Unit 2 Sociology of the Mass Media Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 2 Sociology of the Mass Media Deck (51)
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What is mass popular culture?

Culture that reaches many people in a society. Mass media sources such as TV, newspapers, movies and social networking sites all reach large numbers of people.


What is traditional/old media?

Mass media pre-digitalization e.g. newspapers, magazines, theatre, books.


What is new media?

Mass media since digitalization that can be accessed through the internet. Social networking sites, satellite TV, websites, apps.


What is the difference between broadsheets and tabloid newspapers?

Quality broadsheets focus on politics and current affairs, international news e.g. The Times, Telegraph. While mass-market tabloids focus on celebrity, entertainment and sport e.g. The Sun.


What is interactivity?

Interactivity is the way the audience can take part in the mass media today e.g. by voting on talent shows, sending tweets or messages to discussions on TV shows, rating and reviewing films on websites. This can be used as evidence for the audience as active, not passive.


What is convergence?

The way the mass media has 'come together' - different media can be accessed on the same device e.g. get news, radio, TV etc. all on an iPhone.


What is digitalization?

Use of digital technology to allow the spread of mass media nationally and internationally. The internet has been a major element of this, free to access but not available for all in society.


Why is internet access important for social equality? 3 reasons.

1. For young people to complete h/w and access revision resources and help (e.g. Brainscape).
2. For people to find jobs - many now advertised online and help and advice across many websites.
3. For people to get involved in society e.g. through social networking sites.


What does the hypodermic syringe approach say about the relationship between the mass media and the audience?

The audience passively accepts the message ‘injected’ into them by the mass media. This model believes that there is a DIRECT link between the violent behaviour shown on TV, computer games etc and anti-social and criminal behaviour in real life. Violent crimes are often explained in this way e.g. the James Bulger case and the film Child’s Play 3’


What does the uses and gratifications approach say about the relationship between the mass media and the audience?

The audience is NOT passive because:
1. Audiences can choose what to watch and what not to e.g. TV reality shows.
2. Audiences use the media for their own purposes e.g. McQuail identified uses such as entertainment and finding information.
3. Audiences are not effected by the media.


What does the decoding approach say about the relationship between the mass media and the audience?

The content of the media can be decoded in many ways by different people. E.g. a worker involved in strike action will decode news bulletins about the strike differently from senior managers. The decoding approach sees the audience as ACTIVELY interpreting messages depending on who they are.


What is semiology?

Semiology is a method of media analysis. It analyses the signs in the media and considers how they get across messages/meaning e.g. Stan Cohen's study of how youths were presented in the press in the 1960's.


What is content analysis?

Content analysis involves researchers analysing qualitative material (e.g. magazines, TV, films) by quantifying it. Researchers do this by sorting out categories, then going through this material and systematically recording the number times each category appears.


What are the issues with sociological analysis of the mass media such as semiology and content analysis?

Researchers can be biased themselves which affects validity. This can impact on how they view what they see in media - 2 researchers will see different things and reach different conclusions.


What is hyppereality?

As consumers we can become so flooded by media that the distinction between the words/images and reality becomes blurred. We create own set of norms and values from global info around us - lifestyles chosen by selecting from the media, rather than being influenced by peers or family e.g. Friends TV show showing friendship households.


How does the mass media act as an agent of socialization?

The mass media acts as an agent of socialization from as young as 3 when children start watching TV
One example of positive socialization is how children's TV teaches equality and diversity as normal.
One controversial example of socialization is the way that the media only presents skinny models.
The media has greatest impact on teenagers because this is when the search for identity is strongest e.g. internet sites that provide help and support for transgender teens.


What do Gauntlett and Gunter say about the impact of the mass media on gender identity?

Gauntlett (2008) pointed out that Iceland was still using the slogan “That’s why mums go to Iceland” in TV adverts suggesting that shopping is part of the women's role reinforcing gender stereotypes of housewife/mother.
Gunter says the effect can be more gradual and subtle but builds up over time e.g. repeated adverts showing women washing up.


What is political socialization?

How the agents of socialization help us form our views and opinions about politics e.g. our parents share their views which then influence us as they are role models.


How can the mass media impact on political socialization? 3 ways.

1. Negative stories about politicians can lead to people being disillusioned with politics
2. The increase in websites and social networking can lead to Involvement in political activities.
3. Information about political parties and their views e.g. through party political broadcasts can help people decide which way to vote


What is a spin doctor?

Someone who works for political parties with the aim of creating a positive image which can involve manipulating/spinning the media by putting a positive view on a potentially unpopular or controversial news item or making more of favourable headlines (or ones damaging to other parties) in newspapers, or sound bites on TV/ radio.


Which newspaper claimed to help the Conservative Party to win the 1992 election and how did they do this?

The Sun with damaging headlines about the Labour party run by Neil Kinnock to manipulate people into believing the UK would be in ruins if Labour won.


What is the Conflict Approach?

Owners of newspapers e.g. Rupert Murdoch are powerful and rich, and control the output of the media to put across their own personal views and interests. Rupert Murdoch is accused of controlling the media getting rid of people and papers who do not agree with him e.g. fired editor of Sunday Times and sold a newspaper in China.


How is the Conflict Approach linked to Marxism?

The Conflict approach says the owners/bourgeoisie are controlling the rest of society and keeping the working-class/proletariat down by only allowing their views and interests to be included, and making the underclass in society look bad.


What is Pluralist Approach to press ownership and content?

‘Plurality’ means many and in this case a range of views in society. All of these are reflected in the media, no one view dominates - freedom of press. Newspapers like The Sun focuses on celebrity and entertainment stories or their readers would stop buying.


How is the Pluralist Approach linked to Functionalism and Uses and Gratifications?

The Pluralist approach says the media plays the role/function of providing information and entertainment etc. for everyone in society.


What is 'agenda setting'?

The media deciding which subjects are appropriate for the news or for discussion e.g. by putting across the media on news apps, newspapers and discussion on TV and radio programmes.


Who are 'gatekeepers'?

A label for the editors and creators of media (e.g. journalists), as they are the people who decide which ideas/stories make it through to publication.


What is 'norm referencing'?

The way the media outlines acceptable boundaries of behaviour through presenting some groups positively (e.g. fire fighters) and others negatively as 'folk devils' (e.g. asylum seekers and teenage parents) and so shape public opinion.


Why are advertisers important in the mass media?

Newspapers are businesses which need to make money and so 'profit motive' is important. E.g. The News of The World' closed after the advertisers pulled out due to the phone hacking scandal.


What is censorship?

Governments put rules and laws in place to prevent the media publishing certain content. Libel laws which prevent false accusations mean papers must be careful about what they publish or face court cases. Governments can try to control what is published during war times e.g. BBC accused of not showing support for Iraq war by government.