Show Menu

Sociology 344 Final Cheat Sheet by

Decline of the National Public

Based on the ideas of Jurgen Habermas a German scholar who emerged from the Frankfurt School.
Suggest that in the past there was an relatively open sphere that allowed for the discussion of ideas.
His public sphere is fairly aristo­cratic and male dominated but Habermas nevert­heless suggests that having space for the discussion of ideas helped move society forward
Sees this as gradually decreasing as instru­men­talism and utilit­arian ration­ality have come to dominate.

Stimul­ating and Informing Debate

News and other forms of inform­ation media should act as stimul­ators of public debate
Need to provide the inform­ation citizens require to partic­ipate in an informed manner
Especially inform­ation about government and other powerful instit­utions

Repres­enting Public Opinion

Entails the media collecting inform­ation about people’s opinions and reporting them so that the public and powerful instit­utions know what they are.
Important because people are limited in who they can talk to directly and it helps to know where other people stand
Things like opinion polling can be seen as serving this purpose

Fragme­ntation

In the twentieth century people within a nation for the most part had a limited range of culture to choose from
People could talk about culture because on the whole it was fairly unified realm.
If everybody watches Dallas on Thursday night, everybody has something they can talk about with each other.
As cable and later the internet became more prominent the fear that people are no longer connected by

Egocasting

What ties all these techno­logies together is the stroking of the ego….With the advent of TiVo and iPod, however, we have moved beyond narrow­casting into “egoca­sting” — a world where we exercise an unpara­lleled degree of control over what we watch and what we hear. We can consci­ously avoid ideas, sounds, and images that we don’t agree with or don’t enjoy. As sociol­ogists Walker and Bellamy have noted, “media audiences are seen as frequently selecting material that confirms their beliefs, values, and attitudes, while rejecting media content that conflicts with these cognit­ions.” Techno­logies like TiVo and iPod enable unprec­edented degrees of selective avoidance. The more control we can exercise over what we see and hear, the less prepared we are to be surprised. It is no coinci­dence that we impute God-like powers to our techno­logies of person­ali­zation (TiVo, iPod) that we would never impute to gate-k­eeping techno­logies. No one ever referred to Caller ID as “Jehovah’s Secret­ary.”

Imagined Commun­ities

Imagined because people in the nation for the most part have no real relati­onship to each other, so the connection through the nation is imagined
•Limited- Because all nations have boundaries beyond which lie other nations
•Sovereign – seen as being in control of their own territory and people
•Commu­nity- because regardless of inequa­lities the nation is imagined as a deep horizontal bond
Imagined commun­ities
•Condi­tions of possib­ility for the nation arise from two media sources –Newspaper and the novel
•Both give a sense of the nation as a unified thing, shared experience of their history
•The desire of capita­lists to sell newspapers and novels requires the standa­rdi­sation of language in its written form •Unified language leads to a more unified populace and creates a bigger market for print media

Global­iza­tion: The Nation Strikes Back

Despite the underm­ining of the nation by fragme­nta­tion, and global­ization the nation remains a powerful concept
The Internet: Does it fix everything or make everything worst? •Optim­istic view – When everyone can speak people are likely to buy in •Optim­istic view – A move away from a top down centra­lized world

Exporting Raymond

Having watched this docume­ntary do you think there such a thing as a universal cultural text, or universal themes?
•Why did Rosenthal and Sony have such a hard time commun­icating the value of Everybody Loves Raymond to the Russ

Why Western culture remains dominant

America with it population of 320 million relatively wealthy (by global standards) gives it some advantages culturally •The large domestic market allows it to recover its cost domest­ically
•They then sell their products cheaply abroad.
•This has the added effect of making local cultural products less compet­itive.
•American culture is also generally of higher quality than that of ‘margin’ nations.
•Local audiences often prefer American media products

Cultural Hybridity

Ideas of cultural hybridity are predicated on the idea that no culture exists in a vacuum
•Ideas flow freely between cultures
•When a new idea or cultural form arrives, it is blended with local elements to make something that is authen­tically from that culture
•Histo­rically you can think of the spread of things like the novel, started in Western Europe, but became a global form with unique articu­lations in different places (western form hybridized with local content and culture

Blaxpl­oit­ati­on/­White Washing

Programs especially in the 1980s attempted to graft White middle class values onto blacks. •Shows like the Cosby show, portrayed blacks in middle­-class white roles.
•Accused of not being in sync with the situation of average blacks

New Ethnic­ities/ Hybrid Idenities

Stuart Hall has proposed that rather than looking at race in terms of specific unchanging categories it should be looked at as a set of complex negoti­ations
Identity is more fluid than strict ethnic catego­ries.
•Second and third generation immigrant children have identities that tend to be blend of their “mother country” and their “adopted country”

The Diasporic Media

As networks of immigrants have spread across the globe they have created a web a diasporic media.
•Commu­nities that are large enough, Indian and Chinese partic­ularly can have their own media network that essent­ially connects their diasporas back to the mother country
•Bollywood (India) and Hong Kong (Greater China) have created profitable industries around serving the needs of popula­tions that have left their countr­ies­/re­gions

Gender Imbalance

Women’s roles in film are often secondary to men's •Depic­tions of men outnum­bered those of women 5 to 1 •83 percent of experts interv­iewed were men
•37 percent of journalist were women
•Women fill only 35.1% of management roles in the media •Only make up 18.8 percent of decision makers

Reading the Romance

Janice Radway studied why women read romance novels •Quint­ess­ential genre aimed at women
•Widely criticized as reprod­ucing patria­rchal stereo­types
Novels were used by women to create space (escape maternal and domestic respon­sib­ilities •Used to fulfil female sexual desires not being met in the marriage or family setting
•While women are not escaping patria­rchy, they are using it for their own purposes

Media and Mascul­inity

Most male roles in cinema and television entail the stereotype of the powerful, succes­sful, virile man •Most often this person has some kind of mastery, business, cars, fighting
•James Bond, Jack Bauer etc...
•Video game heroes are almost univer­sally this type
•Fiske sees this as men needing an outlet for their own frustr­ations. •Men not longer engaged in highly physical labour
•Fantasies of male empowe­rment
•Men’s magazines play on many of these tropes •They cast women as ‘destr­oyers of men’s happiness’
Changes in mascul­inity in the media
•Some more sensitive male roles have appeared
•Men on Friends were not really powerful males
•Men like Raymond on Everybody Loves Raymond constantly being bossed around by women (subse­rvient)
Beyond hetero­sex­uality
•Opposite sex attraction is at the core of western media indust­ries.
•Homos­exuals are also excluded through the process of symbolic annihi­lation.
•Lesbians in media often become the target of fetishized male desire
•The largely asexual “gay best friend” is a trope of mainstream media
•Largely acts a token repres­ent­ation on gayness.
•Largely structured through hetero­sexual cultural motif so we see gays and lesbians through straight eyes

Pessismism about modern society

Modern society is a series of atomized people
•No common bonds of share history, religion, culture
•No central instit­utions that people rely upon (Church, town hall etc.)
•No unifying force whatsoever
•Leads to anomie a condition in which society provides little guidance to indivi­duals
•Can community (gemei­nsc­haft) exist in a mass society

Local Media/ Niche Media

Local media
•Presents an opport­unity for local cohesion
•Local media should support Gemein­schaft by focusing on issues of local importance •Local issues should dominate
•Incre­asingly with national chains dominating the local is being pushed out of local media •Most content comes not from the local but national and intern­ational providers
Niche media
•Oriented towards a niche audience that is dispersed
•Made possible by the divers­ifi­cation of consumer culture •Tap into existing identities
•Can both construct and reflect the community they talk about
•Can be broad categories men’s interest, women’s interest, running magazine •Can be niche Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who.
•Channels like Space and Syfy can offer niche
commun­ities greater access to their favorite texts
DIT Media and Internet Commun­ities
Fansites play an important role in internet commun­ities
•Sites like the “Harry Potter Alliance”, Daily Prophet, Equestria Daily, play the role of centra­lizing fans. •They become digital meeting places
•People get to know each other and form relati­onships
•Act as sites for discussion of both real life and show events
DIY Fan niches
•The low costs of entry online allow indivi­duals to create their own media
•Fan podcasts, fansites and other forms represent a democr­ati­sation of nice public­ation
•Fans of even more fringe texts than Star Trek and Doctor Who are able to create these types of public­ations •Fan cultures become even more fragmented
Fan cultures: Making identities
•Starting with Stat Trek Fans have been making their own commun­ities
•Early days the circulated fan fiction via mail
•Moved to electronic BBS systems in the 1990s and then to the internet in the late 1990s •Conve­ntion became a major source of community building

Poster: Three Stages

of the decline of the enligh­tment
First stage – The age of Print – individual is shaped by contextual depth
•Second Stage – Age of broadcast media – media images multiply and prolif­erate and are increa­singly depthless
•Final stage – Age of the internet – content further prolif­erates, the line between producer and consumer blurs. Increa­singly media simply refers to other media

Criticism of the Post-m­odern
•The fears that people had around social networking (kids meeting strangers) has mostly not played out •Most people use these networks to keep up with friends
•In general the repres­ent­ations people give are repres­ent­ations of their real identities
•Claims about the unreality of the world (nothing but simulacra) is clearly exagge­rated
•If there is no repres­ent­ation of reality are all repres­ent­ations equal?
•Let media off the hook because if everything is false why bother analysing its implic­ations
 

Acting as an Inclusion Discussion Forum

Media needs to provide a forum for people to engage with each other and decision makers directly
Call, in shows, comments on websites, letters to the editor provide this function

Nurturing Public Belonging

This is really about giving people a sense that they have a stake in society
About building a sense of agency in societies where people are often discon­nected from each other
Often focuses on the long standing relati­onship between national identity and media

Nations: Imagine Commun­ities

Benedict Anderson proposed the idea of nations as imagined commun­ities
Three paradoxes:
The objective modernity of nations to the histor­ian’s eye vs their subjective antiquity in the eyes of nation­alists
The formal univer­sality of nation­ality as a socioc­ultural concept
The political power of nation­alism vs their philos­ophical poverty and even incohe­rence

Imagined Commun­ities

Nations are imagined because despite the fact that you as the member of a nation will never meet most other Canadians, you are still confident that they exist, and that they like you are part of the nation
Nations are limited – they have relatively fixed political boundaries
Nations are sovereign – It is understood that a nation may exercise its power evenly within its entire territory
They are a community because “regar­dless of the actual inequality and exploi­tation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comrad­eship”
Anderson locates the beginnings of the nation with two forms of media that emerged from the printing press: The Newspaper and the Novel
The newspaper gives people a sense of belonging to the nation.
Everyone is able to get the same news of the nation through the newspaper and people imagine that the newspaper is being read everywhere in the nation

Do we need the public sphere

Habermas’ concept is not without its critics.
The question remains do we need his vision of the public sphere or the commons where everyone can meet discuss and have a voice?
Since it is unlikely that it will take the form that Habermas suggests what is the path forward without it.

The Failure of the Public Sphere

Habermas believes that already the public sphere has failed
•Points to the increasing domination of markets, the state and instru­mental reason
•Media which in the 18th and 19th centuries were organized around small publishers with distinct ideolo­gical positions are now increa­singly controlled by conglo­merates
The failure of the public sphere
•Like the Frankfurt school scholars Habermas is critical of the commercial orient­ation of the media.
•He sees commerce as putting the emphasis on emotion, trivia, sensation and person­ali­zation rather than public interest •People are distracted from issues of importance in the public sphere
•People are lulled into a sense that their buying decisions are acts of citize­nship or of equal importance to being a citizen.

Scapes

Fina­nscapes
•Refers primarily to the global flow of capital
•This flow is chaotic and uneven
•Constant shifting of capital from one place to another
•As global finance becomes more interd­epe­ndent, states have less power to control the flow of capital
Ethnoscape
•Refers to the increasing flow of people across the globe
•As money flows through the Finanscape people follow
•Incre­asingly nations are losing the ability to regulate the flow of people.
Techno­scapes
•Refers to the way that techno­logies move around the globe in an increa­singly fluid way.
•Refers to the way that technology increa­singly transforms the world in concert with techno­scape and ethnoscape
Ideoscape
•The movement of political and social ideas from one place to the next
•Ideas like democracy, radical Islam, equality etc... move around the world at increasing speeds
Medias­capes
•The movement of media around the world and how it allows distant cultures to see glimpses of each other •Often results in a skewed image of other cultures
•A constant movement of images goes around the world at great speeds

Cultural Proximity / Cultural Discount

Cultural proximity: Cultures with similar languages and shared histories are likely to be receptive to each others’ cultural products
•For Example: Because of their shared cultural history Russian cultural products have a generally widely accepted in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakh­stan.
•British cultural products do well in Canada, Australia, USA
•Cultural discount: Cultural products that come from countries with very different cultures tend to have difficulty bridging cultural differ­ences. They will be less appealing in other countries.
•For example Hong Kong action films despite being high quality generally have a hard time breaking into the Anglo-­Ame­rican market. They seem to foreign.

Media/­Rac­e/E­thn­icity: Under-­Rep­res­ent­ation

The number of minorities depicted on television still trails the number of Caucas­ians.
Stereo­typical repres­ent­ation
•Only depicts racial groups according to broad stereo­types
•African American gangsters, Asia super students, Muslim terrorists etc
•Often seen as making the situation for these groups more difficult because it reinforces stereo­types in the majority population
Stereo­types
•Because they have so little agency in creating repres­ent­ations of themselves minorities may start to intern­alize stereo­typed repres­ent­ations.
•There is also the fear that they may simply feel alienated from the society, since it treats them in a way that is consistent with a stereotype that doesn’t represent their real identity
Promoting positive images
•Various attempts made in the 1970s and 1980s to create positive repres­ent­ations of minori­ties, in this case mostly African American
•One attempt was the ‘Blaxp­loi­tation’ film movement
•These films tried to portray strong African Americans reversing stereo­types, or often simply taking a white character type and “black­ening” it
•Strong, aggressive males like Dirty Harry and James Bond’s charac­ter­istic are transposed onto an African American

The Male Gaze

Laura Mulvey – proposed the idea of the male gaze
•A concept that she created using ideas from Freudian and Lacanian psycho­ana­lysis •Cinema is centered on scopop­hilia – the pleasure of gazing on them
•Women are set as the object of the voyeur­istic gaze
The Male Gaze: The perfect mirror
•Second part of the idea comes from Jacques Lacan
•The “mirror stage” is when young children start to enjoy looking at their own reflection •It is not themselves that they enjoy but an external, whole, or perfect them
•It’s against this idealized self that “self-­image forms”
•Visual media (cinema, TV, photog­raphs) produce idealized images
•Female characters are made into sexual object for the male gaze
•Male stars are the one’s the audience is meant to identify with.

Subversive

Texts like soap operas have a different narrative structure
•Not the classic beginning – middle – end
•An ongoing form of story telling
•Doesn’t always end with a hetero­sexual relati­onship
•These are “misuses” of a genre that still is coded primarily with patria­rchal meanin­gsR­eading as a subversive activity?
•Hermes looked at reading “trashy” magazines as a form of escape •Offered women a temporary reprieve from work, worries, relati­onships •Their ‘light’ content makes them ideal for short bursts of engagement •Women often didn’t care about the content
●David Gauntlet found that women’s engagement in these texts varied a great deal ●Some used them to set goals
●Some liked to criticize the identities depicted
●Women could be critical of these magazines while still enjoying them

LGBTQ

Still primarily stereo­types
•Through the lens of straight unders­tan­dings of sexuality •Also a victim of symbolic annihi­lation

Media Commun­ities: Homoge­niz­ation and Atoniz­ation

Gemein­schaft
●Grass roots, intimate form of collective unity
●Predi­cated on shared unders­tan­ding, collective unity and self-s­uff­iciency
●Primarily a preind­ustrial mode of associ­ation
•Gesel­lschaft
●Indirect intera­ctions, impersonal roles, formal values, and beliefs based on such intera­ctions ●Primarily an industrial and post-i­ndu­strial mode of associ­ation

Subcul­tures

Studies at Birmingham Univer­sity’s Center for Contem­porary Culture challenged notions of anomie in modern society •Focused on stylis­tically marked groups of young people (teddy boys, punks, skinheads etc...)
•Combined unrelated commer­cially available objects in unique ways called “brico­lage”
•Used mass culture to create defiant, distin­ctive grass roots commun­ities
Active audiences redux
•CCCS scholars challenged the idea that mass media destroys tradit­ional commun­ities
•If consumed in active ways these products could be the basis of form of collective identity.
•Media industries become the unwitting providers of raw materials
•World outside subcul­tures remains homogenous and shaped by media
•As Fiske argued, these cultures are then subject to approp­riation by media industries in friendlier watered down forms
Grassroots or AstroTurf?
•Some critics doubt the possib­ility of real grass roots commun­ities •Media industries are too quick to re-int­egrate identities and subcul­tures •Cool Hunters
•These light forms of identity are easily tried and then cast off.
Stigma­tiz­ation and Moral Panics
•Moral Panic – Typically a reaction to a type of media or a group
•Ex. Comic Books, punks, goths, video games
•Negative coverage can help groups to cohere
•Will resent the misrep­res­ent­ation and solidify their identity
•Group identities may partially be a function of repres­ent­ations of them

Post-M­ode­rnity

We cannot conceive of reality outside the repres­ent­ations of it
•Reality and media are one in the same
•Under­sta­nding of contem­porary events and individual identities are insepa­rable from media
Consum­erism: expansion and speed-up
•Culture industries are increa­singly focused on creating more and more new things for us to consume. •Creating more product niches (subtypes of existing products)
•Const­antly searching for new markets
For example: Playing and watching sports are increa­singly the focus of intense marketing efforts.

Pastiche

Where something is referred to ironically there is a connection to the original
•Jameson sees products simply being taken from the past and recombined with each other with no reference to the past in a process he calls “pastiche”
•New hybrids become empty shells, refereeing to nothing
•Ident­ities are simply an ever changing collage that people patch together without a sense of the origins of the pieces

Pastic­hy-­ide­ntity
•There is some debate with regards to the post-m­odern position.
•General agreement that identity is more tied to media and consum­ption than in the past •Though some disagree as to the level of its flexib­ility
•Indiv­idual are still able to make sense of identity
•With so many symbolic choices identity is fluid and highly complex

Simulated identity?
•Sherry Turkle argues that the online world allows for a decoupled identity •Ident­ities that are not tied in any way to the real world
•People can play with gender, sexuality, race etc
•People live simulated lives in simulated world
•Turkle wonders at what point the virtual overpowers the real.
 

Beyond Anderson: The News

David Morley Suggests that news is still an important aspect of nation­alisms
Through the creation of shared national events and therefore national shared memories
Mass experi­ences like funerals, sports champi­onships and others become the foundation of shared national identity.
Banal Nation­alism
Nation­alism is being constantly being reinforced in the most banal utterances .
Media uses the name of the nation as well as refereeing to “we’ and ‘us’ when discussing the nation to reinforce the common sense of belonging

Decline of the Public Sphere:

From Facili­tators to shapers
Habermas believes that already the public sphere has failed
Points to the increasing domination of markets, the state and instru­mental reason
Media which in the 18th and 19th centuries were organized around small publishers with distinct ideolo­gical positions are now increa­singly controlled by conglo­merates
Like Chomsky sees this as promoting whatever ideals and values corpor­ations are in favor of

Frankfurt School Rises

Like the Frankfurt school scholars Habermas is critical of the commercial orient­ation of the media.
He sees commerce as putting the emphasis on emotion, trivia, sensation and person­ali­zation rather than public interest
People are distracted from issues of importance in the public sphere
People are lulled into a sense that their buying decisions are acts of citize­nship or of equal importance to being a citizen

Global­iza­tion: Appadu­rai's Scapes

Financ­escape
Ethnoscape
Techno­scapes
Ideoscapes
Medias­capes

The Internet: Fix everything or everything worst

Optimistic view – When everyone can speak people are likely to buy in
Optimistic view – A move away from a top down centra­lized world

Pessim­istic view – More Fragme­ntation
Pessim­istic view – More survei­llance
Pessim­istic view – More Egocasting

The Public Sphere

Based on the model of civic debate in the 18th and 19th centuries
•Suggests that democracy flourished in an atmosphere of open debate of ideas
•Declined with the advent of instru­mental reason and the domination of society by the state and commerce
The public sphere
•Media and public engagement •Stimu­lating and informing debate •Repre­senting Public opinion
•Acting as an inclusive discussion forum •Nurturing public belonging

Beyond Anderson: The News

David Morley talks about broadc­asting having the ongoing effect of connecting the nation by creating a shared sense of ownership.
•Creates shared cultural memories through the broadc­asting events across the whole nation

Case Study: #Prent­ice­Bla­mes­Alb­ertans

“In terms of who is respon­sible, we all need only look in the mirror, right. Basically all of us have had the best of everything and have not had to pay for what it costs,” he added. “Colle­ctively we got into this as Albertans and collec­tively we’re going to get out of it and everybody is going to have to shoulder some share of the respon­sib­ility.”

Media Imperi­alism

One of the key aspects of imperi­alism is that it imposes the values and instit­utions of a dominant culture on a less powerful one.
•In the age of imperi­alism Europeans went around the world not only conquering but also spreading their values and instit­utions
•They justified this with the idea that European society was the most advanced, thus they could and should impose their system of doing things on other nations
•In some cases this was view a civilizing other cultures
Today the ‘West’ no longer rules over the rest directly
•Western culture remains dominant
•Culture is seen by some, partic­ularly is post-c­olonial studies as a contin­uation of the project of imperi­alism
•There remains a fear that this is a ‘soft’ approach to imperi­alism
•By flooding the global market with attractive cultural product the fear is that Anglo-­America is continuing to promote its way as the best way
•Other countries often feel American film promote ideas like indivi­dua­lism, autonomy and the right to be different, which are value not every culture shares.

Adaptation / Locali­zation

The shallowest form of global cultural transfer
•When a cultural product is transf­erred from one culture to another with the transf­orm­ation of only culturally specific markers
•The core of the narratives and appeal remain essent­ially the same.
•Are these stories universal?

Cultural Odorle­ssness

Cultural products that are delibe­rately created with as few distin­gui­shing cultural markers as possible. •These products can circulate easily globally because they don’t suffer from cultural discount
•EG. Pokémon, which has very few specific cultural markers in the text itself.

The burden of repres­ent­ation

With so few minority actors and roles in the media, those actors that do have a roles are expected to stand in for their entire group.
•Whiteness is made invisible by it’s dominance, but a few minority actors are forced to represent their entire group. •Audiences are then encouraged to think of race in terms of racial essence, qualities that set the whole group apart from whites.
•Tokenism: minority actors are often put into a program specif­ically to give the illusion of inclusion.
•The burden of repres­ent­ation can also be seen in references made in news program to “the black community” “the Muslim community”

Ghetto­ization

Diasporic media allow minority commun­ities to have positive roles that are written and performed for and by people like them.
•The major fear is that people will never transcend their commun­ities and integrate
•This could lead to ghetto­iza­tion, and potent­ially tension with other minorities and the majority population since insular groups tend to be seen as ‘other’

Gender as a social constr­uction

Judith Butler (building on Foucault) argues that gender is socially constr­ucted •Gender is defined by arbitrary categories
•Gender is performed
•Heter­ose­xuality is portrayed as the norm
•Gender traits are essent­ialized
•Part of a system that legiti­mizes male power and female subord­ination

Patria­rchal Romance and Domest­icity

Women often depicted as, smaller weaker than men
•Men are decisive, women are dependant and emotional
•The role of a woman is to find a man (in media... I’m not saying that)
•Compl­aints of “symbolic annihi­lation”
•Symbolic Annihi­lation – a group’s diversity is hidden when they are depicted only stereo­typ­ically

Post-F­eminist Indepe­ndance

Some people point to programs like HBO’s SEX and the City as a turning point in the repres­ent­ation of women •Some depictions of women as assertive and sexually assured also contribute to this. (ie Cosmop­olitan and Glamour magazine)
•Some of these emphasize stronger roles for women.
The post-f­eminist masquerade
•Some feminists argue that shows like Sex and the City and other assertive women in media are false repres­ent­ations of indepe­ndance
•The role of women in media remains dominantly linked to beauty, and attracting male attention
•The way relati­onships unfold is different, the submissive house wife is mostly gone
•Goals like marriage and children continue to dominate
•Women and men’s magazines still covered with attrac­tive, mostly white women.

Post-F­eminist Indepe­ndance

Some people point to programs like HBO’s SEX and the City as a turning point in the repres­ent­ation of women •Some depictions of women as assertive and sexually assured also contribute to this. (ie Cosmop­olitan and Glamour magazine)
•Some of these emphasize stronger roles for women.
The post-f­eminist masquerade
•Some feminists argue that shows like Sex and the City and other assertive women in media are false repres­ent­ations of indepe­ndance
•The role of women in media remains dominantly linked to beauty, and attracting male attention
•The way relati­onships unfold is different, the submissive house wife is mostly gone
•Goals like marriage and children continue to dominate
•Women and men’s magazines still covered with attrac­tive, mostly white women.

Symbolic Value

Increa­singly consum­ption becomes an identity statement.
•Items are purchased as much for their symbolic value as their use value
•Example Mac vs PC (Macs are far more expensive, but denote a more affluent sensib­ility, PCs are cheaper and more utilit­arian)
•Clothing, cars, home décor etc. are all meant as statements of identity.
•Increases the intensity of consum­erism

Inform­ation overload
•Infor­mation surrounds us constantly
•People consume media from the moment they get up to the moment they fall asleep •Media is more portable, we take our favorites with us
•Jean Baudri­llard feared that all this ‘noise’ was drowning out meaning and substance •As Postman suggested we are all becoming collectors of digital garbage

Media=­Reality

•Baudr­illard fears that people are so bombarded with media that there is no distin­ction between repres­ent­ation and reality •The real in the minds of the post-m­odern person is simply a collection of media repres­ent­ations
•Our unders­tanding of politics and world history are not directly experi­enced, they are mediated. So we only really know the repres­ent­ations
•Our unders­tanding of current media events is shaped by our experience with past media.

Simulacra - 4 phrases

#1 Tradit­ional symbolic –Images perform the role of the sign, acting as a means of faithfully reprod­ucing the world
•#2 Ideology – The predom­inant role for signs and images is to obscure or distort reality
•#3 Transition – reality is no longer discer­nable under the images –images play at being reality E.G Disneyland
•#4 Simulacra – Images no longer even attempt to refer to anything other than each other. This is the world of the hyperreal

Celebr­ities are the hyperreal

With celebr­ities the real person is invisible.
•Celebrity person­alities are constr­ucted by media firms
•One appearance refers to another, which builds on another etc. •Media person­ality funerals are an example of the hyperreal
Identity
•Incre­asingly people differ­entiate themselves not by the place they live or by occupa­tion, but by the symbolic value attached to objects, like clothes, phones, etc.
•Fredric Jameson, sees use-value (what something does) being replaced increa­singly by symbolic value (What it means) •The need to constantly create novel seeming items has led to the recycling of fashions from the past.
•Where something is referred to ironically there is a connection to the original

Download the Sociology 344 Final Cheat Sheet

7 Pages
//media.cheatography.com/storage/thumb/connorb_sociology-344-final.750.jpg

PDF (recommended)

Alternative Downloads

Share This Cheat Sheet!

 

Comments

TME520 TME520, 01:58 24 Apr 15

A very interesting read, thanks for taking the time of putting all this together.

Lisa Fourby Lisa Fourby , 09:11 14 Sep 15

I would recommend this to others to improve their grade in the course that are bad in.

Add a Comment

Your Comment

Please enter your name.

    Please enter your email address

      Please enter your Comment.

          More Cheat Sheets by _connorb

          SOC 344 Midterm Cheat Sheet