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Mass Communication: A critical approach

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Lisa Harris

on 27 August 2015

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Transcript of Mass Communication: A critical approach

Definition of “Culture”
Culture is associated with art but can also refers to a broad category identifying that ways that people live at particular historical times.
Culture versus Media:
Culture embodies a society’s values.
The mass media distributes those values.
Mass Media are the channels of communication to large numbers of people.

Culture as a Skyscraper
There is an established hierarchy of culture within our society.
“High” culture vs. “Low” culture. Figure 1.2 - pg. 20
The lines between information & entertainment have blurred.

2 Types of Media Convergence
Technological merging of content in different mass media
Cross Platform
– Used by media marketers as a way to consolidate various media services under one corporation.
Older medias are constantly re-formed and reconfigured.
- Oldest on newest
Daily Media Consumed
by platform -Figure 1.1 – Page 16

Mass Communication’s Evolution
(5) Eras of Mass Communication:

Electronic &
Digital Communication

Oral & Written Communication
Circulated slowly through oral traditions
Alphabets & written word developed
Manuscript culture emerged and dominated over the oral traditions
Mass Media &
Mass Communication
Mass Media
– are the cultural industries (the channels of communication) that produce & distribute messages.(i.e. songs, novels, movies, newspapers, etc..)

Mass Communication
is the process of designing & delivering cultural messages to large diverse audiences through media channels.

Mass Communication: A critical approach
Johannas Gutenberg
- Invention of the printing press and moveable type in the 15th century.
Introduced a method of
mass production
Early books only purchased by the wealthy, royals, or church leaders.
The book became the
first mass-marketed
product in history.
The printing press combined three ingredients necessary for revolution:
replaced manuscript system,
rapid duplication, & faster process
= lower cost of each unit.

Printing Press
Rise of the middle and business classes
Literacy rates rose among the working and middle classes.
Idea of “individuality”
- Think for ourselves.

Electronic & Digital
– 1840’s
Communication became
Changes became a
that could be bought & sold
Planted the seeds for electronic and digital communication, such as the fax machine and cellular phones of today.
Electronic phase of the Information Age began in the 1950’s and 60’s with the rise of film and the development of radio.
The dramatic impact of television began in the 1950’s

Cultural Approach
Attempts to explain how audiences shape or bend messages according to their own viewpoints.
Selective Exposure
– audiences seek messages and produce meanings that relate to their beliefs & values. Audiences actively interpret, refashion, or reject messages that they get from various media outlets.

Critical Process
Critical Process
- looks for a wide range of issues generated by culture. It stresses the subtle distinctions between amassing information and becoming knowledgeable. (Page 32).
Developing an informed critical perspective allows us to become engaged citizens.
5 Steps in the Critical Process
(Patterns) ,
(Judgments) and
(Actively create)
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