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Conducting Media Research

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Brian Altenhofen

on 8 September 2013

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Transcript of Conducting Media Research

Conducting Media Research
Be Critical of the Criticism
Being media literate means knowing how to read through studies
The Sample Population & Size
The Design of the Study
Study Reliability - reproduced
Soundness of Analysis
The Early 20th c. U.S.
What's the historical context?
Full-swing industrialization
Intense immigration
Changing identity of "America" and backlash because of mass media
Not so fast, my friend!
Park, Dewey, Cooley concluded that mass media allowed for a new type of community

Building onto the Mainstream
opinion & behavior change
what people learn from media
why, when and how people use media
Critical Approaches
Political Economic Approach
-Impossible to separate politics from economics.
- Those who own the media, control the political environment
Cultivation Studies
- when media systematically portray certain population in unfavorable ways, the ideas about those people help form negative portrayals in the public opinion
Cultural Studies
Historical Approaches
Anthropological Approaches
Linguistic and Literary Approaches

Binge Viewing
What could we study? The Question.
Why would we study it?
How would we study it?
WWI propaganda:
Agenda Setting: media create the ideas in our head about reality
- Something to this?

Magic Bullet Theory: the public is powerless against the power of media's persuasion
Movies and Violence
First example of researchers systematically researching the effects of media

The Payne Fund Study on violent movies -
Social Relations
Paul Lazarsfeld and co. came up with the idea of SOCIAL RELATIONS:
- interactions of other people influence the way we interpret media messages
The theories may seem likely but to scientifically prove them is another matter.

Why? Where did social research go wrong? Consider how we are to investigate studies.
Opinion & Behavior Change
Usually includes studies on violence and sex.

Takes into account the variables of family background, social setting, and individual personality.

Ex. A desensitization to violence and sex if there is a consistent exposure
What People Learn
Can Children Learn? Heck Yeah!
- Sesame Street, LeapFrog, etc.

World Affairs: concludes that media may not be able to form hard opinions but they do a good job at telling us what stories are important
-See McCombs and Shaw (1970)
-Priming: process by which media affect the standard that individuals use to evaluate what they see and hear in the media
Why, When, and How
Strongly connected to Uses and Gratifications Research

Discovered the Digital Divide - those who have access to a particular communication technology and those who do not. This leads to major ramifications!!!
- meaning making via the expectations of a technological advance from a previous era

- e.g. Lynn Spigel's work on the television and the rise of urbanization and industrialization

- Applying anthropomorphic studies to communication technology use.

- e.g. the different ways people may use technology depending upon sex, gender, race, and/or age
Linguistic and Literary
The study of meaning through audience interpretation -- looking at the text itself and the social conditions which may shift the interpretation of a text
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