New Media Spring 2008 -- Intro
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Transcript of New Media Spring 2008 -- Intro
New MediaCMN 2170 Summer 2008Dr. Strangelove
Why is this important?The holocaust of capitalismThe situation is disputedUnequal power to define the situation
What is Culture?Patterns of meaning that organize patterns thought and actionThe code to social order
War over the meaning of things and events.
Definitional ControlGained through control of mediaSubverted through uncontrolled speech
Two Types of ProductionThings and MeaningCapitalism depends on definition of consumption as good and as the path to happiness
Social Trends in Media CultureIncreased interaction with corporate mediaIncreased interaction with amateur culture
Social Trends in Media CultureIncreased surveillance and information gatheringIncreased programming of consumptionHyper-consumption
Social Trends in Media CultureIncreased legal control over intellectual property Decreased actual control over intellectual property
Hacking Culture:the public redefinition of private meanings
It is not necessary to construct a theory of intentional cultural control. In truth, the strength of the control process rests in its apparent absence. The desired systemic result is achieved ordinarily by a loose though effective institutional process.
In capitalist societies the individual has no autonomous will or desire but rather is an integral part of the production system itself.
News item from 2001
90 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 now use computers.(US 2002)
One of the most widespread corporate strategies is containment of the consumer to own their eyeballs. This is what is ultimately meant by convergence.
The marketplace monopolizes the representation of reality.
New Media systems play a central role in creating normalities.
Media systemsstandardize belief and behavior.
Media systems are political in nature. They are systems of mass persuasion.
Media systems exercise influence over the possible forms of human behaviour.
Media systems play a role in establishing and reproducing normal behaviour.
Media systems help define what a desirable social order should look like.
Dr. Josef Goebbels, Reich Propaganda Minister
Cultural products, such as media texts, provide insight into the exercise of power over the nature of human nature.
As noted in 1934 by Ruth Benedict, we are witnessing a standardization of custom and belief over a couple of continents,
Ruth Benedict. Anthropology of the Abnormal, in An Anthropologist at Work: Writings of Ruth Benedict. Margaret Mead (ed). Houghton Mifflin, 1959. 262.
The majority of mankind quite readily take any shape that is presented to them.
All behavior is influenced and shaped by cultural patterning.
What Role Does Reason Play?
People are little constrained by logic.
Ann Swidler. Talk of Love: Why Culture Matters. University of Chicago Press, 2001. 189.
Each society has its own social process of creating new normalities within its next generation. Ruth Benedict
Media systems, privately-owned, for-profit consumer programming systems, are one of the primary tools for shaping new normalities within contemporary society.
Human nature is far more variable than experience in any one culture would suggest.
Because of the closeness of popular media texts to their social conditions, they provide privileged access to the social realities of their era and can thus be read to gain insight into what is actually going on in a particular society at a given moment.
Douglas Kellner, Media Culture. Routledge, 1995. Page 108.