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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 Behavior –Medias Influence on National Identity and Social Cohesion (Tuesday) Political Economy Perspective on the Mass Media Examples discussed: –News Coverage of the Economy –News Coverage of the War in Iraq

3 Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson (Verso Press, 1983) The Rise of Nationalism Linked to French and American Revolutions (<250 years ago), although maybe earlier in England, Scotland. Nations operate as imagined communities, which are built from regional social structure. –Famous quote : After Italian Unification in 1861, Governor of Piedmont says, Weve made Italy, now we have to make Italians. –Print-vernaculars national identity

4 Mass Media and National Identity Printing Press (1447) Television (1930s) Internet Internet (1990s) Radio (1920s) Level of National Identity and Social Cohesion Global Media Global Media (1990s)

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

6 Types of Media Bias Framing bias: Using specific language and metaphors to exert influence over peoples perception of a situation. Frames allow for certain interpretations and rule out others. –tax relief –war on terrorism Omission or Selection bias: Omission or Selection bias: Covering certain topics, events, and stories but not others.

7 Case for Liberal Media Bias Primary argument: People working in the media are disproportionately liberal. This causes the media to reflect a liberal point of view.

8 Case for Conservative Media Bias Primary Argument: Media owned by a handful of enormous corporations, who ensure that the medias content supports their economic interests. –Media seeks profits not objectivity Reliance on advertising revenue –Media are enmeshed in corporate community Share common interests with other corps. Media reflect responsible capitalism point of view.


10 Global Media Monopoly: How Concentrated Is It?

11 Two Examples of Media Research Kull, Ramsay, & Lewis. 2004. Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War. Political Science Quarterly 118(4):569-98. Kollmeyer. 2004. Corporate Interests: How the News Media Portray the Economy. Social Problems 51(3):432-52.

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