The Media Flashcards Preview

Communication theory > The Media > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Media Deck (82):

Mention McQuails eight metaphors for the media and briefly explain

1) Windows: To see beyond surroundings
2) Interpreter: Help making sense of experiences
3)Platforms: Convey information
4) Interactive communication: Includes audience feedback
5) Signposts: Gives instructions and direction
6) Filter: Remove parts of experience, and focuses on others.
7) Mirror: Reflect ourselves
8) Barrier: Blocks the truth


How is the media approached from a macro perspective?

Mutual effect between media and society


How is the media approached from a micro perspective?

Interaction between media and audiences (groups/individuals)


What is the three main thematic areas within media theory?

1) Media content and structure
2) Society and culture
3) Audience and their use of media


How is behind the semiotic approach within the media?

Jean Baudrillard


Why is the semiotic tradition relevant for the study of the media?

- Content is important, but content is a product of signs.


What is the belief of Jean Baudrillard regarding symbols and reality?

Baudrillard believes that media have forced an increasing distance between symbols and the actual world of experience (reality)


What are media messages according to Baudrillard and what are the function of a media message?

Media messages are a blend of symbols organized spatially and chronologically to:
- create an impression
- transmit an idea
- Elicit a meaning in an audience


Briefly explain the four historical stages of the relation between signs and reality

1) The symbolic order: Simple representation

2) Counterfeits: Relation no longer quite as direct, but still possible to detect difference between semblance and reality

3) Production: No longer semblance or dissemblance; No comparison between sign and reality.

4) Simulation: Sign creates reality; We live in a hyperreality (copies of indefinite copies)


Explain the concept of 'commodity culture'

- We live in a simulated environment, which tells us what we want by forming our tastes, choices needs and preferences; Our needs are homogenized shaped by the use of signs in the media.
- Possession is more important than use.


Explain what the following sentence means:
"Our lives are full of gizmos that have no real use but that sit on shelves for us to possess and look at and make a life of pure symbolicity"

- Because objects are separated from their original natural state, they take on bizarre meanings for us meaning that possession has become more important than use.

- Any literal connection to signs themselves are now gone, everything has a symbolic value.
(Eating snacks to kill time, buying watch as an apparel)


Who is behind the classical medium theory?

Marshall McLuhan


What is McLuhan's general thesis?

Media impact both individuals as society apart from whatever content being transmitted.


Present Harold Lasswell's simple and often-quoted model of communication?

Who - says what - in which channel - to whom - with what effect?


What does it mean that 'media is extensions of the human mind?

Media taking over functions of the mind - Information management and storage, sight and sound, visual functions; So the human mind is now performed by the media.


Explain the differences between time-binding and space-binding media?

Time binding:
- Clay, stone, parchment
- Something unchanging, hard to move

Space binding:
- Paper
- Light, easy to transport


Explain the differences between: Oral, written and electronic media

Oral: Immediate (in the moment), keep information in mind.
Written: Separate from moment: possible to recast, edit, manipulate.
Electronomic media: Can be immediate, but cannot be tied to particular place, information can be stored (Global village)


Who is behind the idea of the second media age?

Mark Poster


Mention the three biggest differences between the first and the second media age

- Mass communication >


What is the two dominant views of the differences between the two media ages?

Social interaction and social integration


Explain the social interaction approach and put them in the context of both media ages

How close they come to the model of face-to-face interaction?
- First media age: Primary informal (transmission) which reduced the possibility of interaction.
- New media age: More interactive, creating a sense of personalized communication. BUT NOT 100% face-to-face, but brings us back to personal contact in ways old media could not have.


Explain the social integration approach and put them in the context of both media ages

How people use media as a way of creating community by rituals.
- First media age: Centralized sources produce situations and characters with which audiences can identify; Only little interaction.
- Second media age: Use as shared, habitual rituals, which takes on values larger than media use itself. Creates simulations of presence; High level of interaction with media.


Please elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of the new media

Flexibility of use >


Explain the media-equation theory

We treat media like people and interacting with media as if they were persons.


Who is behind the media ecology theory?

Marshall McLuhan


Briefly explain what media ecology theory is?

The study of how media and communication processes affect human perception, feeling, emotion and value.


What is the three main assumptions of media ecology theory?

1) Media infuse nearly every act and action
2) Media fix our perceptions and organize our experience
3) Media tie the world together (the global village)


Briefly explain the four eras of media history within the ecology theory

Tribal era: People spoke to one another (hearing)
Literate: Scribal world with written communication (seeing)
Print era: Very first 'time machine' - spreading information (seeing)
4: Electronic era: Different communities in different parts of the world remain connected - 'the global village'. (Seeing, hearing, touching)


Explain the concept of the global village

- The world is seen as one great, political, economic, social, cultural system.
- We should feel responsible for others.
- We should all be concerned with global events.


What is meant by: "The medium is the message" ?

Content might vary, but effect of medium will remain the same.


Explain McLuhan's two classifications of the the media

Hot media: High definition communication, low participation, little is left to the imagination, meaning is provided: E.g. watching a movie.

Cold media: Low definition communication, high participation, much is left to the imagination, audience is active in meaning-making process: E.g. Facebook.


Explain why Twitter is seen as a hot media whereas Facebook is classified as a cold media as both is types of social media?

The difference is based on the participation. On Facebook you are actively in the meaning-making process as you have to "like" and "friending" your friends before there is any meaning provided. In contrast to this, you will still receive messages and meanings on twitter without having to do something actively.


Is it always possible to classify a media by using McLuhan's two classifications?

No, for example multitasking allows you to use both types of medias. Also, it highly depends on the participation of the audience member; You can have a facebook profile without using it actively.


Explain Eric McLuhan's tetrad of media effects

Technology affects communication through new technology - impact of new technology affects society - changes in society cause further change in technology.


Who is behind the laws of media?

Eric McLuhan


Why did Eric McLuhan expand his father's theory?

Lack of scientific grounding, so he wanted to develop a way to look further into the effects of technology on society.


What is the laws of media?

A further expansion of media ecology theory with focus on the impact of technology on society.


Briefly explain the laws of media

Enhancement: What does the medium enhance/amplify?
Obsolescense: What does the medium make obsolete?
Retrieval: What does the medium restore from the past?
Reversal: What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to its limits?


Mention the two scholars following the thoughts of Marshall McLuhan and briefly explain their standpoints

1) Neil Postman: We live in a "technopoly" - Society dominated by technology.
2) Joshua Meyrowitz: social consequences - 'place' has been split apart by electronic media: Everything has been blurred by the media.


What has McLuhan's media ecology theory ben criticized for?

- Concepts too difficult to understand.
- Thereby making testability challenging.
- Failed to define his words carefully, and used too much exaggeration.


Whose research is the agenda setting theory based on?

Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw


Briefly explain what the media offers the audience and why agenda setting is necessary for us?

The real environment is too big, fleeting and complex to be handled, thereby it is necessary to have a simpler, reconstructed model, which the media offers.


Explain the two levels of agenda setting with an example

1) Selective (selecting important issues to be discussed): E.g. Bringing news concerning smoking.

2) Gate-keepers (determine the aspects (framing) of the issue that is viewed as important): E.g. Smoking is bad for society.


How does the agenda setting function?

A three-part process:
1) Media agenda: Priority of issues to be discussed
2) Public agenda: Media agenda affect/interact w. public
3) Public agenda interact/affect w. policy makers


Would you argue that the agenda setting function of linear or mutual causation?

Depends on the kind of news:
Informal (Tv2-syd) >


Mention two factors that the power of media depends

1) Media credibility
2) Conflicting evidence
3) Need for guidance
4) Shared media values


What is the name of the two Danish researchers, who found three kinds of agenda setting effects from their study of a danish election?

Karen Siune & Ole Borre


Explain the three kinds of agenda-setting effects based on Siune and Borre's study

1) Representational agenda (degree to which media reflects agenda): Public influencing media

2) Persistence agenda (public's ability to maintain same agenda): Media might have little effect.

3) Persuasion (classic agenda setting theory): Media influencing public


Who determines the media agenda?

Combination of inside (editor, manager, etc.) and outside sources (Influential individuals, sponsors, etc.)


What does the power of media in establishing a public agenda depend on?

It depends with their relation with power centres.


Please explain the four combinations of power relations between the media and the power source

1) HP(source) + HP(media): Exert great power
2) HP(source) + LP(media): HP(source) dominate
3) LP(source) + HP(media): Media responsible for agenda
4) LP(soruce) + LP(media): Agenda established by actual events.


Why is agenda setting relevant in an MMC-perspective?

When making campaigns, we are actually setting an agenda, which reflect the values of the company/brand. Important to consider, as it also is relevant for the target group we are aiming to affect.


Who is behind the media framing theory?

Todd Gitlin


What is framing?

Showing how to understand a given topic/issue: Putting things into a certain perspective, so our audience can interpret them as intended to.


What is frames?

Packages of message features (e.g. language choice) that help simplify and provide a perspective for understanding a subject.


Mention three tools which can be used to frame an ad?

Headline, colors, metaphors, audio-visual components, motives, composition of the ad.


Who is behind the theory of social action media studies?

Gerard Schoening and James Anderson


What is the idea behind the community-based approach?

The audience cannot be characterized as an amorphous mass, rather it consists of many highly differentiated communities with own values, ideas and interests.


Another popular way of approaching media is to think of the audience as consisting of numerous interpretive communities. Who is behind this idea and how does they come into being?

Stanley Fish. Develops around shared pattern of consumption: Shared understanding - shared outcome.


How does the interpretive community-based approach differ compared with the Schoening and Anderson's approach?

The interpretive community-based approach requires cultural interpretation: "Ethnography of mass communication" (James Lull)


Who has outlined three genres of interpretive communities?

Thomas Lindlof


Mention Lindlof's three genres of interpretive communities

Content (Shared interests in consumed content)
Interpretation (Similar way of understanding)
Social action (Shared set of behaviors)


What is the critical communication theories concerned with when it comes to mass media?

The media's potential for disseminating dominant ideologies and their potential for expressing alternative and oppositional ones.


Briefly explain McQuails five major branches of critical media theory

1) Classic marxism: Media is seen as an instrument of the dominant class - capitalists promote profit-making interests, and pressing other classes.

2) Political-economic media theory
Media ownership = society's ills: the information disseminated is controlled by what the market will bear.

3) Franfurt School: Sees media as a way to construct culture, and thereby media leads to domination of elite's ideology by media manipulation of images and symbols to benefit the interests of the dominant class.

4) Hegemonic theory: Domination of false ideology/way of thinking over true conditions.

5) Cultural studies: Relying on semiotics; How the content i being interpreted of both dominant and oppositional interpretations.


What is the difference between gender-depiction studies and gender reception studies?

Gender-depiction: The portrayal of genders.
Gender reception: Social and cultural factors influencing how media depictions is received and understood.


What does negotiation theories focus on?

How individuals negotiate the meaning of gender in the media by making choices of how they wish to orient to various aspect of media programming.


Mention three types of negotiation options concerning media depictions

1) Paying attention to particular gender stereotype
2) Ignoring those depictions
3) Enjoying depictions on ironic level
4) Using depictions to empower social action
5) Combination of above


Who states that decolonization is the way to disrupt with oppressive and hegemonic discourse?

bell hooks


Briefly explain hooks' critique of the media

Everyone contributes to continuation of oppression - if those who are oppressed themselves.


How can we disrupt domination according to hooks?

Decolonization: A process of breaking with the assumptions of the reality of the dominant culture.


Mention the two forms of decolonization

1) Critique; Challenge, confront, interrogate.
2) Intervene: Invention of non dominant cultures by living non dominantly.


Who is behind the study "Is social media killing our theories?"

Vilma Luoma-aho


What does Luoma-aho mean by "digital mass self communication networks"?

News control and production no longer goes to together; because of social media everyone now has the opportunity to utter own opinion to large mass audience.


How has the change in communication changed the theory of agenda setting?

The leading role of large media institutions is diminishing:
Not only "professionals" (journalists, broadcast, reporters) who brings the news, but also "unprofessionals" (people as us). This is as everybody can upload pictures, write a post on FB, etc. uttering their meaning, and thereby challenge the agenda of the media.


Luoma-aho mentions that blogging sometimes result in ethical dilemmas, why is that?

How can you write objectively of sources that support your existence? (E.g. sponsors)


What does Luoma-aho say about the new environment and the many theories of mass communication and what does she suggests for future research?

The theories are outdated and should thereby be reexamined. Future research should focus on developing the renewed versions of central theories of mass communication and map in theory what these trends will mean for individuals as organizations.


Mention at least three different genres/categories that all involve the possibility for social interaction based on the study of Luoma-aho

1) Content publishing and broadcasting (blogger, twitter, podcasts)
2) Discussion forums (
3) Content sharing and social bookmarking (Youtube)
4) Social networking sites (facebook, linkedin)
5) Joint production (wikipedia)
6) Virtual worlds (Habbo)
7) Attachment services (google maps)
8) Aggregation services (Google wave)


Whose research does the feminist standpoint theory rely on?

Nancy Hartsock and Julia Wood


What is feminism?

Ideology/movement focussing on women's social position and desirring to end oppression based on gender and sex


Feminist standpoint theory derives from standpoint theory; please elaborate on that

Standpoint theory: We have different standpoints because of the very different positions we occupy within society: "There can be no single vision concerning social life. Each social group perceives a partial view of society" (Friedrich Hegel); Can be used to analyze a variety of standpoints.

This theory was used for examining relations between women and men creating FST; Taking the standpoint of feminists.


Briefly explain the four key concepts of feminist standpoint theory

1) Voice: Vocabulary to express your own claim
2) Standpoint: An achieved position based on social location that lends an interpretative aspect to a person's life
3) Situational knowledges: What anyone knows is grounded in context and circumstances; learning from our own experiences.
4) Sexual division of labour; Allocation of work on the basis of sex.


The feminist standpoint theory is built on essentialism, what does that mean and why is that problematic?

Essentialism: Belief that all women are essentially the same, all men are essentially the same and the two differ from each other.
Problem: Generalizing women regardless of the differences within the category of women.