
Creates hybrid spaces of private-in-public
Mobilising the domestic
Open, flexible and public hybrid network, phone Internet, private public
Mobile privatisation: whats at stake with mobility, the public/private; private is becoming public, GPS, check-in systems,
location services etc.
Text as insidious medium of contagion (mobile mass communication)
People can now use their devices to personalise and control their experiences with physical spaces the database is all around
us (We dont enter the web anymore, its all around us)
Location-based services (LBS) location-based social networking (e.g. Tinder); geotagging (location-based metadata) e.g.
Instagram photo map, Google maps privacy issue?
Mobility and LBS: theorise new practices in the shift from mobiles to smartphones intersection of mediation of space and
network sociality; new ways of figuring and valuing space

Social value of LBS/Networked Locality:


Transforming space into cultural capital and an emotional experience
In group networking
From *flaneur to *phoneur
Intersection between place/brand/identity
The symbolic commodification of space
Negative impacts on privacy e.g. Google Street View van

E.g. iPhone
Hype of the iPhone
Apple design
Mobile networks and WiFi access
Opening up the mobile form no longer just used for communication (apps, alarm clock, mini computer)

*Flaneur:
Idea of walking very slowly through the society and instead of navigating your way through the city (institutions, history,
accumulated knowledge), look at the city as a gorgeous visual feast can wander around and look at what you want
Scannells idea of my-time
*Phoneur:
Product of network informationalism
Node in a network
Post-modern flaneur
Commentator on the postmodern world, speaking from the mobile phones commercial capability
Allows you to be creative within the city you live in

Semiotics and Meaning (Schirato, Yell and Lury)


Semiotics is the study of how signs produce meaning and by extension the processes by which we understand, make sense of
and socially organise the world
A sign is anything which produces meaning; composed of a signifier (material manifestation of the sign) and a signified
(mental concept or the idea that the sign/signifier evokes)
Symbols do not resemble what they stand for and their meanings have to be learned
Representation of reality needs to be present for an icon
Meaning is:
Conventional
Social
Relational
Contextual
Based on power in society
Most signs that we use have an arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified; motivated relationship between
the signifier and the signified
Recognising relationship: what is meaning based on? What is it that fixes the meaning around the signs? (social)
E.g. the brand has come to substitute the way in designating the object e.g. tissue Kleenex
Signs are reflective of differential degrees of social power political correctness (equal rights etc.)
Denotation: surface layer of meaning (e.g. a cat is a four-legged, domestic animal)
Connotation: associated secondary meaning; meanings are more culturally specific (e.g. a cat could be a revered animal in
some parts of the world; black cats and superstition)
A text is a combination of signs meaning that a text evokes that is a product of how signs combine with each other
(meanings that are built up) e.g. Rolex Watch corporate success
Polysemy: multiple meanings circulating within the text
Ideology: ideas held in common by a community; common ideas through which we make sense of the world; common sense
often justifies the status quo
Ideology is not something we adopt (not optional); lurks within language. Discourse and the concepts we use to understand
our experiences
Distortions are already in us in the ways we code reality and socially construct reality with each other by the way we
describe it and by the way we behave in it
Interpellation: process of internalising ideologies; texts hail us, call out to us, address us (structuring and ordering the world);
to name the world about that sense subjectivity is included by the words that we use to name or describe the world
Subjectivity: how we understand ourselves and our world through language
Central issue: to what extent can we stand outside the language that we use to interpret and understand the world and become
aware of the way in which its framing and shaping the world and the way in which its inflicted with power
Theory of subjectivity: way in which we become implicated in relation to power (interpellation)
Internationalisation of ideology: theory of ideology becomes a part of our subjectivity of the world

Brand
Brand is like a signature authorises and controls value
Transnational commercial culture circulates via the brand and as a way of thinking it can also be contested
Brand association is anything which is deep-seated in a customers mind about the brand the brand should have positive
associations so that customers can relate to the brand as being positive
Brand associations are the attributes of a brand that comes into the customers mind when the brand is talked about;
related with the implicit/explicit meanings through which a customer relates/associates with a specific brand name
Blurring links between commercial and non-commercial culture
Logo correlation, information between consumers and producers (makes the brand visible), identify, describe and
create value e.g. certain value associated with Apple products
The brand is made visible /signified by the logo
E.g. Apple logo, McDonalds logo, etc. recognisable by the general public

Audiences (Livingstone and Das)


Audiences are always situated, and situate themselves between text and context
Change from a passive audience to an active, participatory audience (rather than being a viewer becoming a producer)
Traditionally engagement with television content was group orientated (family, friends, gatherings, etc.)
Contemporary audiences have evolved to create a privatised consumption of content as portable technologies emerged
substitutes social conversations for virtual company and are increasingly interactive in nature
Audiences have been extended beyond consumption of content and are now more interactive, participatory and creative

The audience is more aware of how to participate and manipulate the spectacle of mass media blurring roles of production
and consumption

Active audience:
Creative consumer culture e.g. BlipTv, YouTube etc.
Active engagement in participation with the medium
Can dictate what happens in the medium creative content, basing off fan-fiction into the actual series itself
The audience can change what happens in the medium
Scale/scope: can broadcast your opinions a lot more widely through a network

Consumer creativity
Convergence and the emergence of new technologies and tools which allow audiences to appropriate, alter and distribute
media
Related industry trends such as the spreading of content across a range of platforms and the crisis in advertising
The emergence of DIY media subcultures
Increasing reciprocity between producers and consumers
Creation of online, alternative reality games
Producers regular interaction with fans in forums

Participatory media culture


Media cultures that people participate in rather than merely consume
The emergence of interactive technologies

Audience measurement: the ratings


Methodologies: diaries, telephone polling, peoplemeters
Figured in relation to practices of marketing
Figured as passive
Method fails to capture the complexity of viewing

Understanding the active audience


How do people use/engage with media
Methodological from experiments, questionnaires, etc. to ethnography
Revaluing the popular, revaluing marginalised groups

Ethnography
Audience ethnography allows researchers to pursue shared passions and to write up good stories, with its long
interviews, developing friendships and relations of trust

Fan communities
Have always existed in relation to specific television programs
Traditionally challenge the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate culture by elevating the status of popular
culture
Fans have challenged traditional ways of figuring relations between producers and consumers
Creating a family culture
Mediated centre: media text operating as a mediated centre for a culture
People are taking what they wanted out of the text e.g. Juggalos gathering and Bronies Convention; hedonism, sense of
community, family, friends, etc.
Sense of community: ability to do artistic/creative work in an environment where you may feel safe and accepted in

Identity (Marwick and Senft)


Central to theories of meaning (e.g. semiotics)
Central to thinking about the unifying pull of media
Key tool in theorising the link between the self and the social
Fundamental to the way we classify and understand each other
Dual process:
Projecting our identity
Working with an internalised social gaze
Police our selves and the image we project
Working with the classificatory regimes within our culture

Can mean subjectivity (how we think of ourselves); representation (how different facets of identity are depicted in culture and
media); self-presentation (how we present ourselves to others)
Social media requires users to self-consciously create virtual depictions of themselves (self-representation)
E.g. Information and materials people choose to show others on a Facebook profile or Twitter stream and through interaction
with others
Identity has a biological and psychologistic sense e.g. biological/physical traits
Identity is fundamentally social:
The way biological/physical traits are socially understood
Identity situates us socially (links to a collective)
Identity is often ascribed to us
Identity is multilayered
Identity is performative
People present themselves differently based on context (where they are) and audience (who theyre with)
Identity as a project:
Construction of identity by using mass media and consumer goods
Media they consume, clothes they wear, how they adorn themselves, how they transform their bodies through exercise or
plastic surgery
Differentiate themselves by buying and displaying good that serve as symbolic markers about who they are
Exemplified by the makeover (transformation into better versions of themselves) e.g. The Biggest Loser and What Not
to Wear
Online identity distinction between how people present themselves online and how they do offline
Narrowed distinction primarily use social media to communicate with people you know in real life contexts
Identity in social media sites is often expressed through customisation e.g. pictures, avatars, icons, nicknames, fonts etc.
(symbolic markers of personal identity)
Misrepresentation of an online identity can lead to a drop in social status and their reputation and trustworthiness in real life
may suffer as a result
Identity as categories:
Ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and ability
Can be individually empowering or used tactically for activism or politics
Notion of self as microcelebrity:
Commitment to deploying and maintaining ones online identity as if it were a brand good, with the expectation that
other do the same
E.g. YouTube celebrities, Instagram or Facebook famous
Immaterial labour and the economy of attention
Relationship between offline and online worlds (Catfishing)
Individual privacy