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[BM009-3-1] INTRODUCTION TO THEO RIES OF MEDIA AND CULTURE

Group Assignment
UC1F1103MP
[TP025217] TRAN DINH TRUONG THINH [TP025174] ONESMO KISINDAR JUNIOR

Lecturer : Miss RAHILAH BINTI AHMAD Due date : 6TH July 2011

Asia Pacific University of Creative Technology

Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Table of Contents ***


Cover Page .......................................................................................................................................1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................3 Application of various media theories ............................................................................................4 Media as a cultural forum ....................................................................................................4 Case study: To Kill A Mockingbird ................................................................................6 Media as a cultural storyteller ..............................................................................................6 Case study: Above The Rim ............................................................................................7 Conclusion .....................................................................................................................................10 References ......................................................................................................................................11 Appendix ........................................................................................................................................12 Group report ...................................................................................................................................14

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Part 1 INTRODUCTION ***

very morning, a man begins his new day with Starbucks latte and The New York Times newspaper. While he enjoys checking the headlines, the CNN channel is showing its daily

breaking news program-American Morning with the latest events from every corner of this world. And not only him who has this routine, there are countless people, man and woman, young and old doing the same things in every morning. So the question is what brings us to these very social acceptable ways of being or relating to others? Well, the answer lies within the socalled media. Generally, media refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. It is obvious to say that they are becoming more and more pervasive in modern life. The heart of the medias informing function lies in messages call news-an important element in binding communities together by giving messages that become a shared experience. For example, a newspaper editor in the rural area of Malaysia struggling to bring an issue out might catch attentions and create a common identity among readers. In a nutshell, a shared knowledge and a shared experience are created by media, and thus they create a base for community. The roles of a media in response to a certain aspect of culture are based on its reflections to the society. It can be identified as a cultural storyteller or a cultural forum. Thus, to make it clear, there are two theories-Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura and The Medium Is The Message of Marshall McLuhan which we would like to apply in relation to our analysis in cultural aspect of the media.

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Asia Pacific University of Creative Technology

Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Application Of The Various Media Philosophical Theories In Connection With Culture


*** Student: Tran Dinh Truong Thinh. Topic chosen: An analysis of media as a cultural forum.

ulture may be defined as the symbols of expression that individuals, groups, and societies use to make sense of daily life and to articulate their values (Campbell et al. 2004, p.6)

Thus, cultural forum can be understood as a framework for analyzing how the media affects society. Although there are arguments against the idea of the media controlling us or portraying us, it will be prudent to say cultural forum allow members of society to come to their own ideas about any particular social problem or conflict. Expression is developed in the media. Reality TV, talk shows, game shows are perfect examples of how people tell others about their ideas and feelings. However, because of the development of expression in the media, conflict starts to rise. Obviously, for a particular problem each of us has a different way of thinking and therefore leading to different solutions. Thus the same consequence also happens in media: We might watch the same media but it didnt mean that we came to the same agreements or conclusions, and even if we did, the way we react was not necessary in one particular way or another as result. For example, after watching an episode of CSI separately, everyone would converse about it together. Not only they will relate personally to what they watched, but they will express their own ideas about what was interesting or true, etc. Media itself is not a monologue process. Instead, the media reflects both sides of an issue to create conflict, if not equally weighted, still seen at least. Moreover, there are not solutions given out by media mostly. News, for instance, only shows us conflicts, not point out how to solve the problem. A daily TV news program in Malaysia may show it is the right time to pass new bills in the immigration policy supporting Asian students visa processes, but this belief was most likely discussed and agreed to before presenting the idea. Improvements would not start from the television and work down to the viewers. We are the ones who formed the beliefs and ideas, and then all of them will be portrayed in the media. Back to the bill approval example, thousands of Asian students studying in Malaysia would have called for passing the bill through peaceful demonstrations or feedbacks to Malaysian government. Even 4|Page

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

then, after the host of the show says international students do in fact need an improvement in immigration policy, the viewers can judge and create their own idea. That is why academics who have embraced a cultural approach try to understand how media and culture are tied to the actual patterns of communication in daily life (Campbell et al. 2004, p.527). The role of media as a cultural forum would be imperfect without interaction. When it comes to interaction the Internet is the best example. It has the ability to connect millions of people together. The Internet has been called a democratized mass medium because so many people create Internet content (Vivian 2008, p.214). No one, for example, can deny the pervasiveness of Facebook nowadays, it surpassed My Space and Friendster to become the biggest used social networking service. On Facebook, users are allowed to share their stories, pictures, messages, etc. This multitude of communication forms help users interact with the others around the world. Back to the internet as a global forum, this is where the questions may rise. Why would terms like wtv (whatever) and nvm (nevermind) be created in this forum? What made Facebook become so addictive that we are willing to spend more forty hours plus a week using it? The answers are not easy to find though we may easily explain them like: wtv was just quick to type, and Facebook is very sociable. So all these trends, were they created by the forum? Or were they created by the users? Although both are factors, but on one is sure. The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. We become what we behold, just take a look at the desire of many teenagers nowadays, they want to be like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or Cristiano Ronaldo: a desire that has led to a culture of You Tube fame, eccentric model, and metrosexual style. Marshall McLuhan had said bout the various way human beings extend themselves, and how these extensions affect our relationship with one another. First we must understand what McLuhan meant by the term extension. An extension occurs when we use or create something in a way that assists the human body and mind. The sunglasses we wear to prevent UV radiation is a kind of extension of the eyes. A microscope or telescope is a way of seeing is also an extension of the eye. With the internet and television, things get easier when we need to access to events on the entire planet. However, they also ruin many of the close ties of family ties based on oral communication. The very value of family culture now is turning into 5|Page

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

something that belonged to the past. The simple act of turning on a television can reduce a room of people to silent. In this case, McLuhan saw television engaging the senses, while books, magazines and newspaper engaging the mind. Generally, the media contribute both to social stability and to change. A lot of media content gives comfort to audiences by reinforcing existing social values. At the same time, media attention to nonmainstream ideas, in both news and fiction forms, requires people to reassess their values and, over time, contributes to social change. One of the most relevant example of how the media act as a cultural forum is TO KILL A MOCKINGBRID. The title of To Kill a Mockingbird has very little literal connection to the plot, but it carries a great deal of symbolic weight in the book. In this story of innocents destroyed by evil, the mockingbird comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence. The most important theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is the books exploration of the moral nature of human beingsthat is, whether people are essentially good or essentially evil. The novel approaches this question by dramatizing Scout and Jems transition from a perspective of childhood innocence, in which they assume that people are good because they have never seen evil, to a more adult perspective, in which they have confronted evil and must incorporate it into their understanding of the world. The hidden message within the novel is the existence of social inequality (dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality). Differences in social status are explored largely through the overcomplicated social hierarchy. With a shift of attitudes about race in the 1970s, To Kill a Mockingbird faced challenges of a different sort: the treatment of racism was not condemned harshly enough. This has led to disparate perceptions that the novel has a generally positive impact on race relations for white readers, but a more ambiguous reception by black readers. However, the novel is cited as a major reason for the success of civil rights in the 1960s. *** Student: Onesmo Kisindar Junior. Topic chosen: An analysis of media as a cultural storyteller.

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

his part is based generally in cultural storytelling and how the media can act as a cultural storyteller to the audience. Cultural storytelling is an art of giving stories about a culture of

certain society by giving their total way of life, values etc. Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view. The earliest forms of storytelling were thought to have been primarily oral combined with gestures and expressions. In addition to being part of religious ritual, rudimentary drawings scratched onto the walls of caves may have been forms of early storytelling for many of the ancient cultures. In this theory I will consider and take one media theory as my example to define the whole theory of cultural storytelling and how a media can act as a storyteller. Film can be a good storyteller as it includes the story, actions and images of the people and things that can be found in a certain society, so it gives a real image to the audience about the story based. In this category, I chose ABOVE THE RIM of Tupac Shakur as my study case. This movie shows how the street boys were trying to get in gang and skipping classes as a way of living. They decided to form a Gang and started robbing and breaking other peoples houses, shops and take all valuable things including money. I n this movie we can take it as a cultural story telling by checking the following things: The way of dressing: In this movie, we can observe different ways of dressing and kind of wears they were dressing. These boys were dressing big jeans under their waists, big t-shirts and big boots. This movie was trying to show an identity of a gangster in the society by putting the dress that way. Robbery and Banditry:

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

In this movie, the author was also trying to show the life of most of American youths that was affected and living depending on robbery and banditry by breaking the houses, rob people in the roads and corners and also by breaking the supermarkets. Drugs: Also the author was focusing on showing the uses of drugs to the society and that it has affected most of the youths. So, in this movie, the media by using filming was trying to show the culture and way of life of most of the youths in America was depending on Banditry, Robbery, and show the way of dressing trousers under the waists to define a person who is not descent. By the above reasons, we can see how the movie has shown the total way of life of a youth in America and in some parts of the world. Avoid learning by observing by Albert Bandura: The social learning theory advocates that individuals, especially children, imitate or copy modeled behavior from personally observing others, the environment, and the mass media (Jeffery, 1985. p.238). Albert Bandura in one of his experiment shows how people learn from what they see and take it as it is (Learn by observing), so in this film the audience should learn from the mistake done by the actors and not take it as it is, and also avoid cultural inheritance. We see in most of the societies how people get affected by what they see or observing in movies and other media. The Social Learning and Imitation theory suggested that people obtain competencies and new modes of behavior through response consequences (Miller & Dollar, 1941. p. 26-42). The audience should learn from the media and not to copy everything and define them by viewing and observing. In this movie, the author is not trying to show the killings and bad things for people to copy what they see, view or observe but learn from the movie and try to avoid or to change their behaviors by showing the bad end. For example: In this movie we see how these four boys were affected by drugs and engaged themselves in robbery and we see also their end was death. Cultural storyteller affects the audience in a great way by learning through observing and takes what they see and not learn by describing what is inside the story and what message the author is trying to give them.

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Also other audiences have negative perception in what they see and watch by adopting everything and try to do them in real life example way of dressing, using of guns, way of talking etc. So, due to this movie, I suggest the audience to learn by describing what the media is trying to tell it and not by observing only and take things as they are.

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Part 3 CONCLUSION ***

ne way to understand the role and impact of media in our lives is to understand the cultural context in which the media operate. When we talk about culture, it always comes as under

forms of art-The unique form of representational expressions that give pleasure and raise awareness about what is true, good, and beautiful (Campbell et al. 2004). Cultural, on the other hand, can be seen as the ways people live and express themselves at a particular period of time. It is obvious to say that culture links individual to their society, providing and sharing values and the media help distribute those values. On McLuhan's gravestone are the words The Truth Shall Make You Free. The way media influence peoples mind is leading to many hidden consequences on both sides negative and positive that might take ideologists, psychologists and scientists years to figure out. But one thing is sure: Media is playing as an innovative response to what already exists, conflicts and presents in our society.

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

Part 4 REFERENCES ***


Cynthia, C. & Linda, S. 2004, Critical Readings: Media and Gender, Open University Press, London. John Vivian. 2008, The Media of Mass Communication, Eighth Edition, Pearson Education, New York. Richard, C., Christopher, M. & Bettina, F. 2004, Media and Culture An Introduction To Mass Communication. Fourth Edition. Bedford/St. Martins. New York. Culver S, R. Hobbs & Jensen, A. 2010 Media Literacy In The United States. Pearson, New York.

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

APPENDIX *** Albert Bandura (1925-present)

lbert Bandura was born December 4, 1925, in the small town of Mundare in northern Alberta, Canada. He was educated in a small elementary school and high school in one,

with minimal resources, yet a remarkable success rate. After high school, he worked for one summer filling holes on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon. He received his bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1949. He went on to the University of Iowa, where he received his Ph.D. in 1952. It was there that he came under the influence of the behaviorist tradition and learning theory. While at Iowa, he met Virginia Varns, an instructor in the nursing school. They married and later had two daughters. After graduating, he took a postdoctoral position at the Wichita Guidance Center in Wichita, Kansas. In 1953, he started teaching at Stanford University. While there, he collaborated with his first graduate student, Richard Walters, resulting in their first book, Adolescent Aggression, in 1959. Bandura was president of the APA in 1973, and received the APAs Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in 1980. He continues to work at Stanford to this day. *** Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

arshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alta. McLuhan entered in 1928 the University of Manitoba, where he studied English, geology, history, Latin, astronomy, economics, and psychology. In 1933 he obtained his bachelor's degree and won a University Gold Medal in Arts and Science. He then went to England, where he spent two years at Trinity Hall at Cambridge University. McLuhan's conversion in 1937 to Roman Catholicism was a shock to his mother, who thought that Harvard went down the drain. Thereafter he taught only in Catholic institutions, at St. Louis University, a Jesuit institution then reputed to be the finest Catholic university in America from 1937 to 1944, and at Assumption College in Canada. McLuhan's doctoral dissertation, completed in 1942, dealt with the rhetoric of Thomas Nashe (1567-1601). From 1946 to 1977 McLuhan was a member of the department of English at St Michael's College of the University of Toronto. He was not a conventional pedagogue and many of his colleagues had a great deal of antipathy toward him feelings were reciprocal. Other professors discouraged graduate students to take courses with him and during his career in Toronto, only seven Ph.D. these were completed under McLuhan's supervision. In 1953 McLuhan founded with the anthropologist Edmund S. Carpenter and with part of a Ford Foundation grant a magazine called Explorations. Some of its essays were later published in EXPLORATIONS IN COMMUNICATION (1960). The last issue of the magazine appeared in 1959. McLuhan became in 1959 the director of the Media Project of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters and the United States Office of Education. During this project he collected material for Understanding Media. THE GUTENBERG GALAXY (1962) won McLuhan the prestigious Governor General's Award for critical prose, and was translated into several languages. The Times Literary Supplement included McLuhan to the world's current avant-garde thinkers. In 1967 McLuhan was appointed to the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at Fordham University. Since the late 1950s McLuhan had suffered from blackouts. Douglas Coupland has argued in Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work! (2010) that he thought differently because he had two arteries pumping blood to his brain. Microchip computer, which started its 13 | P a g e

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Critical Media Analysis Assignment

world conquest in the 1970s, did not interest him much as a new cultural phenomena. In 1979 he suffered a stroke, which affected his ability to read and write, and he was forced to retire from teaching. McLuhan died in Toronto on December 31, 1980. Group Report Student Allocation of work 1. In charge of introduction, conclusion, and analysis of media as Tran Dinh Truong Thinh a cultural forum. 2. Done the compilation of the whole assignment. 1. In charge of analysis of media as a cultural storyteller. Onesmo Kisindar Junior 2. Helping gather different sources of information. Signature

*Total words: 2543 (excluding appendixes).

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