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, the mass media: • Constitute a primary source of definitions and images of social reality and the most ubiquitous expression of shared identity; • Are the largest focus of leisure time interest, providing the shared ‘cultural environment’ for most people and more so than any other single institution. The conduct of democratic (or undemocratic) politics, nationally, depends, more and more on mass media, and there are few significant social issues which are addressed without some consideration of the role of the mass media, whether for good or ill. As will appear, the most fundamental questions of society – those concerning the distributions and exercise of power, the management of problems and the processes of integration and change – all turn on communication. This is especially true of the messages carried by the public means of communication, whether in the form of information, opinion, stories, or entertainment. Page 5 Media and theory of society The media constitute a separate ‘social institution’ within society, with its own rules and practices, but subject to definition and limitation by the wider society. Thus, the media are ultimately dependent on society, although they have some scope for independent influence and they may be gaining in autonomy as their range of activity, economic significance and informal powers grow. Page 6 Basic differences of approach Critical theory seeks to expose underlying problems and faults of media practice and to relate them in a comprehensive way to social issues, guided by certain values. Media centric theory sees mass media as primary movers in social change, driven forward by irresistible developments of communication technology. “Humanistic versus scientific; qualitative versus quantitative; and subjective versus objective”. Page 7 The four types of [media] perspectives can be briefly described as follows: 1. A media-culturalist perspective involves giving primary attention to content and to the subjective reception of media messages as influenced by the immediate personal environment. 2. A media-materialist approach emphasizes the structural and technological aspects of the media.
what the differences are between different media and media genre. Everyday or common sense theory of media use. communication research concentrates on the processing of information (for instance.g. A social-materialist perspective sees media and their contents mainly as a reflection of political-economic and material conditions of the society (e. loosely related to the way the media present themselves and picking up ideas widely current about the media. referring to the knowledge we all have from our own personal experience with media. 4. and much more. All this. please audiences. it enables us to distinguish between reality and fiction. This enables us to understand what is going on. keep within the limits of what society permits. This extended from the top to the base and employing diverse means of communication ranging from formal publications to personal contacts Intragroup (for instance. as well as how we like to read it. attention has usually been given to forms of conversation and patters of interaction. It supports the ability to make critical judgments. Page 8 Operational Theory Refers to the practical ideas assembled and applied by media practitioners in the conduct of their own media work. comprehension.3. to read between the lines or to see through the persuasive aims and techniques of advertising and other kinds of propaganda. how different genres are intended to be ‘read’. Intrapersonal level. family) and interpersonal levels. Page 11 In the past (and in some places still today) society-wide public networks were provided by the church or by political organizations. how a medium fits into our daily lives. A social –culturalist perspective emphasizes the influences of social factors on media production and reception and the functions of the media in social life. influences. perception. design effective advertising. affiliation (degrees of attachment) and normative control. in turn shapes what the media actually offer to their audiences and sets both directions and limits to media audiences. attention. and relates effectively to sources and audiences. class differences) as factors. recall and learning) . For instance. Page 9 The audience member has a set of repertoires and understandings. such as that they can be a window on the world or a forum for free speech. based on shared beliefs and usually based on a hierarchical chain of contact. In the case of the media it helps to organize experience on many questions such as how to select news.
sharing and interaction. rather than in the fuller meaning of the term. . Page 14 The word communication is really equated with transmission. as viewed by the sender. etc. meaning especially that it is open in principle to all as receivers and senders. The media deal with public matters for public purposes – especially with issues on which public opinion can be expected to form. the media institution is formally powerless (there is logical relation between this absence of power and the large degree of freedom.g.) to disseminate symbolic content to large. Everyday experience with mass communication is extremely varied. heterogeneous and widely dispersed audiences. Although the media can exert influence and achieve effects. Page 15 The media institution is located in the public sphere. films. they are answerable for their activities to the wider society (accountability takes place via laws. It is also voluntary and usually shaped by culture and by the requirements of ones way of life and social environment. which includes the notions of response. in situation or culture. on knowledge. regulations and pressures from state and society). self identity and attitude). opinion.the giving of meaning and possible effects (e. Page 424 Main kind of media – induced change The media can. Page 13 Mass communications comprises the institutions and techniques by which specialized groups employ technological devices (press. Cause intended change Cause unintended change Cause minor change (form or intensity) Facilitate change (intended or not) Reinforce what exists (no change) Prevent change Any of these changes may occur at the level of the individual society. radio. Page 40 The most obvious feature of the mass media is that they are designed to reach the many.
Page 435 Contextual factors in the portrayal of violence The nature of the perpetrator The nature of the target The reason for violence The presence of weapons The extent and graphicness of the violence The degree of realism of the violence Whether the violence is rewarded or punished The consequence of the violence Whether humour is involved in the violence Page 441 Typical elements and sequences of a panic campaign Collective source Socially approved goals several channels Many messages Variable reach of target group Filter conditions Variable information processing Effects achieved Page 41 The mass communication process Large scale distribution and reception One directional flow Asymmetrical relation Impersonal and anonymous Calculative or market relationship Standardized content Page 43 Mass culture Non traditional Non elite Mass produced Popular Commercial Homogenized .
. especially to symbolic expression. ‘Society as the base and culture as superstructure’. meanings and practices (social customs. Society. families. etc. all of us) can reflect on society only through ideas which have location (as defined above) in the sphere of culture.Page 61 Media. We (that is. to social relationships (in national societies. as we experience it. society and culture: connections and concepts For present purposes. Is constituted out of the meanings we give to material experience.) and to social roles and occupations that are socially regulated (formally or informally). the domain of society refers to the material base (economic and political resources and power). The domain of ‘culture’ refers primarily to other aspects of social life. communities. institutional ways of doing things and also personal habits).