Brief history of media studies

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Matthew Giobbi presents a brief overview of media studies history.

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Brief history of media studies

  1. 1. Media Studies Timeline Dr. Matthew Giobbi
  2. 2. OVERVIEW • 1940s: Functionalism • 1960s: Effects Studies • Cultivation Theory • 1960s: Marxist & Psychoanalytic Critical Theory • 1970s: Uses & Gratifications Theory • 1970s: Media Ecology
  3. 3. 1940s: Functionalist Approach • Paul Lazarsfeld & Bureau of Applied Social Research BASR at Columbia University. • Mass Media: 1. Increases status for selected issues & organizations. 2. Increases the idea of “normal” by spectacle of the oddity. 3. Decreases public action while increasing consumption. 4. Propagates social issues by Monopolization, Canalization, & Supplementation.
  4. 4. Functionalist Approach • Lazarsfeld’s famous study The Peoples Choice (1944). • Does the media influence the American voter? • Observed a sample for 6 months & found that media reinforced a preexisting political view in 95% of subjects. • Only 5% of subjects were “converted” by media messages.
  5. 5. 1960s: Media Effects Approach • “Mass” replaced by social groups. • Two step flow model: Audience leaders & audience followers. • Audience is capable of accepting or rejecting media messages. • Mass media reinforced existing public opinion through leaders & opinion formers.
  6. 6. 1960s: Media Effects • Effects of violent media • Mass media lowered cultural standards • Frist TV study in UK: Himmelweit looked at 1,854 UK viewers & nonviewers of TV. • TV influenced only in areas where no previous position was formed & was most effective when dramatic.
  7. 7. 1960s: Cultivation Theory • George Gerbner began Cultural Indicators research within Media Effects studies. • TV has long-term effects which are small & gradually accumulate into significance. • Gerbner analyzed 450 NJ school children. Heavy TV viewers saw the world as a more dangerous place.
  8. 8. 1970s: Uses & Gratifications Theory • Elihu Katz advocated a more active role by the audience. NEEDS OF PERSON ARE FULFILLED BY MEDIA. • The viewer uses the media in a self- confirmatory way. • Media is used for: diversion, personal relationship, identity, surveillance (information) (Denis McQuail).
  9. 9. 1960s: Critical Theory • Frankfurt School (1923) Institute for Social Research. • Psychoanalysis & Marxism • The Culture Industry • People “dumbed down” by mass media so that elite can control “democracy”.
  10. 10. 1960s: Marshall McLuhan • “The medium is the message.” • The medium shapes the mind. • Oral, Print, Sound, electronic… • Global village: technologies will converge bringing people closer together.
  11. 11. 1960s: Semiology, Structuralism, & Deconstruction • Ferdinand de Saussure • C.S. Peirce • Roland Barthes • Michel Foucault • Jacques Derrida • Jean Baudrillard
  12. 12. 1970s: Media Ecology • Neil Postman

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