Critical Theory and Social Media
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Critical Theory and Social Media






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Critical Theory and Social Media Critical Theory and Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Critical Theory and Social Media #SMCriticalTheory @NewhouseSM6 By Christopher Fers Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Plato I’m a Philosopher and a pretty cool guy.RTTheuthtoThamus“Here is as anaccomplishment, my lord the King, whichwill improve both the wisdom and thememory of the Egyptians.”
  • #CriticalTheory - Reaction to positivism - Stresses the difference between essence and appearance (Fuchs, 2011, 11) - Views society in terms of power dynamics. - Roots in Marxist writingFuchs, C. (2011). Foundations of critical media and information studies. NewYork, NY: Routledge.
  • Karl Marxphilosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, beard.“The class which has the means of materialproduction at its disposal has control at thesame time over the means of mentalproduction.”
  • KarlMarxphilosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, epic beard.“The hand-loom gives you society with thefeudal lord; the steam-mill, society with theindustrial capitalist. #PovertyOfPhilosophy”
  • What society, then, does mass media give us? An elite class with means of production? An elite class with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo? A class able to apply a filter to encoded and decoded messages, thus controlling the “mental production” of a society?
  • Web 2.0 Wikis, Blogs, Social networking, open source, open content Favors user participation Ideology rather than technology.
  • Web 2.0 and the Advent ofSocial Media: A Wrench in the Gears of the Critical Theory Apparatus The Amateur Class have the technologies to create media messages …have the platforms to disseminate messages
  • Theory of Audience Labor (Dallas Smythe) People are a commodity Sold by producers to advertisers Audience performs a labor for advertiser Audience pays advertiser through purchase
  • Audience Labor of New Media Environment Platform ownership User generated content creates revenue at fewer costs Social media users provide advertisers dream: FREE INFORMATION
  • Case Study: Facebook’s Beacon  2007, Facebook introduces a feature called Beacon.  Zuck apologized and added opt-out feature.  2009, Beacon removed. Facebook then automatically used Target Advertising.
  • Is It All Exploitive? Kickstarter
  • Critical Theory and Social Media By Christopher Fers Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications