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Mass Media & Society (II) Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer.

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Presentation on theme: "Mass Media & Society (II) Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mass Media & Society (II) Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer

2 Lecture Outline (Monday) Sociological Perspective on the Mass Media Examples discussed: –Medias Influence on Personal Behaviour –Medias Influence on National Identity and Social Cohesion (skipped due to lack of time) (Tuesday) Political Economy Perspective on the Mass Media Examples discussed: –News Coverage of the War in Iraq

3 Sociological Model: Media Structure vs. Audience Agency Media Message Collective Response AgencyAgency

4 Merchants of Cool (2001) Illustrates the dynamic social relationship between the media and teenagers, what they call the giant feedback loop. Key points: Entertainment media and teenagers caught in downward spiral of crass messages (coming from media) and crass behaviour (coming from teens).

5 Normative Theories of News Media Definition: Normative theory describes the way society should function, not the way it actually does function. 1.Free Press as Societys Watch Dog 2.Public Sphere and Undistorted Communication ( Jürgen Habermas) –Public sphere: A social system for communicating information and ideas among ordinary citizens, and transforming these ideas into public opinion. –Undistorted communication: Ideas are rationally debated and opinions formed independent of the discussants social power.


7 Global Media Oligopoly: How Concentrated Is It?

8 News Media are Dependent on Official Sources of Information Credible source Not a credible source

9 Modes of Influence (I): Agenda-Setting Power New media teach us not what to think, but what to think about! This is called agenda-setting. Occurs when news media focus on certain issues and avoid others. When the media frequently discuss issues increased public awareness of those issues but not uniform public opinion Classic study: McCombs & Shaw The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media. Public Opinion Quarterly 36(2):

10 Modes of Influence (II)Frames Modes of Influence (II): Frames Definition: Frames are basic cognitive structures inherent to all human thinking. They enable people to construct meaning out of complex events. –Classic text in sociology: Erving Goffman Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. News Media: the use of specific language and metaphors that give stories an implicit causal logic. This allows for certain interpretations of events but rules out others. –tax relief –war on terrorism

11 An Example of Media Research Kull, Ramsay, & Lewis Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War. Political Science Quarterly 118(4):

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