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Flashcards in SOC313: 3. Medium Is the Message Deck (82)
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Socialization

Lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs, values and ideologies.

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Socialization

Doesn't need majority or active support
Social control practices won't work if most people are opposed to it
Public attitudes - values, beliefs play a role in social control practices
We've acquired them in our life

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Socialization

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Agents of Socialisation

1. Family
2. Peers
3. Education
4. Religion
5. Media

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Agents of Socialisation

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Agents of Socialisation

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Media and Social Control

1. The MEDIA plays a role in influencing the creation of LAW.
2. The MEDIA plays a role in reinforcing currently existing LAWS.

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Media and Social Control

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Media and Social Control

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Media and Social Control

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Video Nasties

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Video Nasties

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Video Nasties

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Video Nasties

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What Happens Next

Go Video write an anonymous letter to Mary Whitehouse of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association
Mary Whitehouse starts a campaign
UK press learns about the films

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What Happens Next

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What Happens Next

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What Happens Next

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The Effects

Encourages youth to watch the films
press blame crime wave on Video Nasties
MP Graham Bright introduces a private member’s bill in 1983 banning “Video Nasties”

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The Effects

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The Effects

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The Effects

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1984 Video Recording Act

“Long title- An Act to make provision for regulating the distribution of video recordings and for connected purposes”
Videos cannot be sold in the UK unless they receive a classification from the British Board of Film Classifications
Many videos were refused classification because of explicit content – fear they could get into children’s hands

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1984 Video Recording Act

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1984 Video Recording Act

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1984 Video Recording Act

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1984 Video Recording Act

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1984 Video Recording Act

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Moral Panic (Stanley Cohen 1972)

"...[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests"

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Moral Panic (Stanley Cohen 1972)

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Moral Panic (Stanley Cohen 1972)

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Moral Panic (Stanley Cohen 1972)

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Moral Panic (Stanley Cohen 1972)

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Exaggeration and Distortion

Exaggerating grossly the seriousness of events
How? : Through sensational headlines, melodramatic vocabulary, deliberate heightening of elements in a story considered to be newsworthy

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Exaggeration and Distortion

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Exaggeration and Distortion

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Exaggeration and Distortion

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Exaggeration and Distortion

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

Same sex MALE ACTIVITY is illegal and punishable by 10 years imprisonment which involves hard labour.
Jamaica has one of the harshest anti-gay laws found world wide. In Jamaica, unlike here in Canada, same sex activity (not just same sex marriage) is illegal and punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment involving hard labour. It is also a country that experiences high rates of violent assault against (and murder of) those believed to be gay.

Now, two caveats. Firstly, in reality, the likelihood of being sent to prison for the full 10 years for same sex activity is very low, this is a punishment that is rarely meted out these days. However, to be sure, people in Jamaica still do get arrested and charged if they have allegedly engaged in homosexual behaviuor. And if nothing else, they will be subjected to police questioning/interrogation (or “quizzing”- the British term which is in use there).

Secondly, while the punishment might not be enforced, it still remains on the book which means that it could hypothetically still be applied.

Third, it is very significant that in Jamaica, MALE, gay sex activity is illegal, whereas FEMALE lesbian sexual activity is not. Why is this the case? We’ll discuss this soon.

Firstly, though, we’ll touch on the topic of media representations of crime. So, I’d like to provide two examples of media representations of same sex activity which both confirm its deviant and unlawful status on the island. The first is Buju Banton’s 1988 reggae hit “Boom Bye Bye”. This song promotes the murder of a gay man, and it sold a large number of records in Jamaica at the time. I warn that the content of the lyrics and song will be very disturbing, and you do not have to listen to it them you feel uncomfortable doing so. I post it, however, because I think its important, to encounter this material head on in order to understand how powerfully the mass media can frame crime and deviance.

Here is the link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWa7fzeX3xo

For a bit of clarification, in Jamaica patois parlance, “batty bwoy” is a derogatory term used to refer to someone who is gay.

While the law constructs this activity as illegal, it is clear that the music media perpetuate and reinforce values and beliefs that male homosexuality is evil, wrong. An important thing to understand is that the mass media (like movies and music) are consumed by a lot of people, of all ages, and so it has a very powerful influence over attitudes and beliefs, and how people come to represent things in their minds. Indeed, sociologists understand the media to be a primary agent of socialisation. So music such as this can very much socialise people into adopting homonegative attitudes, which are further reinforced by anti-gay legislation.

Note the reference to “God” in this music, this will be important as we unpack this further.

Quick point before moving on. Recall, the difference between denotative and connotative meaning. What’s so impressionable here is the fact that the homophobic messages operate on the level of denotation in this music, not connotative. The words are clear and explicit, the messages are unmistakably forthcoming: gay people are “nasty” and unnatural and should die.

Now please find below links to three clips from news coverage of an assault on a “gay individual” in Jamaica.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1XxeqOIBao;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3AyRwOqTp0;



Consider the ways in which these news reports socially construct both the violent protesters and the people believed to have been engaging in gay activity. Who gets more screen time? Whose story is getting told? How does the phrase “alleged homosexual” construct gay activities? In each of these clips, we have to pay attention to both the denotative and connotative meanings. On a denotative level, the story is a report on a mob of rowdy violent protesters threatening the life and safety of a group who identify as gay. Indeed, in its literal and descriptive form, it is reporting on a violent hate crime. However, on a connotative level, a different opposite message is being sent. Instead, it is a story about alleged gay activity. It is a story about a group of people who discovered that a group of gay men were engaging in “criminal activity”. Thus, on a denotative level, the crime is the assault and the offenders are the mobsters. But on a connotative level, in fact the gay men are criminals and the mobsters are bringing them to justice. While the police are there to protect and retain the gay men and to prevent them from being abused, it is clear that that they will also be carrying out investigations into these men’s activities as well (i.e. quizzing thm). The majority of time is spent providing the audience with evidence to support the claims of the violent protesters that the men were engaging in gay activity. A great deal of time is given to interviews of the violent mobsters- and they are allowed to share their grievances and opinions in detail. Once again, these news clips serve to reinforce social constructions of male sexual activity as deviant and criminal, but disturbingly, they go further by reconstructing an activity that, here in Canada, would be thought of as violent assault (a serious and unacceptable crime), into something that is more acceptable, understandable, and suitable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3AyRwOqTp0;

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Jamaica’s “Buggery” Law

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

Jamaica- same sex male activity illegal and punishable with 10 years hard labour (female same sex activity legal)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines- Same sex activity (male and female) illegal and punishable with a fine and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Trinidad and Tobago – same sex male activity illegal and punishable with a 25 year prison sentence

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

So what explains the highly negative reaction to homosexuality, and its criminalisation? Where should we look for answers? Poltiics, economics, culture, or religion?

Well, to begin, we should not just restrict our attention to Jamaica, as there are other countries in the West indies with similarly harsh anti-gay laws (see above). Notice that in Trinidad and Tobago one can get a sentence equilvalent to a life sentence here in Canada for most serious crimes like first degree murder.

Nor is it geographic proximity, as if you study the map of the Caribbean closely, Jamaica is closest to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Spanish speaking countries that legalised gay activity centuries ago.

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Sample Caribbean Anti-Gay Laws

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

Jamaican Maroons- African slaves brought over to Jamaica by the British
Worshipped multiple GODS- some of which were BISEXUAL.

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

Nor should we try to look at the culture and religious practices of those Africans who were first brought over to the island as slaves. See above. It seems that homosexuality was quite accepted and normalised in African religion and culture.

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

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Jamaican Culture and Religion

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

Saint Barthelemy
Martinique
Guadeloupe

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

And the fact that the Dominican and Cuba legalised gay activity tells us that we cannot expand our focus to the Caribbean as a whole either as there are many instances in which same sex activity was legalised hundreds of years ago. In fact, the evidence shows that while the English speaking Caribbean islands retained laws against gay sex, the French and Spanish speaking islands did not.

Aha….we have a clue. Perhaps we should be relating

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

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Caribbean Islands Where Same Sex Relations are Legal

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

The British had a long tradition of condemning SEX between MEN and/or MEN and ANIMALS

Criminalised in ENGLAND in the 17th century with LIFETIME IMPRISONMENT as the punishment

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

They believed that HEAT promoted SEXUAL PROMISCUITY such as SAME SEX ACTIVITY
Jamaican maroons over time were influenced by British attitudes

Sexual Offenses Act is passed in 1967 due to the Wolfenden report, Wolfenden reforms

But Jamaica becomes an independent country in 1962 - - counterfactual ?????

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

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British Attitudes toward Homosexuality

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

An agreement to stop producing reggae music with homophobic messages
Signed by artists including Beenie Man, Capleton, and Sizzla
Not signed by artists including Elephant Man, T.O.K., Bounty Killa and Vybs Kartel

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

"advocated the shooting of gay men, pouring acid on them and burning them alive."[21] A song by Elephant Man proclaims: "When you hear a lesbian getting raped/It's not our fault ... Two women in bed/That's two sodomites who should be dead."[

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

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Reggae Compassionate Act (2007)

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