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Methods and Critiques Midterm
Terms in this set (94)
suggests that we must see the media and all of the relationships that the world is producing the media.
the primary activity of media (making money, meanings, identities, etc.)
• Practices: the various forms of human activity that change the world, such as politics, economics, social practices, etc.
singular. Something intermediate. A middle state or intervening thing through which a force acts or an effect is produced. Formal relationship necessary to connect previously unconnected activities or people, as that between the producer and consumer of some message. How messages are transferred from one person to another
used for point to point person to person communication. Usually gives the communicator a good deal of control over the audience. Ex: Telephone.
used for communication from a single point to a large number of points, or from a single source to a large audience. Allows the communicator little power to select their audience and little likelihood of knowing much about the audience. Separates the sender and receiver. Ex: Newspapers, magazines, cable TV, etc.
can be used as either interpersonal or mass media. Can be used to create a new geography of social relations, connecting many point to many points, all of which can be both senders and receivers. Ex: the US Postal Service.
the physical means of producing, reproducing, and distributing goods, services, materials, and cultural products. Practices and machinery by which we communicate. Changes over time.
produce and circulate/separate media sources (Network TV vs. local independent stations). A large scale entity, embodying a range of social relationships and social functions, created by humans to perform an essential function. Particular decisions are made and carried out.
the various structures of languages and meanings and the uses that are embodied in the products of the media technologies and organizations.
communication is the process of moving messages from a sender through a medium to a receiver. Concern whether what you are receiving is actually the same as the message that has been sent.
the idea of culture as a general reaction to a general and major change in the condition of our common life. What connects the notions of a whole way of life and a privileged set of activities is a set of processes that can be called cultural and that are ordinary. Difficult to measure due to constant changes and evolution of people/tech/etc. Sees communication as the construction of a shared space or map of meaning within which people coexist (rituals).
comes from the Latin term for "common".
describes short periods of time, usually measured in decades. Comprise many events. Focuses on communication, culture, and social relationships of modern life.
all interaction takes place in face-to-face situations. Stories or meanings could be changed over time.
a literate society in which a shared system of inscription or writing exists so that communication can take place outside of face to face situations across time and place.
fixed, written, and permanent rules or codes of law develop. Verbatim.
communication can transcend time and space without physically moving the same object from one place to another. Allows almost instantaneous transmission of messages across space and fosters a rational organization of time. Two important consequences= reorganized people's perception of space and time AND allowed for new kinds of organizational control.
produced by specially trained professionals and/or uniquely inspired creative individuals. This is the art that is collected, that sells for high prices, and that appears in museums or is performed in concert halls. Largely European White art, male upper middle classes since the birth of capitalism. It embodied specific values (individuality, the world as a set of objects to be possessed, etc) that these classes fought to establish.
Low (folk) Culture
refers to those cultural products and forms that can be traced to a particular community/socially identifiable group. Assumed to be an expression of the experiences of this group. Not professionals; usually not distinguishable from the rest of the population, and the interaction that occurs between artist and audience is informal b/c both artist and audience share a common life.
regardless of where or by whom it is produced, speaks to a large public audience that cannot be simply described by a single social variable, such as class, gender, or age. Diverse and complicated audience called "the people". Makes high culture out of popular icons (Andy Warhol with Campbell's soup cans).
the process by which people understand or make sense of something.
organizes the human world. Always involves a process of naming. Two domains= the world and languages people use to describe it. People make this.
shared by more than one conscious mind.
isn't given to people. Must be co-produced.
the discipline that studies the nature of any system of meaning. Identifies the sign as the elementary unit of a code and a code as any system of meaning. Meaning has a certain autonomy, or independence, both from the world out there and from the pictures in people's heads. Meaning is located in the codes of society.
systematic organization or structure of signs. Same as language although human languages clearly are among the most complex. Can be large or small.
elementary unit of code. Represents something other than itself. Made up of 2 parts= signifier and signified.
sound-image. Actual words (cat, dog). An organization of any material or perceptual variables (colors, sounds, shapes, etc). A material form. Must already exist in at least one system of difference. Can only be this by virture of its resemblance to its referent, or what it refers to.
meaning. Concept itself is a system of signifiers.
the endless movement and proliferation of signifiers. Implies that the movement from one signifier to the next is inevitable and natural, rather than social. Infinite.
flexibility. Implies a different understanding of this sliding of signifiers. The movement of one signifier into another is only infinite and without meaning as long as the meaning does not stop. The process of language production is transformed into the production of meaning by a particular articulation of signifiers.
the process by which different elements are connected. Signifiers are linked to produce signs; signs are linked to produce texts; texts are linked to produce interpretations.
the ways text is articulated within the institutional contexts of its production.
every text, every organization of signifiers, is potentially a number of different texts, each with its own set of possible meanings.
analyzing the stories people tell about themselves and their world, either directly or indirectly. The most common codes of the mass media.
the actual progression of events and the characters involved in them.
the way the text describes or tells the story. The way a story is told in a particular text. Free to change the organization of events within the story.
someone who is telling the story. defines the point of view that the audience has on the story, on what is taking place. Can be speaking as a character within the story (diegetic) or from outside the story (nondiegetic). Can have more information than any character could possibly have. Always in some sense inside the story.
someone to whom the story is being told.
the image of the author constructed from the information in the text; it is the reader's imagination of who the author of this text must have been.
the audience that one imagines the implied author wants for his or her narrative.
often a powerful tool to describe the specific ways in which a text can both resemble many other texts, and yet maintain its own sense of difference. A class of texts that have something in common. Invented by people in the industry, by critics, and by audiences. A way of defining, measuring, and sustaining tase. Can be very broad and are not simple or stable.
describes the texts organization, how its signs are connected in time and space (this is next to that, this follows that, this precedes is).
describes the potential substitutions that one can make without changing the syntagmatic relationship. For any element, there are substitutions that can be made, that are allowed by particular codes within culture.
simply asks wheher a difference makes a difference. If this were changed, how would the meaning of the text be effected?
more systematic-well suited to the social sciences. Defines a set of categories; occurrences in the text counted. Sometimes defined as a systematic and objective method of describing the manifest or surface content of a test. Often begins by defining a set of categories to describe the various elements of the content of the text, then the analyst counts the instances of each category that appear in the text. Another important factor is deciding what texts will be analyzed to answer the questions. What does the sample represent? Can the study be generalized beyond this sample?
reveals very little while interpreting texts.
risks mistaken interpretations.
allows us to identify the ways in which texts establish meaningful differences that produce different meanings.
a particular way of thinking and seeing the world that makes the existing organization of social relations appear natural and inevitable.
the attempt to define reality in particular ways.
something that gets made into common sense through ideology. Brought up over and over again to become a norm. Involves making a claim on and about reality. Mediation alters the reality of the original. Alters our perception of the event or object.
creating and maintaining a consensus that justifies social inequalities. Communication allows dominant groups to maintain their dominant position by reinforcing their ideological interests and cultivating a common sense.
defines ideology as "false consciousness". Also implies that there is a direct correspondence between social position and knowledge and interests. There is a truth that describes each social class' reality. Most commonly used theory.
taking as true knowledge ideas that are false. This formulation assumes that there must exist true knowledge and that there must be some way to tell the difference.
emphasizes the fact that human beings live in a meaningful world, but it still privileges the real world as if it could be accessed outside of the codes of meaning that define people's experience of it. Gives rise to a humanistic theory of ideology.
ideology is in some sense a distortion or correctable misrepresentation of reality Ideology is a kind of bias operating within culture and knowledge. Denies that there is any access to a reality outside of representations that would allow one to measure the truth or falsity of representations. People live within the systems of representation; they experience the world according to their codes of meaning. Ideologies then, are systems of meaning within which people live in reality, or how they live their relationship to reality. They define people experience the world, what they take for granted. They define what is to be common sense.
me accepting my identity or how I am and how other's identities are." Ideologies ability to assign individuals to specific positions within its communicative (semiotic) representations of reality. Its about the ways in which different codes place people into particular positions that define their subjectivity and experience of the world.
goes against the norms of society
trying to understand why something goes against norms. According to social constructionism, an ideology is not a biased view of a reality that can be described outside of ideology. Two ways this happens to ideology: First, an ideology presents itself as natural and universal, it hides its connection to the interests of particular social groups or power blocs of society. Second, ideology is doing this precisely because it does create the reality it represents.
active vs. passive. Cognition. Intentional fallacy. Constructed by people who use the term for a particular purpose. A social construction, a concept that can mean and be made to do many different things. Does not exist out there in reality apart from the way in which it is defined by different groups, for different purposes. How the concept of this is constructed determines how it can function and how the relationship between the media and their audiences can be described, measured, and evaluated.
the type of person a media producer has in mind who will purchase or tune in to a product. The people who purchase and enjoy the products of the media. At least part of their identity is defined by their participation in the market.
identifies a subset of the population as potential consumers of a particular identifiable product or set of products. May vary according to their size although often, the general population has little sense of the size. Also vary according to their duration and to their stability and flexibility. Also have "identities" attached or articulated to them.
the quantitative description of a population according to a set of social or sociological variables. Categories often include: race, age, gender, income level, educational level, geographical region, type of residence, employment category, etc.
the demographic identity of the audience members is less important than the continuing commitment of a group of people to some type of product. Sometimes correspond to generic categories, others are characterized by either multiple genres or by selective choices made from different genres.
the most recent way to describe market types. A mixture of demographic categories and consumption habits or tastes. Represents a segment of the population that tends to purchase and use certain kinds of products or to make certain kinds of decisions, including voting. (yuppie).
an object produced in order to be sold for a profit. Can also construct the audience to become this.
the audience can be thought of this in the media, in addition to characterizing them as a commodity. The product of your particular position in a variety of social groups and social differences.
representational concern= accuracy vs. stereotypes. Natural, necessary, universal.
identity is socially constructed (articulated), relational, rooted in discourse. Representational concern= diversity and difference.
a useful term to capture the sense of of existing both at the center of and apart from any particular experience. It lets people reflect on their experience and their place in the world; it lets us carry on a conversation with ourselves about ourselves, as it were. It lets people use language creatively to say new things, and to express their experiences. YOU are always at the center of your experiential field.
the notion that what the creator of a message intended it to mean (its encoded meaning) is what the audience takes it to mean (its decoded meaning).
the act of attending to and making sense of the world; it is the application of consciousness to the world.
Circuit of Communication
the production and the reception of media messages are two relatively autonomous or independent processes within THIS...
there is no basis for assuming that how a particular audience or audience member interpreted a text would correspond to the meaning that the producer of the message intended or hoped to communicate. A form of encoded meaning that presumably at least some of the elements of the text would push the audience in the direction of this type of meaning.
a decoding can explicitly oppose the dominant ideology encoded into the text, at least on the particular topic of the text.
decoding can negotiate a position somewhere between assent and opposition, bending the text to the experiences and values of the audience.
Uses and Gratifications
looks at the social and psychological functions that media use serves for their audiences. Also known as "functionalism" Can be thought of this for singular individuals.
enjoyment of a specific media. Covers a number of different relationships. Signals the complexity of people's affective relationship to the media. The comfort of escaping from or forgetting negative situations, the sense of reinforcement that comes with identifying with a particular character, the thrill of sharing another person's emotional life, the stature of expertise and collecting, the euphoria of vegging out, the fun of breaking rules, the satisfaction of doing what you are supposed to do, etc. Could be thought as a form of political resistance to the pressures of the dominant institutions and values of modern society.
using particular media products or celebrities to define your identity. Entails a different sort of commitment, a different degree of investment in the media product.
for some it means purchasing and sharing media you like and sharing the taste publicly. For others, it can become a matter of style, like imitating a celebrity. For many, it defines a major part of their identity and a major activity of their life. It can bring members of an audience together to celebrate their interest in some media star or product and in this way, relates to a peer group.
using taste to define and mark your primary and most visible identity. This presentation of "self" defines the fan's identity.
refers to the knowledge and sensibility that enables one to comprehend and appreciate particular cultural products. Not always a question of knowledge or expertise, but a matter of shared assumptions, shared values about the nature and function of cultural consumption.
often concerned with preference or taste. Hallmark is their sign of approval or disapproval (thumbs up or down, stars, etc). Goal is to make money and grow their audiences (have to be accessible to the general public). Impact can be significant and immediate.
concerned with sustained analysis and passing judgments based on their analysis. Expectations include justifying the need for their analysis, justifying their analytical tools/methods, and making a plausible case for their interpretation based on their tools/methods. Goal is to advance knowledge about human communication. Audience includes professors, students, and sometimes the public. Impact is delayed because of peer-review process.
things that happened in the world. Communication problem that demands a response. Only way to respond/make sense of it is to communicate better.
outlines the broad ideas that will be discussed throughout the body portion of the essay but fails to elaborate on these ideas. Arguing that these metaphors are used to help us understand political/foreign policy.
Preview of Main Points
define the thesis in greater detail, while providing the reader with an idea of what will be accomplished through the examination of these concepts. Can be thought of a collection of "mini thesis statements".
summarizes, clarifies, and examines the main concepts presented within an essay. Allows readers to better understand and interpret the analysis portion of the essay.
a collection of evidence (historical documents, articles, records, etc.) that the author has both researched and consolidated to help form his/her argument. It is important to note that this must relate to the argument being made.
shielding our own understanding of how politics work. Used to compare or in the case of presidential rhetoric, audiences can be manipulated by these if they are successfully used. Speakers can altercate these so the audience can understand them.
"picking and choosing" text that relates to oneself. Poachers create their own textual meaning.
Consumption and Production
not just about taking in, also about creating and producing.
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