COGN20 STUDY GUIDE 1 - COGN 20 STUDY GUIDE 1. What is the...

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COGN 20 STUDY GUIDE 1. What is the public sphere, and why is this important for understanding the role of mass media and the concept of democracy in our course? Public sphere: interacting with others and the society at large. This includes different forms of communication such as the postal system, newspapers, movies, etc. This relates to democracy in our course by the way that our society has the power to influence mass media. Our interests determine what our media focuses on (example: now global warming has become a more popular topic and is becoming known by the public sphere) Democracy: the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives. This means that power is in the hand of the people and this relates to media because power is in the hand of the people as well. We can also stretch to say that the people’s “elected representatives” are the directors, the anchors, the reporters, the writers, etc. ., and they are the ones who are basically voicing the people’s opinion for them. 2. According to Paul Starr, what were some of the forces- economical, political, and cultural- that affected the development of mass media (such as radio and film) in the early decades of the twentieth century? Why are these factors important for understanding the history of mass media before the arrival of TV in the 1950’s? WWI: U.S. emerges as most economically prosperous nation to come out of war Progressive Era: moral reforms, coincides with 19 th century embrace of religious revival and fears of sexual immorality - Hays code: no profanity, nudity, sex, crime, violence and other “inappropriate themes” - Anti-immigration laws: fears of eugenic “race suicide” through procreation among social inferiors. - Censorship - Supreme Court will not grant film and radio the same 1 st amendment freedoms they allow the press - Immigration Motion pictures and radio transformed the landscape of American culture from one of popular culture to mass culture. Motion pics explored sexuality, feminism, political radicalism, organized crime, and racial and ethnic themes. Reformers, censorship boards, civic groups, and religious orgs. saw the potential for misbehavior, abuse, crime, and lowering social values. Supreme court ruling: “ their power of amusement and, it maybe education, the audiences they assemble, not of women alone nor of men alone, but together, no of adults only, but of children, make [motion pictures] the more insidious in corruption” Radio programs are given to listeners at no price, in exchange for their attention Radio: transformation from dual communication to one-way??? Radio extends mass culture ( e.g. vaudeville, documentaries, political commentary) by adapting familiar
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course COMM 20 taught by Professor Serlin during the Spring '07 term at UCSD.

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COGN20 STUDY GUIDE 1 - COGN 20 STUDY GUIDE 1. What is the...

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