Cultural Studies - amartell by malj

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									Cultural Studies
of Stuart Hall
Cultural Studies vs. Media Studies
• Believes that mass media helps those in power to
  maintain dominance.
• Believes that media exploits the poor and
  powerless.
• Most of us are unaware of our idealogies and
  their impacts on our lives.
 ▫ Hall defines ideologies as the mental frameworks
   which different classes and social groups deploy to
   make sense of the way society works.
Hall’s View of Mass Com Research
• Research serves the myth of democratic
  pluralism
 ▫ Society is held together by common norms
    Equal opportunity
    Respect of diversity
    Individual rights
Marxist Influence
• Hall uses the term, hegemony to describe
  society’s dominance of “haves” over its “have-
  nots.”
• Hall doesn’t subscribe to strict economic
  determinism, but thinks that it’s an over-
  simplification.
• Believes that media hegemony is not a conscious
  plot.
Making Meaning Through Discourse


• Hall states the primary function of discourse is
  to make meaning.
  ▫ Words and other signs contain no instrinsic
    meaning.
  ▫ “Words don’t mean; people mean.”
• Hall’s question: Where do people get their
  meanings?
  ▫ They learn what signs mean through
    communication and culture.
(Griffin, 2012, p. 346-7)
Miss Representation
• http://www.oprah.com/own-doc-club/Miss-
  Representation-Trailer
• Barbie empowering girls commercial.
Post-9/11 Media
• Why do some people in other countries hate
  Americans?
 ▫ Interpretations of television, movies, and music as
   a way of life in America.
 ▫ Conversation of Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel
   on the night of 9/11.
• Criticism of Bush by media.
 ▫ Short-lived, followed by apologies.
 ▫ Bush asking Americans to go out and support the
   American economy with big ticket-item purchases.
Reality TV
• Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
 ▫ Luke Winslow, business communication professor
   at University of Texas.
 ▫ Morality lessons.
 ▫ Supports the “American Dream” myth.
• “… a primary goal of ideological scholarship is to
  bring comfort to the afflicted and afflict the
  comfortable by questioning taken-for-granted
  assumptions…” (Winslow, 2010, p. 286).
Critique
• Hall, a lead figure in cultural studies is criticized
  for his lack of attention to gender issues.
• Criticized for not offering solutions to problems
  that he identifies.
• Praised for bringing focus on power when
  studying meaning.
Uses and Gratifications
Elihu Katz
Use of Media
• The affect of media on people may depend on
  their purposes for using such media.
  ▫ People use media for different reasons.
• Uniform-effects model (aka hypodermic needle
  or silver bullet models).
  ▫ Everyone in an audience is affected by/interprets
    a message in the same way.
• Straight-line effect of media.
  ▫ Affect on behavior is predicted by media content
    and not backgrounds of individuals who view it.
Can People Accurately Report their
Media Use & Motivation?
• Data is collected by asking questions and
  recording answers.
• Can people accurately report their reasons for
  using media?
 ▫ Motivation
Typology of Uses & Gratifications
•   Passing time.
•   Companionship.
•   Escape.
•   Enjoyment.
•   Social interaction.
•   Relaxation.
•   Information.
•   Excitement.
Critique
• Criticism: Mainly descriptive rather than a
  predictive and explanative theory.
• Criticism: If people can’t accurately report their
  reasons for using media, then the theory isn’t
  testable.
• Future studies should focus on more testable
  predictions.
• Benefit: May increase reflective thought on your
  own media use.
  ▫ Possibly leading to choices that are more satisfying in
    the long run.
References
• Winslow, Luke (2010). “Comforting the
  Comfortable: Extreme Makeover Home
  Edition’s Idealogical Conquest,” Critical Studies
  in Media Communication, v27, p. 269).

								
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