Media and Society
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Slides from a lecture in Mass Media at Montana Tech.

Slides from a lecture in Mass Media at Montana Tech.



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  • Survellance – definition next slide Can give us warnings of dance – from weather, earthquakes to demonstrations in the street. Can also undermine regimes. Egyptian see unrest in Tunisia and get ideas about improving their own lives.
  • This theory holds that issues that are portrayed as important in the news media *become* important ie the media sets the agenda for public debate.

Media and Society Media and Society Presentation Transcript

  • Theories of Media and Society
  • Theories of Media and Society
    • Functional Analysis
    • Agenda Setting
    • Uses and Gratifications
    • Social Learning
    • Spiral of Silence
    • What we find with mass communication research depends on the theoretical stance we take and the questions the theories suggest we pose.
    • Surveillance of the environment. , c-span.
    • Through correlation, how do we makes sense of different elements of society? How is it informational? How is it persuasive?
    • How culture transmitted from one generation to the next? What socializing values does the media carry?
    • How is it entertaining?
    1. Functional Analysis
    • Surveillance
    • How the media help us extend our senses to perceive more of the world surrounding us.
    • Correlation
    • The process of selecting, evaluating, and interpreting events to give structure to the news... (pg 57)
  • Agenda Setting
    • The media don’t tell the public what to think, but rather what to think about.
    • How does media sets the terms of public discourse? An example.
    • But can media determine what people will care about?
  • Uses and Gratifications
    • Assumes that audience members base media decisions on their wants and needs. Media competes to provide gratification.
    • What does media compete with?
    • What do audience members attempt to get out of their media use?
    • And do they receive it?
  • Uses and Gratifications
    • Possible gratifications
    • To be amused
    • To experience the beautiful
    • To have shared experiences with others
    • To find models to imitate
    • To believe in romantic love
  • Social Learning
    • Albert Bandura—We are able to learn by observing others and the consequences they face.
    • Assumes the media, by widening the information about the world we are exposed to plays an important role in social learning.
    • Example involving EBGs. We extract. We integrate to create rules. We put these rules to practice.
  • Social Learning
    • Steps of Social Learning
    • We extract key information from situations we observe.
    • We integrate these observations to create rules about how the world operates.
    • We put these rules into practice to regulate our own behavior and predict the behavior of others.
  • Symbolic Interactionism
    • The process by which individuals produce meaning through interaction based on socially agreed-upon symbols – semiotics.
    • “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”— W.I. Thomas
    • The media are the biggest source of shared meaning in the world.
  • Spiral of Silence
    • Based on the question, “Why are people unwilling to express what they perceive as a minority opinion?”
    • They will remain silent if they perceive themselves as being in a minority. Want to be part of a majority.
    • This tends to make minority opinions appear less prevalent than they are.
    • But some people like having contrary opinions; others speak out because they care.