Thursday, May 2, 2013

Seduction of the Innocent

After reading this article, we discussed the hypodermic needle model in mass society. It refers to how mass communication injects attitudes, dispositions and ideas to vulnerable individuals. It is also known as the magic bullet-the media is capable of swaying minds. We learned how early effects studies were based on 19th century European sociology, which emphasized the breakdown of interpersonal media due to media interference. The PTC female sexuality study was used as an example. It showed the correlation between depictions vs. how they really act and how TV caused them to act that way. For example, with the MTV show such as Teen Mom, you would point fingers and blame the mother for being a poor parent or judge her when an older generation would criticize the media for making it acceptable. Wertham's article hits on the idea of media being able to sway the minds of kids by reading violent comic books-causing them to be violent themselves. This discussion was followed by the explanation of direct and indirect theories. The proposed to dethrone the hypodermic needle model by focusing on the role of interpersonal relationships and avoiding behaviorists claims. The comic book reading kids would be directly effected while indirect media goes from opinion leader to you. We learned about a horizontal leader, who consists of people close to you such as friends, family co-workers and vertical leaders such as celebrities and politicians. The idea that children with weak social ties prefer more violent media. We questioned what Wertham would say about the study of direct effect? It would make more sense that it was indirect because the social ties would be the children's opinion leaders.

The Work of Being Watched

We discussed the interactive media and the exploitation of self-disclosure. When we connect to many social media sites and interact with many websites on the internet are privacy is no longer under our control. People often claim how no one is private these days on social media but when in fact we are allowing it to happen. Just by joining, signing up or become a member of various sites-such as Facebook- you have to submit personal information. This article brought up the question of "are we the products of Facebook?" Are they are swiftly finding new ways to get data from their customers to exploit them and make a profit? We looked back on Lupton's point in the article we had previously read about the embodied computer user and making sure the users has full knowledge of how it all truly works before using. With the ways of society now a days, we feel almost required to have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc account to keep up. We also connected it to hegemony-the fact that we consent and are willing to give info because we feel obligated. There's no choice but to enter your email, age, gender, phone number address etc. When we don't have a choice, we don't have much choice but to act in a particular way. It becomes an act of discipline. We were also questioned if there would ever be a point when people would ever stand up against it or just continue to stand for it. I think that as long as it doesn't directly harm someone, there will be no stand taken. I think people are more cautious but still act careless. In a way, participation online kills our ability to relate on a personal level. I also found our conversation about the government being behind it all somehow and the idea of a perfect prison interesting. I doubt that we have any worry to truly worry, just to be informed, cautious and not careless when using the internet.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Audience Reception Studies

We read Janice Radway's article Woman Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context which was a response to mainstream communication research. It included both direct and indirect effect perspectives. We discussed how mainstream theories place meaning of a text within the context of the text itself. The reading questions what you do with what your given an why: the info such as a romance novel, that the media supplies for woman to read. The study was interested in what the reader does with the raw material and how it effects them. By choosing what influences you-romance you define your reality? We discussed the difference between ideology and hegemony. Ideology is a false consciousness, negative, when you are fooled into thinking, a collection of ideals that motivate an action and the beliefs of a particular group. Hegemony is when ideology becomes though of as the "natural order of things", its "just the way it is", control by consent and living in a particular way because of it. The idea of containment and resistance came up in discussion that addressed how the audience uses elements of pop culture-romance novels so they can be resisted and contained by power relationships. Ending thought was the statement that the act of reading the romance novel-power relationship-is an act of defiance.