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Theories of Mass Comm - Flashcards

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Class:COMM 3200 - THEORIES OF MASS COMMUNICATION
Subject:Communication Studies
University:The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Term:Spring 2011
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Why is Comm. Studies interdisclipnary in nature?

It borrows from Psych, Lit, Linguistics, Phil, Journ, Comp Sci, all different kinds of disciplines of studies.

Critical Theory (Marxism) the origins are usually found in the work of the Frankfurt School, but there are several variants, especially the cultural and the political economy forms. The first of these has been associated with structural and semiological interpretations of texts and also with audience reception analysis and ethnography. The second has generally engaged with issues of structure ad ownership and control of the media. Critical theory is often regarded as an alternative to empirical, behaviourist, or ‘scientific’ approaches to the study of mass media. Its by definition normative, involving notions of an alternative and better form of society and media system.
Communication Process

(Harold D Lasswell) Who says what? On through which channel? To whom? With that effect?

Mediation an alternative to the idea of cause and effect, we can consider the media to provide occasions, links, channels, arenas and platforms for information and ideas to circulate. By way of the media, meanings are formed and social and cultural forces operate freely according to various logics and with no predictable outcome. The process of mediation inevitably influences or changes the meaning received and there is an increasing tendency for ‘reality’ to be adapted to demands of media presentation rather than vice versa.
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S-R Model

Stimulus – Response (Psych.)

VVVV

Sender – Receiver (Audience) (Comm.)

·         This model is outdated

·         Tends to give too much power to “sender”

·         Emphasis on 1-way comm., too linear

5 Key Words in Mass Comm.

1.       Sender

2.       Message

3.       Channel:  Comm. Chanel –Mass Media – newspaper, TV, radio, internet

4.       Medium: Must reach many  it uses tech devices source and destination

5.       Feedback: In mass Comm.

a.       Content – mass message – what is communicated?

b.      Form – mass media – how is the message communicated?

4 kinds of theories

1.       Social Scientific: General statements/ understandings based on systematic and objective observation of media and other factors (computer software)

2.       Normative: how media should be operated based on social values (could be very political) (different cultures – different norm)

3.       Operational: practical ideas collected and used by media workers in their work

4.       Everyday/Commonsense –knowledge based on the personal experience with media

levels of comm study
  1. International communication- comes at the top
  2. Intercultural communications- communication between different cultures
  3. Mass communication- communication on societal level, larger scale
  4. Interpersonal communication- communication between two or more people
  5. Intrapersonal communication- communication between yourself [within]
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Quantitative it’s quick and efficient. It is number- based. It is an industry- dominant method.
Qualitative It is a human based [ex- film review.] It is more of a human experience, more in- depth.
Mass Communication

Social interaction through message

3 Research Traditions

1.       Structural: socio-centric

2.       Behavioral: psychology, experimental

3.       Cultural analysis:  becoming popular

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Mass

-previously had bad connotation (referred to multitudes of common people who were seen as uneducated and ignorant.) 

-          Concept developed after WW2. 

-          Mass Communication came into use in 1930s.  

-          Most obviously feature – designed to reach many

Janowitz’s def of comm

mass comm. is compromised the institutions techniques by which specialized groups employ technological devices to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely disperse audiences (in this and similar definitions the word communication is really equated which transmission as viewed by the sender rather than the fuller meaning of the term which includes the notions of response sharing and interactions)

Cultural Studies

- can be very political
- highlight the different ways of reading (reading - interpretation)
Culture --> way of life
- development of critical theory and Marxist literary criticism.
- generally concerns political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its past historical precedents, conflicts, and issues.
-combines femminist theory, social theory, politics, history, philosophy
- cultural studies cover:
  -production- based studies/ emphasize the produce; the political organization of the conditions of production

-text- based studies- can be anything as long as you assign it a meaning

-studies of lived culture--- follow anthropology tradition (ethnographic, historic, semiotic looks at how people are encultured or contextualized)

Cultural Studies (Cont.)

organization of the conditions of production

-text- based studies- can be anything as long as you assign it a meaning

-studies of lived culture--- follow anthropology tradition (ethnographic, historic, semiotic looks at how people are encultured or contextualized)

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Classic Marxism big system theory for social change. It stresses economic ownership. It supports the power theory of media control and class interests. For example, false consciousness and surplus value. [ example of this: telling miners to be content] example of surplus value [exploitation] It emphasized change of society, a war on material structure.
Neo Marxism Focuses more on idealogies [it’s more pragmatic.] than on material structures. It wants more of a change in the social system and still emphasizes media ideological effects. Emphasize less on material social change. They fought for the rights of the neglected.
Chicago school-

 

·         It is an American school.

·         Some of the scholars are Robert Park, Herbert Blumer, G.H. Mead, Thomas Dewey, and others.

·         It addressed the concerns of the large scale of immigration from Europe in the 1900s- 1920s

·         It highlighted social cohesion & integration. [unifying]

·         They advocated that the entire country should unite as one.

·         They claimed that mass media were a potential force of for a new kind of cohesion----powerful force to unite nation.

·         Example: Why not use media to educate immigrants?

Chicago School (Cont.)

·         They claimed that mass media were a potential force of for a new kind of cohesion----powerful force to unite nation.

·         Example: Why not use media to educate immigrants?

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Frankfurt School- school of Communication

·         It is a German school.

·         It is strongly influenced by Marxism.

·         They would think America media is oppressive because it is too commercialized.

·         They tried to find problems in the system.

·         FF Insitute of Social Research--- Marxist school—critical theory

·         They promote alternative views and see dominant commercial culture and media as being manipulative & oppressive.

·         The leading scholars are: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, Jurgen Harbermas

·         They contribute to the critical analysis of modern culture & society.  Example; they find malpractices in the media

·         The disadvantages: 1. They have no universal research method. 2. They spend more time highlighting the problems, but not enough time finding a solution.

Frankfurt School (cont.)

·         They contribute to the critical analysis of modern culture & society.  Example; they find malpractices in the media

·         The disadvantages: 1. They have no universal research method. 2. They spend more time highlighting the problems, but not enough time finding a solution.

 

4 Models of Communication

1.      transmission--- info transfer [i-phone,  internet]

-          really appropriate to media activities which are instructional, informational, propagandist in purpose

2.  ritritual or expressive [anthropology]--- shared understanding and beliefs. Emphasizes comm religious practices. Better able to capture which elements include art, drama, and the many symbolic uses of communication. Also applies to reality tv formats.  

Publicity [advertising/ PR model]- grip public attention w/ one direct economic goal [industry- oriented] Reflects central media goals of attracting audiences for purposes of prestige or income. It covers media activity that is engaged in advertising and PR
4 Models of COmm (Continued) Reflects central media goals of attracting audiences for purposes of prestige or income. It covers media activity that is engaged in advertising and PR.

1.        Reception- encoding [assign meaning to something “put meaning into text”] and decoding [deciphering the meaning]--- how polysemic [ multiple] meanings from a media text. Reminds us that the seeming power of media to mold, express, or capture is partly illusory since the audience in the end disposes.  


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4 models of communication (cont.)

How to use reception model to see how much people respond to tv?

1.      how the producers try to capture/ entertain the audience

2 step theory

1st step: leaders

2nd step: leaders--- and then masses (2nd step) (reporters)

Critique: it is too generalized and too linear.  Mass media are not completely free agents.

They are subject to interest group’s control in shaping public opinions.

Information Society Theory-

 

·         “Information is power.”

·         Information revolution revend: minuarization and computertization

·         Loss of privacy---e .g. google map & the controversies that ensued

 

 

globalization, transnationalization, internalization

communication across borders

 

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Commercialization

Pros & Cons

·         Introduce new products into the market, new management into other nations

·         New product development--- new profits for advertising, marketing, sales

·         Cons: money- oriented.

·         It is at the expense of cultural diversity, moral standard.

·         It suppresses local creativity in globalization.

Homogenization--- most of our communication devices are similar (turned audience into homogenous audience in terms of mass consumption e.g. cell phone & advertising)
Dominant paradigm--- (p. 65)

·          Whatever is main stream

·         Ex: west- centered theory--- liberal but linear

·         Functionalistic

·         Quantitative research—industry dominant

·         A liberal pluralist

·         Media effects on audiences are direct and linear

·         Media viewed either as a potential social problem or means of persuasion

·         Is still with us, still fits the conditions of contemporary media operat.

Alternative Paradigm

·   

·          Focuses more on human experience

·         Qualitative methods--- (good complimentary method to quanitative method)

·          Political or ideological concerns

·           Rejection of the transmission model of communication

·          Adoption of the interpretive and constructionist perspective

·         Wide concern with inequality and sources of opposition in society

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Functionalism

·         Satisfy social needs and wants

·         Focus on maintaining status quo

·         Maintain social order

·         Conflict: not address social problems

Transmission Model

preferred perspective of media industry

What is mass media?

1.       Print media and broadcast media  (audio and video)

2.       New (electronic) media--- telematics media (computer based),   digital media

3.         New media--- trend originated in Japan

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 Why is Comm. Studies interdisclipnary in nature?

It borrows from Psych, Lit, Linguistics, Phil, Journ, Comp Sci, all different kinds of disciplines of studies.

 Critical Theory(Marxism) the origins are usually found in the work of the Frankfurt School, but there are several variants, especially the cultural and the political economy forms. The first of these has been associated with structural and semiological interpretations of texts and also with audience reception analysis and ethnography. The second has generally engaged with issues of structure ad ownership and control of the media. Critical theory is often regarded as an alternative to empirical, behaviourist, or ‘scientific’ approaches to the study of mass media. Its by definition normative, involving notions of an alternative and better form of society and media system.
 Communication Process

(Harold D Lasswell) Who says what? On through which channel? To whom? With that effect?

 Mediationan alternative to the idea of cause and effect, we can consider the media to provide occasions, links, channels, arenas and platforms for information and ideas to circulate. By way of the media, meanings are formed and social and cultural forces operate freely according to various logics and with no predictable outcome. The process of mediation inevitably influences or changes the meaning received and there is an increasing tendency for ‘reality’ to be adapted to demands of media presentation rather than vice versa.
 S-R Model

Stimulus – Response (Psych.)

VVVV

Sender – Receiver (Audience) (Comm.)

·         This model is outdated

·         Tends to give too much power to “sender”

·         Emphasis on 1-way comm., too linear

 5 Key Words in Mass Comm.

1.       Sender

2.       Message

3.       Channel:  Comm. Chanel –Mass Media – newspaper, TV, radio, internet

4.       Medium: Must reach many  it uses tech devices source and destination

5.       Feedback: In mass Comm.

a.       Content – mass message – what is communicated?

b.      Form – mass media – how is the message communicated?

 4 kinds of theories

1.       Social Scientific: General statements/ understandings based on systematic and objective observation of media and other factors (computer software)

2.       Normative: how media should be operated based on social values (could be very political) (different cultures – different norm)

3.       Operational: practical ideas collected and used by media workers in their work

4.       Everyday/Commonsense –knowledge based on the personal experience with media

 levels of comm study
  1. International communication- comes at the top
  2. Intercultural communications- communication between different cultures
  3. Mass communication- communication on societal level, larger scale
  4. Interpersonal communication- communication between two or more people
  5. Intrapersonal communication- communication between yourself [within]
 Quantitativeit’s quick and efficient. It is number- based. It is an industry- dominant method.
 QualitativeIt is a human based [ex- film review.] It is more of a human experience, more in- depth.
 Mass Communication

Social interaction through message

 3 Research Traditions

1.       Structural: socio-centric

2.       Behavioral: psychology, experimental

3.       Cultural analysis:  becoming popular

 Mass

-previously had bad connotation (referred to multitudes of common people who were seen as uneducated and ignorant.) 

-          Concept developed after WW2. 

-          Mass Communication came into use in 1930s.  

-          Most obviously feature – designed to reach many

 Janowitz’s def of comm

mass comm. is compromised the institutions techniques by which specialized groups employ technological devices to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely disperse audiences (in this and similar definitions the word communication is really equated which transmission as viewed by the sender rather than the fuller meaning of the term which includes the notions of response sharing and interactions)

 Cultural Studies

- can be very political
- highlight the different ways of reading (reading - interpretation)
Culture --> way of life
- development of critical theory and Marxist literary criticism.
- generally concerns political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its past historical precedents, conflicts, and issues.
-combines femminist theory, social theory, politics, history, philosophy
- cultural studies cover:
  -production- based studies/ emphasize the produce; the political organization of the conditions of production

-text- based studies- can be anything as long as you assign it a meaning

-studies of lived culture--- follow anthropology tradition (ethnographic, historic, semiotic looks at how people are encultured or contextualized)

 Cultural Studies (Cont.)

organization of the conditions of production

-text- based studies- can be anything as long as you assign it a meaning

-studies of lived culture--- follow anthropology tradition (ethnographic, historic, semiotic looks at how people are encultured or contextualized)

 Classic Marxismbig system theory for social change. It stresses economic ownership. It supports the power theory of media control and class interests. For example, false consciousness and surplus value. [ example of this: telling miners to be content] example of surplus value [exploitation] It emphasized change of society, a war on material structure.
 Neo MarxismFocuses more on idealogies [it’s more pragmatic.] than on material structures. It wants more of a change in the social system and still emphasizes media ideological effects. Emphasize less on material social change. They fought for the rights of the neglected.
 Chicago school-

 

·         It is an American school.

·         Some of the scholars are Robert Park, Herbert Blumer, G.H. Mead, Thomas Dewey, and others.

·         It addressed the concerns of the large scale of immigration from Europe in the 1900s- 1920s

·         It highlighted social cohesion & integration. [unifying]

·         They advocated that the entire country should unite as one.

·         They claimed that mass media were a potential force of for a new kind of cohesion----powerful force to unite nation.

·         Example: Why not use media to educate immigrants?

 Chicago School (Cont.)

·         They claimed that mass media were a potential force of for a new kind of cohesion----powerful force to unite nation.

·         Example: Why not use media to educate immigrants?

 Frankfurt School- school of Communication

·         It is a German school.

·         It is strongly influenced by Marxism.

·         They would think America media is oppressive because it is too commercialized.

·         They tried to find problems in the system.

·         FF Insitute of Social Research--- Marxist school—critical theory

·         They promote alternative views and see dominant commercial culture and media as being manipulative & oppressive.

·         The leading scholars are: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, Jurgen Harbermas

·         They contribute to the critical analysis of modern culture & society.  Example; they find malpractices in the media

·         The disadvantages: 1. They have no universal research method. 2. They spend more time highlighting the problems, but not enough time finding a solution.

 Frankfurt School (cont.)

·         They contribute to the critical analysis of modern culture & society.  Example; they find malpractices in the media

·         The disadvantages: 1. They have no universal research method. 2. They spend more time highlighting the problems, but not enough time finding a solution.

 

 4 Models of Communication

1.      transmission--- info transfer [i-phone,  internet]

-          really appropriate to media activities which are instructional, informational, propagandist in purpose

2.  ritritual or expressive [anthropology]--- shared understanding and beliefs. Emphasizes comm religious practices. Better able to capture which elements include art, drama, and the many symbolic uses of communication. Also applies to reality tv formats.  

Publicity [advertising/ PR model]- grip public attention w/ one direct economic goal [industry- oriented] Reflects central media goals of attracting audiences for purposes of prestige or income. It covers media activity that is engaged in advertising and PR
 4 Models of COmm (Continued)Reflects central media goals of attracting audiences for purposes of prestige or income. It covers media activity that is engaged in advertising and PR.

1.        Reception- encoding [assign meaning to something “put meaning into text”] and decoding [deciphering the meaning]--- how polysemic [ multiple] meanings from a media text. Reminds us that the seeming power of media to mold, express, or capture is partly illusory since the audience in the end disposes.  


 4 models of communication (cont.)

How to use reception model to see how much people respond to tv?

1.      how the producers try to capture/ entertain the audience

 2 step theory

1st step: leaders

2nd step: leaders--- and then masses (2nd step) (reporters)

Critique: it is too generalized and too linear.  Mass media are not completely free agents.

They are subject to interest group’s control in shaping public opinions.

 Information Society Theory-

 

·         “Information is power.”

·         Information revolution revend: minuarization and computertization

·         Loss of privacy---e .g. google map & the controversies that ensued

 

 

 globalization, transnationalization, internalization

communication across borders

 

 Commercialization

Pros & Cons

·         Introduce new products into the market, new management into other nations

·         New product development--- new profits for advertising, marketing, sales

·         Cons: money- oriented.

·         It is at the expense of cultural diversity, moral standard.

·         It suppresses local creativity in globalization.

 Homogenization---most of our communication devices are similar (turned audience into homogenous audience in terms of mass consumption e.g. cell phone & advertising)
 Dominant paradigm--- (p. 65)

·          Whatever is main stream

·         Ex: west- centered theory--- liberal but linear

·         Functionalistic

·         Quantitative research—industry dominant

·         A liberal pluralist

·         Media effects on audiences are direct and linear

·         Media viewed either as a potential social problem or means of persuasion

·         Is still with us, still fits the conditions of contemporary media operat.

 Alternative Paradigm

·   

·          Focuses more on human experience

·         Qualitative methods--- (good complimentary method to quanitative method)

·          Political or ideological concerns

·           Rejection of the transmission model of communication

·          Adoption of the interpretive and constructionist perspective

·         Wide concern with inequality and sources of opposition in society

 Functionalism

·         Satisfy social needs and wants

·         Focus on maintaining status quo

·         Maintain social order

·         Conflict: not address social problems

 Transmission Model

preferred perspective of media industry

 What is mass media?

1.       Print media and broadcast media  (audio and video)

2.       New (electronic) media--- telematics media (computer based),   digital media

3.         New media--- trend originated in Japan

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