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  1. 2. Media and our brains <ul><li>http://www.onthemedia.org/2009/apr/03/the-net-effect/ </li></ul>
  2. 3. Understanding Mass Comm theory <ul><li>There is no ONE mass communication theory </li></ul><ul><li>Mass communication theories are often borrowed from other fields of science </li></ul><ul><li>Mass communication theories are human constructions </li></ul><ul><li>Mass communication theories are dynamic </li></ul>
  3. 4. Changes <ul><li>Mass communication theories are dynamic and can change, are open to evolving ideas for the following three reasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Advances in technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.Calls for control or regulation (of new technologies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Democracy and cultural pluralism (protection of) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Mean World <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ8iE8bvLVg&NR=1 </li></ul>
  5. 6. Effects Debate – Limited Effects (circa 1938 – War of the Worlds) <ul><li>1. This theory concluded that content has limited impact on audiences because it’s only make-believe; people know it isn’t real. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you believe that? </li></ul>
  6. 7. Counterarguments to 1 <ul><li>News is not make-believe </li></ul><ul><li>Most film and tv drama are produced to seem real (use documentary style techniques) </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary TV = REALITY tv </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising is SUPPOSED to tell the truth </li></ul><ul><li>Children ( EARLY EFFECT WINDOW ) experience what they think is REAL through TV – they perceive it as real </li></ul><ul><li>To enjoy what we consume we “willingly suspend disbelief” and accept as real what is put before us </li></ul>
  7. 8. Limited Effects - 2 <ul><li>2. Media content has limited impact on audiences because it is only play or just entertainment. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Counterargument - 2 <ul><li>News is NOT play or entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Even if media content is only play – “play” is very important to human development, it is often how we learn about ourselves and our world. Why should it be less influential if it is online or at the movies? (vs. in the classroom?) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Limited Effects - 3 <ul><li>If media have any effects at all, they are not the media’s fault; media simply hold a mirror to society and reflect the status quo, showing us and our world as they already are. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Counterargument – 3 <ul><li>Media might hold a mirror, but it is a very selective mirror. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think what you see on TV is representative of the world you live in? </li></ul>
  11. 12. Limited Effects - 4 <ul><li>4. If media have any effect at all, it is only to reinforce preexisting values and beliefs. Family, church, school, and other socializing agents have much more influence. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Counterargument - 4 <ul><li>Traditional socializing agents have lost much of their power in the fast-paced world of now. </li></ul><ul><li>“ reinforcement” is not the same as having NO effects. If the good can be reinforced, can’t the bad be reinforced just as easily? </li></ul>
  13. 14. Limited Effects - 5 <ul><li>5. If media have any effects at all, they are only on the unimportant things in our lives, such as fads and fashions. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Counterargument - 5 <ul><li>Fads and fashions are not unimportant to us these things define us. </li></ul><ul><li>If media influence only the unimportant things in our lives, why are billions of dollars spent on media efforts to sway voter opinions? </li></ul>
  15. 16. Other theories <ul><li>Mass Society theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media are a corrupting influence undermining social order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypodermic needle theory/magic bullet theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media are a dangerous drug or a killing force that directly and immediately penetrates a person’s system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also insinuated that only worked on those of “average” intelligence. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Cultural Theory <ul><li>60s – could no longer ignore the STRONG and powerful impact of mass comm on culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Mean World Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>http://meanworldsyndrome.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msfu8YCCc8Q&feature=related </li></ul>
  17. 18. Other theories <ul><li>Agenda Setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This concept began to edge out the limited effects theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Argues that media may not tell us what to think but certainly tell us what to think ABOUT. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing now with the internet? No more gatekeepers </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Other theories <ul><li>Dependency Theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just as it is called..media is such a powerful influence because of our dependence on it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodbye limited effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Due to complex changes in society people became increasingly dependent on media and media content to understand what was going on around them. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Cultural Theory <ul><li>Many names and sub-theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basically saying media has POWERFUL effects, rather than limited. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Uses and Gratifications <ul><li>This theory looks at the ways media consumers CHOOSE media to meet their needs </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes consumers actively choose what they want to watch/listen/consume </li></ul><ul><li>In research, this theory asks questions about WHAT do consumers do with media? </li></ul>
  21. 22. Social Construction of Reality <ul><li>People who share a culture have an “ongoing correspondence” of meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Things generally mean the same to me as they do to you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Stop Sign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Social Construction of Reality….a car is a symbol of mobility, yes, but a Mercedes Benz is a sign of wealth or success. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Third Person Effect <ul><li>Interesting! </li></ul><ul><li>This theory predicts that people tend to think that media affect OTHERS more than it does themselves </li></ul><ul><li>We tend to see others as more vulnerable to persuasion than ourselves </li></ul><ul><li>“ That video game makes HIM violent but it doesn’t do that to me…” </li></ul>