Media and Technology Communication Theories

Media and Technology Communication Theories

Technological Determinism
Hot and Cool Media Hot & Cool Media: Examples
Hot                                            Cool
movies                                   telephone
radio                                      cartoon
sharp photographs               face to face talk
print                                        television

Media History

Media History

The Tribal Age: Oral culture

The Age of Literacy: Writing The Print Age: The printing press The Electronic Age: Electronic media Some Questions Cultural Studies Theory Cultural Studies: Key Concepts

A “Culturalist” view of Marxism
Rejection of rigid economic determinism.
Social behavior is is “over-determined;” not determined by one dominant cause.  It has multiple causes such as class, race, and gender.

Hegemony
Preponderant influence or domination of “haves” over “have nots”:
not total
not based on force
not a plot or conspiracy
based on widespread acceptance of dominant ideology.

Ideology
Mental frameworks (“worldviews” or “code systems”) widely used to understand society.
Mass media, especially television, usually encode (implicitly assume) the dominant ideology.

Decoding Media - 3 Ways
Operate inside the dominant code (fail to question the implicit dominant ideology)
Apply a negotiable code (a version of the dominant ideology that reflects the audience member’s social position)
Substitute an oppositional code (critical awareness, rejection of dominant ideology)
Cultural studies theory promotes oppositional decoding.

Critical Theory vs. Functional Theory
Critical theory (like Hall’s critical studies theory) stresses that "the mass media support the established social order by acting as the means of social control and thus legitimizing the status quo" (Cohen et al., 1990, p. 29).
Functional theory emphasizes the integrative role of the media that regulate social controversies and create the basis for social consensus (Cohen et al. 1990, p.28).

Media and Social Change
Do Media affect social change?
Three theoretical views.

The Conservative View

Similar to "limited effects" paradigm:
(1) "Media power as highly overrated and its impact minimal" (Schiller, 1989, p. 146).
(2)  Media power is balanced by "audience power."  Audience power refers to the capability of an active audience to produce its own meanings and resist  those messages "that it finds objectionable or irrelevant" (Schiller).
(3)   Audiences have the power to choose what communication technologies to employ.

The Reformist View

The Structuralist View Is One View Right?  What Theory Best Explains Media Influence?