Mass Media Culture And Society Pdf Writer

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We use all kinds of terms to talk about media. It will be useful to clarify them.

In cultural studies , media culture refers to the current Western capitalist society that emerged and developed from the 20th century, under the influence of mass media. The alternative term mass culture conveys the idea that such culture emerges spontaneously from the masses themselves, like popular art did before the 20th century. Another alternative term for media culture is "image culture.

Attribution CC BY. There is a great deal of information included in this text. However, there are also holes that need filling. Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less.

Resistance to Early Mass Media

Media Resistance pp Cite as. Media resistance was shaped by industrialization and urbanization, and the debates over mass society and mass culture. The chapter reviews resistance to early mass media: print and books, serial fiction, cinema, radio and comics, and show how these media were seen to undermine morality, culture, enlightenment, democracy, community and health.

The chapter discusses campaigns and protests against early mass media and shows that a common feature was a struggle for political and institutional control, prohibition or censorship. I want to smash the Vitascope.

The name of the thing is itself a horror. Its manifestations are worse cited from French and Petley , 8. Throughout history there have been many strong exclamations as to what people would like to do to media, although calls for destruction waned as mass media proliferated.

This chapter explores media resistance and scepticism in the early mass media era, showing how historical conditions from the beginning shaped both media and concerns about their negative impact. I begin with resistance to writing, print and books, before moving on to the mass media emerging in the wake of the industrial revolution: serial literature, cinema, radio and comics. Resistance is directed at both new and old media, but in this chapter, the emphasis is on resistance when the media were new.

New media are met with high expectations, but also with ambiguity, distrust and dystopic visions. I show how concerns for morality and culture were complemented with concerns for enlightenment, democracy and community, and how the media were often considered a threat to mental and physical health.

In addition to perspectives and arguments, the chapter discusses actors and actions; what were the methods proposed and employed to limit, curtail and restrict? Important sites of struggle in this early phase were the legal and political domains, but also schools, libraries, churches, public areas and homes.

Examples and cases are drawn from the UK, the US and Scandinavia, with scattered examples from elsewhere, but the purpose is not to do a stringent comparative analysis. Instead, the aim is to identify concerns and actions that became emblematic and representative in a Western context, and had impact across national and social boundaries. In the chapter, I am indebted to existing media and cultural histories, as well as historically informed discussions of media theory see, for example, Bastiansen and Dahl, ; Brantlinger ; Scannell , Ytreberg , Storey ; Fang In addition, the chapter draws on expressions of protest, criticism and scepticism in articles, books, political documents and other non-fiction material.

According to Plato, Socrates opposed the teaching of writing. He disliked that text was mute and did not engage in dialogue, and warned that the alphabet and writing would create forgetfulness since people would no longer depend on memory Plato around BC, see also Fang , From the beginning of philosophy, a key question has been how to live a virtuous life, and moral philosophy, as well as various religious denominations, has prescribed rules of good behaviour Solomon and Higgins ; Brantlinger Perhaps the strongest argument against new media has been that they have not supported this moral endeavour, but instead embody characteristics that threaten to undermine what is virtuous and valuable.

It is always risky to take a contemporary phenomenon and draw historical lines back to a time when conditions were entirely different. In this book, the emphasis is on media developing from the nineteenth century, and I make no claims to present a full history of media resistance. Particularly interesting are early reactions to writing, print and books.

The shift from oral to written culture in ancient history is the first of many shifts in media modes and functions. In the early modern period, the invention of printing as well as the arrival of paper in Europe prompted a new shift in communicative modes.

Printed material became important for trade, the rise in colloquial speech and the spread of dissenting ideas Barnouw , 3. But printed material also challenged the King and the Church, and undermined the religious monopoly on knowledge. Reactions were brutal: In the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church prohibited reading of heretical writings, offending books were consigned to public bonfires, and an Index was drawn up of prohibited books Fang , 46ff.

In the essay What is Enlightenment , Kant encouraged fellow citizens to trust their own reasoning, and believers in enlightenment and universal education held high hopes for the revolutionary technology of print. But as mass distribution of printed material flourished, concern intensified about popular taste in content, and new lines were drawn between art and non-art, and between acceptable and non-acceptable genres Newcomb , 8.

The immersion of readers in novel plots intensified concerns about copycat behaviour, a recurring theme in the history of media resistance. Would readers be able to distinguish between literary depictions and real life, or would they copy the behaviour of literary characters? The novel had a huge impact and gave rise to intense discussion on the ethical problem of suicide and whether it was morally responsible to depict suicide in print.

In the Leipzig city council responded to a petition from the theological faculty and made it an offence, punishable by fine, to sell copies of the novel, remaining in force to The debates over early print media illuminate the use of metaphors in media scepticism and resistance; there is a rich tradition of rhetorical expressions characterizing media and use of media negatively and many predate the mass media era.

Several are linked with disease; Krefting et al. In other words, the development of writing, reading and books was marked by enthusiasm, but also ambivalence, disillusionment and resistance.

Universal education systems greatly extended literacy, and inventions in production and distribution technologies — printing presses and railway networks — made printed material widely available. Shorter working days, lamps and electricity allowed reading for leisure. Media went from being organs published by and for the elite, to be directed at people in general. This was a great epoch of media resistance. Intellectuals and professionals had to come to terms with spectacular new forms of mass communication: based on not only the printed words but also electromagnetism, sound and images Marvin The first genuinely popular genre was serialized fiction, emerging first in newspapers from the Serial fiction was from the beginning considered an outright threat to culture: it was formulaic, with no literary merit, poor writing style, plot and characterization Bierbaum , Since characters were to survive through a drawn-out narrative, the stories depended heavily on stereotypes.

Popular fiction drew condemnations on moral grounds. The moral criticism continued to be based in the belief that literature should depict good behaviour and elevate individuals to a higher moral level Drotner , In popular fiction, heroes were often lawless, such as pirates and highwaymen. Female characters were active and strong-willed, and sometimes lawless too, and it was commonplace to warn that popular literature would teach young people criminal behaviour Sutter , The resistance against popular fiction also reflected concern for enlightenment and popular education.

Efforts to teach the population to read were motivated by a desire to advance learning and maturity, whereas serial fiction was seen to encourage passive reading, romantic fantasizing and escapism. If people wanted to read, they should read something useful: geography, history and statistics, argued Swedish editor C. First among those who resisted popular literature were the religious and literary establishments, with some support from the medical profession.

But also to the relatively newer professions of teachers and librarians, resistance became an integrated element of organizational and professional ideology. The metaphors used about popular literature were inspired by the problems of the day, metaphors alluding to disease, garbage and sanitation flourished. The first urban sewage systems date back to the same time as serialized fiction, around , and whereas uncontrolled sewage poisoned the body, literature was seen to poison the mind.

Cinema transcended class, ethnic, gender and national differences, and soon became a controversial medium on both sides of the Atlantic. Movies were seen to rapidly intensify the process of demoralization; it drew young and vulnerable people out of their homes, tempted them into dark spaces and served them content of low quality and despicable moral standard Grieveson , 13, see also; Pearson , 93; Drotner , ; Black , 9.

The dime novel cannot lead the boy further than his limited imagination will allow, but the motion picture forces upon his view things that are new, they give firsthand experience cited from Black , This is one of many statements where genres that were widely condemned, appear more respectable because new genres are seen to be worse.

Compared with popular fiction, the cinema was also seen to expose users to more serious health risks; risks of fire in unsafe buildings with inflammable nitrate films, concern that spitting in theatres would spread disease, unease over whether flickering lights would damage eyesight and induce epilepsy Pearson , 95; French and Petley , 7.

From around , state and industry censorship boards emerged locally and nationally. In the US, local censorship boards were formed from , and the industry allowed films to be censored to achieve respectability Thompson and Bordwell , In Europe, virtually every country established some form of censorship, in Norway from In the UK, an act of law from required local authorities to issue licences to safe cinemas, but soon authorities also interfered with content.

By the British Board of film Censors was established, becoming the accepted self-governance board from Robertson , 1. Books and print had been subject to censorship, and when cinema emerged in the early s, the police already had both in Europe and the US authority to withdraw licences from music halls, variety shows and other public spectacles if performers included offensive material Mathews ; Nymo , The campaigns to censor cinema were coalitions, with some types of professions and social activists involved across national borders.

Churches and clergy of different denominations organized protests and boycotts of films judged immoral by church authorities Black , 2. Churches were joined by social reform movements for juvenile protection, virtuous lifestyles and temperance. Middle class ideals presumed that women were virtuous and should act as moral guardians, and female reformers became a counterpart to masculine pursuits such as drinking alcohol and using prostitutes Grieveson , 27, But as radio became a mass medium, radio was subject to similar warnings and scepticism as other mass media, in particular concern that radio would undermine cultural standards, and be used as a tool to threaten democracy.

Radio was first used for ship-to-shore communication in the early s, but was soon embraced by enthusiastic amateurs Briggs ; Dahl ; Barnouw With the outbreak of World War I in , amateur activity was suspended, and the initiative passed to the armed forces Dahl ; Hilmes ; Briggs But whose hands were right? After the war, controversy erupted in many countries over how radio should be controlled, involving state actors as well as social and cultural movements, manufacturers and advertisers, and educational institutions.

The different paths taken had important implications for the development of broadcasting, and also for the evolvement of media resistance.

In the US, radio proliferated with a multitude of operators, many of which were universities and educational establishments. In Europe, in contrast, private companies operating on a licence were replaced by state monopolies. In the US, where radio developed commercially, criticism erupted over moral standards. In a more profound way that other media, radio transcended boundaries of age, class, gender and geography, as well as between public and private spaces.

Yet, British radio was also criticized for undermining morality and culture. British literary critic F. In America it collects no fees from the public, and so has acquired the illusory form of disinterested, unbiased authority which suits Fascism admirably.

Barnouw Radio was seen as having great potential for good, but in the war-torn first half of the twentieth century, it was also seen as a potential means of destruction. The sale of comic books exploded in the late s and early s, during and in the direct aftermath of World War II.

While many of the comics were innocent enough, with themes familiar from popular culture, others broke new ground in terms of sex, violence and horror.

The resistance against comic books marks a shift to an era where traditional values confront a more liberal cultural climate Gilbert , 13— Comics were part of the wartime and post-war boom in popular culture, but the short distance to the atrocities of war also led to astonishment and disbelief as to the level of violence and brutality. Again, the content was argued to be more amoral, and generally worse, than that of previous media.

In addition to horror and violence; protest erupted over the portrayal of sexually active and powerful women, evil children, and what critics saw as role models for homosexuality in Batman and Robin and Wonderwoman Wertham ; first publ. Whenever I see a book like this in the hands of a little seven-year-old boy, his eyes glued to the printed page, I feel like a fool to have to prove that this kind of thing is not good mental nourishment for children!

What is wrong with the prevailing ethics of educators and psychologists that they have silently permitted this kind of thing year after year…? Many of these series — and this is serious — undermines respect for human dignity. They often degrade women.

Cultural studies

Cultural studies is a field of theoretically, politically, and empirically engaged cultural analysis that concentrates upon the political dynamics of contemporary culture, its historical foundations, defining traits, conflicts, and contingencies. Cultural studies researchers generally investigate how cultural practices relate to wider systems of power associated with or operating through social phenomena, such as ideology , class structures , national formations , ethnicity , sexual orientation , gender , and generation. Cultural studies views cultures not as fixed, bounded, stable, and discrete entities, but rather as constantly interacting and changing sets of practices and processes. Although distinct from the discipline of cultural anthropology and the interdisciplinary field of ethnic studies , cultural studies draws upon and has contributed to each of these fields. Cultural studies was initially developed by British Marxist academics in the late s, s, and s, and has been subsequently taken up and transformed by scholars from many different disciplines around the world. Cultural studies is avowedly and even radically interdisciplinary and can sometimes be seen as antidisciplinary. A key concern for cultural studies practitioners is the examination of the forces within and through which socially organized people conduct and participate in the construction of their everyday lives.

In the second part of their analysis of the role of mass media in child abuse prevention, the authors discuss the benefits of mass media programs as a tool to advocate for children's rights and more specifically, to promote awareness of, and to prevent, child abuse. The authors emphasise that campaign strategies may only be successful to the degree that they are backed by community education and direct support programs. Information gained from evaluations is highlighted, and recommendations for future media campaigns and initiatives are made. Increasingly, responsibility for children is not entrusted solely to parents or guardians but to whole communities Cohen, Ooms and Hutchins ; Korbin and Coulton Strategies that aim to optimise the experiences of children and young people, and to prevent child abuse and neglect, are therefore required to ascertain, and perhaps confront, commonly held community attitudes and responses to all children and young people, and to increase community awareness of issues that may affect children and young people. According to the National Child Protection Council undated: 9, cited in Hawkins, McDonald, Davison and Coy : 'Prevention of abuse involves changing those individual and community attitudes, beliefs and circumstances which allow the abuse to occur. The media play a significant role in forming and influencing people's attitudes and behaviour.

The role of mass media in facilitating community education and child abuse prevention strategies

Media Resistance pp Cite as. Media resistance was shaped by industrialization and urbanization, and the debates over mass society and mass culture. The chapter reviews resistance to early mass media: print and books, serial fiction, cinema, radio and comics, and show how these media were seen to undermine morality, culture, enlightenment, democracy, community and health.

Media culture

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Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication

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