PowerPoint Presentation
prepared by
Terri Petkau, Mohawk College
CHAPTER FIVE
The Mass Media
Josh Greenberg
Graham Knight
INTRODUCTION
• Will examine:
 The mass media and interactive media
 Theoretical approaches in media studies
 Political economy of the media
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
 Role of television in the economy, culture, and
identity
 News and ideology
 Research on media effects
 Forms of computer-mediated communication*
5-3
COMMUNICATION
• Communication: To bring together or
unify by establishing shared
meanings and understandings
between groups and individuals*
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5-4
THE MASS MEDIA AND
INTERACTIVE MEDIA
• Mass media: Technologically-mediated
means of communication in which flow of
messages is largely unidirectional from a
single point of transmission to a large,
anonymous, dispersed audience of receivers
(e.g., television)
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Interactive media: Communications flow
back and forth; people exchange roles with
one another in the transmission and
reception of communication (e.g., social
networking websites)*
5-5
THEORETICAL APPROACHES
IN MEDIA STUDIES
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1.
The technological perspective: Derives primarily
from the work of (i) Innis and (ii) McLuhan
i.
Innis  Made distinction between two types of
media:
a)
Time-based media
b)
Space-based media

Each type fosters different social perceptions,
interactions, and institutional arrangements…*
5-6
1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: i. INNIS
a) Time-based media:
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•
Modes of communication that endure
over time but are not very mobile across
space (e.g. writing on stone or clay
tablets)
•
Are conducive to strong sense of tradition
and custom
•
Promote religious forms of power and
belief*
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1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: i. INNIS
b) Space-based media: Modes of communication
that can cover greater areas of space but are much
less durable over time (e.g., writing on paper;
sounds transmitted over airwaves)
•
Lead to territorial expansion, empire building, and
more secular forms of power and culture
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•
Different forms of power create different types of
social division and conflict:
 Struggle against elite control by those excluded
from power has resulted in shift from time- to
space-based media*
5-8
1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: ii. MCLUHAN
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•
Argued influence of mass media on society is
mediated by the way the media change
people’s sense perceptions and cognitive
processes

Example  Invention of printing, which…
i.
Undermined oral communication by
establishing more visual culture where words
are linked in a linear way
ii.
Promoted interpreting the world in linear,
cause-and-effect way…*
5-9
1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: ii. MCLUHAN
Invention of printing, which… (continued)
iii. Moved communication away from face-to-face
interaction, making information more abstract
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iv. Fostered individualism, privacy, rationality, and
social differentiation (through abstracting effect)
v.
Encouraged view of world as composed of
separate objects
vi. Enabled standardizing of national languages*
5-10
1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: ii. MCLUHAN
•
Effects of innovation of television:
i.
Allows for instantaneous communication
ii.

Helps viewers achieve better sensory balance
Unlike print, does not rely solely on one sense
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iii. Is more socially inclusive than print
iv. Ushered in new era of global democracy in
“global village”*
5-11
1. TECHNOLOGICAL
PERSPECTIVE: ii. MCLUHAN
•
Theory largely dismissed as
technological determinism:
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 Social change is determined by
nature and function of technology,
not by conscious human action*
5-12
2. THE CRITICAL
PERSPECTIVE
• Holds that (i) institutions (such as the news
media) and (ii) processes (such as
socialization and social control) cannot be
understood from viewpoint of society as a
whole
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 Rather, need to be understood from that of
unequal and conflicting groups and
classes…*
5-13
2. THE CRITICAL
PERSPECTIVE
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•
Capitalist class and other powerful groups
reinforce their position and maintain status quo
through:
i.
Control over dominant ideology (interests,
perspectives, viewpoints, and understandings of
dominant class and other powerful groups)
ii.
Establishment of hegemony (dominant class
using media to naturalize and universalize
dominant ideology and absorb challenge of
alternative and oppositional viewpoints)…*
5-14
2. CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE:
FIRST VARIANT
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i.
Control over dominant ideology
•

Initially developed by Horkheimer and Adorno:
Viewed media as part of broader “culture
industry” that functions to create “mass
deception” about exploitative and oppressive
character of capitalist society
•

“Propaganda model” of Herman and Chomsky:
Suggested that media “filters” information to
reduce or eliminate radical or subversive
views…*
5-15
HERMAN AND CHOMSKY:
FILTERS
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•
a)
Five main filters used by media:
Orientation to profit-making
b)
Dependency on advertising for revenue and profit
c)
Reliance on powerful institutions and individuals
as sources of information
d)
Negative reaction (“flak”) if media deviate from
promoting elite interests and values
e)
Adherence to anti-communism as overarching
belief system (anti-communism since replaced by
“war on terrorism;” e.g., Iraq war)*
5-16
2. CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE:
SECOND VARIANT
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ii.
Establishment of hegemony
•
Dominant groups control both resistance and
struggle (which arise from inequality) by
accommodating and incorporating range of
different viewpoints, including:

Oppositional viewpoints: Represent experiences
of subordinated groups against those of the
powerful

Alternative viewpoints: Blend of elements of
dominant and oppositional viewpoints*
5-17
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY
OF THE MEDIA
• Focuses on:
 Ownership and control of economic resources,
and
 Effect of technology and economic power on
cultural values, social structure, and political
decision making
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Notes increasing concentration of ownership and
control of media (e.g., multimedia chains, such
as Disney)
 Enhanced by development of digital
technologies*
5-18
THE WALT DISNEY
COMPANY
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5-19
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY
OF THE MEDIA:
MUTIMEDIA CHAINS
• Multimedia chains practice both:
 Horizontal consolidation: Sharing of facilities and
resources between different plants and outlets
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 Vertical integration: Controlling of resources and
assets at different stages of production
 Example: Ownership of major league sports
team along with stations and cable channels on
which games televised*
5-20
GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT
MEDIA CORPORATIONS
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5-21
NEWSPAPERS:
CONCENTRATION, MONOPOLY,
AND ADVERTISING
•

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


The critical perspective argues homogenization of
news coverage and decline in diversity in news
topics and viewpoints are result of:
Multimedia chain ownership (e.g., Bell
Globemedia)
Advertising dependency
Local newspaper monopolies
But research evidence supporting link is
inconclusive*
5-22
TELEVISION: ECONOMY,
CULTURE, AND IDENTITY
• Greatest impact on content and role of
television:
 Commercialization and advertising
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• Canadian television largely dominated by
American television industry
 Domination derided by critical theorists as
cultural imperialism  When one society’s
media exert overwhelming and unilateral
influence over another society’s culture*
5-23
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PERCENTAGE
VIEWING
TELEVISION
15 OR MORE
HOURS PER
WEEK,
CANADA, 2007
5-24
VALUE OF INTERNATIONAL
TRADE IN CULTURAL
GOODS, CANADA, 2007
(THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS)
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5-25
TELEVISION: ECONOMY,
CULTURE, AND IDENTITY
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
•
Critics of cultural nationalist position argue that
although dramatic television is important,
Canadians also develop sense of collective
national identity through their overwhelming
preferences for domestic news and public affairs
programming

Example: Despite consumption of American
programming, Canadians overwhelmingly prefer
to get their news and public affairs information
from the CBC and CTV rather than Fox or CBS*
5-26
TELEVISION: ECONOMY,
CULTURE, AND IDENTITY
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•
Concern that Canadian culture is under
siege by American-style programming also
ignores fact that many high-profile faces in
American mass media are originally
Canadian
•
Might also question supposed
Americanization of Canadian identity
through the mass media by noting Canada
is quickly becoming a “postnational”
society*
5-27
REPRESENTATION AND
IDEOLOGY: THE MEANING
OF THE MESSAGE
• Media communicate messages on different
levels: the pleasurable, the meaningful, the
entertaining, and the informative
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• Communication entails process of representation:
 Use of language, visual images, and other
symbolic tools to portray something in a coherent
meaningful way that others can understand
• Sociologists use term, framing, to denote
selective, organized nature of representation that
has ideological effects*
5-28
NEWS AND IDEOLOGY
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•
News media: One of principle sources of
information about social reality
•
Conservative and critical writers disagree about
which of following two positions apply:
i.
News media as supporting “left-liberal” bias that
runs counter to views and interests of society’s
mainstream (endorsed by conservative
perspective)
ii.
News media as representative of dominant
ideology given concentrated ownership and
hierarchy of access (endorsed by critical
perspective)*
5-29
DEFINING THE NEWS
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•
News values: Criteria used by news media to
define and represent events and issues
•
i.
Criteria include:
Immediacy (can write stories in present tense)
ii.
Personalization (can reduce causes and
explanations to level of individual motives and
psychology)
iii. Extraordinariness (events and issues entail
conflict, confrontation, deviance, or disorder)*
5-30
NEWS AND DOMINANT
IDEOLOGY
• While news dwells on the negative, it
still reinforces dominant ideology by:
 Reinforcing dominant definitions of
what is normal and desirable, and
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 Focusing on actions of appropriate
social control authorities*
5-31
GATHERING THE NEWS
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
•
In preparing new stories, the mass media rely
on:
i.
Official news sources: Representatives of
dominant institutions used by media to define
basic meaning of issue or event (e.g.,
politicians, police officers, professionals,
experts)
ii.
Ordinary news sources: Sources without a
group affiliation (e.g., victims or eye witnesses)
iii. Alternative news sources: Representatives of
social movements and social advocacy/activism
groups, whose viewpoints often diverge from
those of dominant social groups*
5-32
TORONTO “DAYS OF
ACTION” HEADLINES
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5-33
MEDIA EFFECTS AND
AUDIENCES
•
Are two approaches to study of media
effects:
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1. Study of effects of media violence:
Concerns about effects of media
violence overshadow concerns about its
causes
2. Audience interpretation: Examines the
way viewers make sense of what they
see and hear on television*
5-34
MEDIA VIOLENCE
•
Two main approaches in current media
research:
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1. Cultivation analysis: Examines effect of
media violence on attitudes
 Gerbner: Argues long-term exposure
gives rise to “‘mean world’ syndrome”
2. Focus on effects of television on
behaviour
 Predominant view: Media violence has
some real-life effects*
5-35
MEDIA VIOLENCE
•

•
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
Evidence inconclusive on alleged causal
relationship between media violence and violent
behaviour
Laboratory experiments purporting to demonstrate
relationship are criticized on grounds of artificiality
Alternate explanation: Social learning theory, that
suggests media violence provides scripts that teach
children how and when to act aggressively
However, relationship between TV and real violence
is bidirectional  Watching violent TV fosters
aggressiveness, but those who prefer to watch
violent TV already have more aggressive
tendencies*
5-36
AUDIENCE RESEARCH:
INTERPRETATION AND MEDIA USE
• Television has been primary focus of audience
research because since WWII it has played
central role in definition of private sphere in
modern society (i.e., family, domesticity, gender
relations, consumption, and suburban living)
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Research tradition argues people are not
passive recipients of message:
 Rather, people often filter, interpret, and even
challenge messages they see and hear based
on their social context, experiences, and beliefs*
5-37
AUDIENCE RESEARCH:
INTERPRETATION AND MEDIA USE
• TV has spread to other social settings, such as
bars, malls, classrooms, and sports stadiums
• TV has also become more dispersed within the
household allowing more autonomy and privacy in
viewing habits
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Personalized watching has also been encouraged
by proliferation of specialty channels and services
catering to particular tastes and interests…*
5-38
AUDIENCE RESEARCH:
INTERPRETATION AND MEDIA USE
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• New interactive technologies have become
more accessible, creating a more complex
communications environment that mediates
the role and tempers the impact that any
single medium can have at home, work, or
school
• These changes have shifted the focus of
audience research toward the ways
television fits into the broader media
culture*
5-39
THE INTERNET:
COMPUTER-MEDIATED
COMMUNICATION
• Forms of computer-mediated communication
(CMC):
 E-mail, instant messaging (IM), blogs and chat
rooms, video-sharing sites (e.g., YouTube) and
social networking applications (e.g., Facebook and
MySpace)
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Constantly-changing nature of Internet (both
technologically and socially) and research on its
structure, use, and effects have produced divergent
findings and interpretations that compound its
uncertainty*
5-40
THE INTERNET:
COMPUTER-MEDIATED
COMMUNICATION
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Macrolevel research has focused not only
on inequalities in terms of Internet access,
usage, and scope, but also on the ways in
which new media technologies challenge
our understanding of what CMC means
• Microlevel research has been concerned
with the reciprocal effects between offline
and online interaction*
5-41
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: CMC
AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY
• Digital divide: Term used to explain how
access to and use of CMC reproduce
structural inequities
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Has been rapid Internet growth since
early 1990s, but still considerable
inequality in access and use
• Social class, occupation, and education
tend to be strong predictors of usage
• Access related to race and ethnicity more
in USA than in Canada*
5-42
THE INTERNET:
DIFFERENCES OF USE
• E-mail still most commonly used form of CMC
among Canadians although overall use becoming
more varied (e.g., for educational, financial, and
consumption purposes, in particular)
• Like access, use varies by social status and
identity
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Some research finds women more likely than men
to have accounts on social networking sites
• Differences in usage indicate different desires and
needs of audience segments and their need for
culturally-specific content*
5-43
CANADIAN INTERNET USE
AT HOME BY INTERNET
ACTIVITY, 2007
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
5-44
WEB 2.0: THE NEW DIGITAL
DIVIDE?
• Web 1.0 involved uploading and downloading text
and images that users simply consumed
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Web 2.0 encourages users to be digital
collaborators, building web pages and blogs;
creating content by uploading and mixing videos on
YouTube; and editing, deleting, and adding to
encyclopedic information on Wikipedia
 Critics suggest Web 2.0 is way for media
corporations to exploit users by replacing skilled
labour (such as web design) with the “free” labour
of audiences*
5-45
VIRTUAL COMMUNITY:
THE INTERNET’S IMPACT
• Rapid growth of the Internet has prompted
concern about its supposedly negative effects,
including obesity, inactive leisure time, poor diet,
declining reading rates, and addiction to its use
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• But the Internet also can be source of valuable
information that can inform and promote active
and healthy lifestyles to at-risk populations
• New media also opens possibilities for civic
engagement and activism as well as identity
expression*
5-46
SURVEILLANCE AND
PRIVACY 2.0
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• With implementation of social networking sites,
online interaction is becoming increasingly less
anonymous, raising concerns about privacy and
surveillance
 Sites are being used as spaces of digital voyeurism
for individuals to spy on each other as well as
havens for predators to lurk on unsuspecting youth
 However, some cite lack of empirical evidence for
youth abduction
• Despite concerns, police and other criminal
investigations have used social networking sites to
track down locations of offenders*
5-47
THE BLOGOSPHERE:
SOCIAL ACTIVISM 2.0
• The blogosphere, a virtual community of blogs and
bloggers, is another Web 2.0 technology that has
social implications offline
• Blogosphere resembles a physical community
inasmuch as it facilitates shared values, a sense of
belonging, and a common purpose
Copyright © 2011 by Nelson Education Ltd
• Prominence of the blogosphere in media coverage
illustrates power and potential of the Internet to
invigorate democratic debate
 But should remain mindful that commodification
may eventually temper current enthusiasm**
5-48
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