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02 research traditions

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  • Dominant, according to McQuail – quantitative, functionalist
  • Bird “ Yes, media messages do insidious things to people, but not of course to me.” (Bird 2003: 1) – common sense view (c.f. McQuail) (Chapter 1). Discussion: - At beginning of media dep exercise, most are blasé followed by intense surprises and dependence Hard to anticipate effects because: - media in everyday life goes unnoticed Loss of valuable shared experiences – THE RELATIONAL CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT (e.g. mother and child watching a programme together which then informs their conversations) Bird talks about a doctoral student studying sexual abuse in the military and one of this student’s findings: women use media references (e.g. soap operas, news, talk shows, films etc.) to interpret and express their experiences. The point being this researcher was not looking at media or audiences yet could not ignore the media in her research Fear of isolation (e.g. 45 minute commute without radio), putting social lives on hold (e.g. movies, music), loss of information (e.g. no news) Gain of valuable individual experiences Experience media in “non-predictable and non-uniform ways” (Bird: 2) – different media mean different things for different people in different ways - kaleidoscopic Diversity of relations with media – dependency, fandom, other? How to make sense of the media landscape? Functionalist view? Do the media serve a purpose in your life? What purpose? Discussion from 2010 class: Very difficult / context is important Poses challenge Less distracted / could focus on surroundings / better – enjoy moment more Sense of time is different Social interactions are different Gets easier HABITUAL USE Emphasizes face to face interactions Emotional Manual – not intellectual mediated Read more PANIC / isolation / cut off
  • McQuail – dominant and critical par·a·digm  (p r -d m , -d m ) n. 1. One that serves as a pattern or model. 2. A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories: the paradigm of an irregular verb. 3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline. Meyrowitz – narratives – power, pleasure and patterns The underlying story about what media do to us or for us.
  • concerns: Cultural (e.g. globalization, content, flow, cultural life, expression, values, identity) Social (e.g. mediation of social experience, links to deviance, social dis/order, inequality, hegemony, power, dominance) Political (e.g. government, state, national, elections, campaigns, citizens, democracy, war, terrorism, foreign policy, influence, power, resistance) Economic (e.g. degree of concentration, commercialization, dependency, wealth, power, inequality, elite) Psychological (e.g. behaviors, perception, uses and gratifications, values, ideals) (McQuail 2010: 9-10)
  • Employs a transmission model of mass communications, “sees media as exercising power on behalf of other powerful institutions. Media organizations, in this view, ar likely to be owned or controlled by a small number of powerful interests and to be similar in type and purpose” (2010: 87). Coincides with industrialization and turn of the century Based on stimulus response model - short term, observable responses
  • Draws from feminism, anti-war, liberation movements aiming to deconstruct power established structures From wikipedia: The Frankfurt School (German: Frankfurter Schule) refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory,[1] particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main. The school initially consisted of dissident Marxists who believed that some of Marx's followers had come to parrot a narrow selection of Marx's ideas, usually in defense of orthodox Communist parties. Meanwhile, many of these theorists experienced that traditional Marxist theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development.[2] Although sometimes only loosely affiliated, Frankfurt School theorists spoke with a common paradigm in mind, thus sharing the same assumptions and being preoccupied with similar questions.[3] In order to fill in the perceived omissions of traditional Marxism, they sought to draw answers from other schools of thought, hence using the insights of antipositivist sociology, psychoanalysis, existential philosophy, and other disciplines.[1] The school's main figures sought to learn from and synthesize the works of such varied thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Weber and Lukács.[4] Following Marx, they were concerned by the conditions which allowed for social change and the establishment of rational institutions.[5] Their emphasis on the "critical" component of theory was derived significantly from their attempt to overcome the limits of positivism, materialism and determinism by returning to Kant's critical philosophy and its successors in German idealism, principally Hegel's philosophy, with its emphasis on dialectic and contradiction as inherent properties of reality. Since the 1960s, Frankfurt School critical theory has increasingly been guided by Jürgen Habermas' work on communicative reason,[6][7] linguistic intersubjectivity and what Habermas calls "the philosophical discourse of modernity".[8] More recently, critical theorists such as Nikolas Kompridis have voiced opposition to Habermas, claiming that he has undermined the aspirations for social change which originally gave purpose to critical theory's various projects—for example the problem of what reason should mean, the analysis and enlargement of "conditions of possibility" for social emancipation, and the critique of modern capitalism.[9]
  • http://gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/fs.htm
  • Cultural: anthropology, linguistics, cultural studies - “mass media are main channel of cultural representation and expression” Social: sociology - “strongly patterned by the routines of media use and infused by its contents” – leisure time, lifestyle, topics of discussion, models of behaviour Political: political science, government, policy - “mass media provide an arena of debate and a set of channels for making policies, candidates, relevant facts” = publicity, influence, knowledge, framing Economic: economics - economic power of media growing in scope and scale
  • Language = allows thought processes – children learn language that is spoken around them

Transcript

  • 1. Research traditions Wk 2: Introduction to Mass Communications Regent’s College, London Dr Zoetanya Sujon Email: sujonz@regents.ac.uk Office hours: Wednesdays 12:00 – 13:00, DB12
  • 2. Overview
    • Making sense of media use
      • What can we learn from media deprivation exercise?
      • Research traditions and key paradigms
        • Dominant paradigms
        • Critical paradigms
          • Power, pleasure and pattern (Meyrowitz 2008)
          • Qualitative and quantitative research
    • Conclusion
    • Homework
  • 3. Media deprivation
    • This week’s required reading: McQuail, chapter 3
    • Media deprivation exercise
      • Class discussion:
        • Share with the class a summary of your experience (100 words or less)
        • Note any common or distinct experiences.
        • Does this exercise help make sense of the media landscape? How?
    • Blackboard and course blog
      • http://sujonz.wordpress.com/
      • http://sujonz.wordpress.com/wp-admin
  • 4. Approaching media research
    • Research traditions are contingent and fragmented, based on:
        • Discipline
        • Focus
        • Politics and perspective
        • Methods
    • Research “paradigms” and “narratives”
      • McQuail = dominant and critical paradigms
      • Meyrowitz = power, pleasure and pattern
  • 5. Livingstone, media theories and concepts (2008)
  • 6. Dominant paradigm
    • Mass culture, mass media, dominant ideologies
    • Undifferentiated audiences / views
    • Strong media effects and reinforcement of existing political order
    • Functionalist and behavioural frame
    • Focus on linear media effects
    • Mostly quantitative research methods
    SOURCE MESSAGE TRANSMISSION RECEPTION
  • 7. Critical paradigms
    • Problematize linear or transmission model
    • Critical view of power
    • View meaning as “constructed” and contextual
      • Focus on interpretative
      • Media as “meaning-giving” and making (McQuail 2010: 69)
    • Draw from qualitative research methods
    • Based in “Frankfurt school”
  • 8. Research traditions Wk 2.1: Introduction to Mass Communications Regent’s College, London Dr Zoetanya Sujon Email: sujonz@regents.ac.uk Office hours: Wednesdays 12:00 – 13:00, DB12
  • 9. Overview
    • Last class
      • Media deprivation exercise
      • Media research history
        • Dominant and critical paradigms (McQuail)
    • This class
      • Media profiles
      • Critical paradigm background (Frankfurt school)
        • Purpose and politics
      • Research “narratives” (Meyrowitz)
        • Power, pleasure and patterns
  • 10. Homework II: Media profiles
    • Keep track of your daily media use:
      • What do you watch / read / surf / listen to
      • When do you use media
      • Make note of your surroundings and reflect upon the role of media in your daily life.
      • Keep point form notes
    • In groups, find similarities and differences in your media use.
    • What does your group’s media profile say about your media landscape?
  • 11. Media profiles in US and UK
    • UK (Ofcom Communication Market 2010)
      • http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/753567/UK-context.pdf
      • Figure 1.21, pg. 26 (36)
    • Pew Research Centre, ‘ Generations 2010’
      • http://pewinternet.org/Infographics/2010/Generations-2010-Summary.aspx
  • 12. The Frankfurt School
    • Critical social theory = on mass culture and communication in social reproduction and domination.
      • Late 1920s and early 1930s
      • Based on Marxist theory of capitalism, inequality and class struggle
      • German and American theorists working at the Institut fur Sozialforschung in Frankfurt, Germany
        • E.g. Max Horkheimer, T.W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, and Erich Fromm
      • Analyzes the processes:
        • of cultural production and political economy
        • the politics of cultural texts,
        • audience reception and use of cultural artifacts (Kellner 1989 and 1995).
  • 13. Theory trading cards, by David Guantlett at http://www.theorycards.org.uk/main.htm
  • 14. Purpose and politics
    • Applied or “administrative” research:
      • Often “carried out in the service of some kind of administrative agency of public or private character”
      • Historically follows “dominant paradigm in media research
      • Predominantly questions of what, where and how much
    • Critical research:
      • Often involves that “the general role of our media of communication in the present social system should be studied” (Lazarsfeld, 1941)
      • Also includes questions of why and how
  • 15. Multi-disciplinary
    • Cross cutting and intersectional issues and/or concerns:
      • Cultural (e.g. globalization, content, flow, cultural life, expression, values, identity)
      • Social (e.g. mediation of social experience, links to deviance, social dis/order, inequality, hegemony, power, dominance)
      • Political (e.g. government, state, national, elections, campaigns, citizens, democracy, war, terrorism, foreign policy, influence, power, resistance)
      • Economic (e.g. degree of concentration, commercialization, dependency, wealth, power, inequality, elite)
      • Psychological (e.g. behaviors, perception, uses and gratifications, values, ideals)
      • (McQuail 2010: 9-10)
  • 16. Power and resistance narratives
    • Critical and cultural studies
    • Media viewed as sites of struggle
      • Social, economic, symbolic and political resources
      • Involves raising questions of power
      • Ideology, hegemony, ruling ideas
    • Conflict = basic feature of human relations = inequalities
    • Critical tradition (e.g. political economy, critical news and/or journalism studies, cultural studies, audience, reception studies, everyday life)
  • 17. Purpose and pleasure narratives
    • Based on “uses and gratification” theory
    • Focuses on individuals
    • People regarded as “rational agents”
    • Media = tools for meeting individual and collective needs and desires
      • Audiences are active choosers
      • Media systems aim to please audiences
    • Emerged in 1970s and draws from
      • Motivational and behavioural psychology (e.g. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)
      • Focuses on functions and dysfunctions of media
  • 18. Structures and patterns narrative
    • Based on medium theory and media ecology
      • People are environmentally and contextually situated
      • “ Fosters some interactional possibilities and discourages others” (Meyrowitz 2008: 642).
      • Media are material and technological extensions = alter some human senses
    • Communication systems are part of material and symbolic environments
      • Oral culture different from print culture
  • 19.  
  • 20. Conclusion: Applying research traditions
    • Tensions between:
      • Structure and agency
      • Power and process
      • Functions and forms
      • Disciplinary boundaries and multi-disciplinarity
    • Research traditions:
      • Paradigms: Dominant vs. critical
      • Narratives: power, pleasure, patterns
      • Purpose and politics
    • Research approaches are contingent
    • Where do you stand and what do you think?
  • 21. Assignment 1: Media diary
    • Due: Monday February 7 th
    • Word length: 500 words
    • Worth: 10% of final grade
    • Focus on your relationship with ONE kind of media. For example, you might focus on content like a TV programme or a film; or choose to focus on a media technology like your mobile phone or computer. Discuss your daily routine with this kind of media and what this means for you.
    • You must use two academic sources and make at least two citations in your assignment.
  • 22. References
    • Online sources
    • Books and book chapters
    • Journal articles
    • http:// libguides.library.uwa.edu.au/content.php?pid =43218&sid=381001#1145857