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Media & Society

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Brian Altenhofen

on 2 September 2013

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Transcript of Media & Society

Media & Society
Critical Analysis
Different theoretical approaches to understanding media texts and systems
Political Economy
Feminist Media Studies
Ethnic Media Studies
Media criticism

Feminist Studies
Media serve patriarchy
Depictions of women and men in media
Limited presence of women in the media industries
Gendered media
- Perpetuating dominance of white males

Making Profit
direct sales
usage fees
Understanding the Media
Do the media reflect society? Or does society reflect the media (i.e., do the media have the power to change societal norms, values, practices, etc.)? Justify your answer.

Diffusion of Innovation
Advantage: how is the new better
Compatibility: consistent with current values, past experience
Complexity: difficulty to use/learn
Trialability: experimentation
Observability: visible results

Media Economics
Mass Production
Mass Distribution
Expanding Markets
Standardized Products
Media Markets: Competition
Economies of Scale: when unit costs go down as production quantities increase
Supply and Demand
Ownership: Who owns what?
Media monopolies
won’t necessarily pass savings on to consumer
barriers to entry for new competitors

Ownership Patterns
Market Segmentation
Mass to Targeted Markets
More channels
More information about audiences – how?
Converging technologies

New Media Economics
Electronic commerce
Clicks and bricks
Consumer input determines final form

Political Economy
Marx: politics and economics must be considered together
Those who own the means of production (the capitalists, the elite) own the ruling ideas
Why do workers let themselves be exploited? They have “false consciousness”

Political Economy
Hegemony (Gramsci): the use of media and other institutions to create a consensus around certain ideas so that they come to be accepted as “common sense”
Media exist to support the status quo and preserve ideas of ruling elite
Corporate and some non-commercial media reinforce these ideas

Political Econonmy
Access to media
Corporate media model
Corporate responsibility
Cultural implications

Ethnicity Studies
Uses ethnicity to view media texts
Studies representation of ethnic minorities in media industries
Inferior social roles
Result – Perpetuating dominance of whiteness

Media Criticism
Genre studies – romance, adventure, etc.
Search for verbal & visual symbolism in media
Semiotics (sign = signified + signifier)
Audience expectations & media selection; different audiences interpret the same text differently

Diffusion of Innovation
Stage of Diffusion of Innovation
Knowledge: exposure & understanding
Persuasion: forming a positive attitude
Decision: commitment
Implementation: putting to use
Confirmation: reinforce positive outcomes

Social Functions of Media
Alerting audience to important events, topics of interest
Information processed & correlated
Values transmission/Socialization
Media as storytellers, teachers & parents: teach & pass along ideas
Diversion as American lifestyle
Full transcript