Unformatted text preview: BTMM 1011 – INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION THEORY FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE FALL 2010 1. Introduction • Know the difference between a hypothesis, theory and law • Know the different levels of theory – grand, mid‐range, narrow • Know the different philosophical approaches to research – positivistic, interpretative, critical • Know the following terms: o Agency o Axiology o Communication o Determinism o Empirical o Epistemology o Falsification o Methodology o Ontology o Text o Theory 2. Cognitive Dissonance • Know Leon Festinger’s original theory. • Know the important revisions Elliot Aronson made to the theory. • Know Stanley Milgram’s famous experiment. • Know the strategies people use to avoid experiencing cognitive dissonance 3. Symbolic Interactionism • Know why this theory is important to field of communication. • Know the three premises of the main theory • Know the role George Herbert Mead saw language and social interaction playing in the formation of the self. • Know the relevance of the “Genie” case study to the theory of symbolic interactionism. 4. Media Effects • Know the differences between direct effects, limited effects, and moderate effects arguments. • Know the linear model of communication reflected in the famous question: Who said what to whom through which channel with what effect? • Understand the assumptions underlying the linear model of communication. • Know what types of theories fall under the category of media effects. • Review the chapter in your textbook on the history of media effects. 5. Cultivation Theory • Know why George Gerbner thought it was important to study television. • Know the basics of cultivation theory, including the cultural indicators project, viewer profiles, the cultivation differential, mean world syndrome, mainstreaming, and what type of violence Gerbner and his colleagues were measuring. • Understand why Gerbner used the word “cultivation” in the title of the theory. • Know what types of findings Gerbner and his colleagues made regarding television’s representation of the world. 6. Agendasetting Theory & Spiral of Silence • Know the basics of McCombs and Shaw’s agenda‐setting theory. • Know how they supported their theory (what studies did they do to support their original hypothesis) • Know who actually sets the media agenda according to McCombs and Shaw • Know the six transnational media giants that dominate the commercial media • Know the basics of Elisabeth Noelle‐Neumann’s theory. • Know what the engine is that drives the spiral of silence • Know what public opinion is and how it is formed • Know what Noelle‐Neumann called it when people have an incorrect understanding of what is public opinion 7. Postmodernism • Understand the different ways the term postmodern is used. • Understand why the postmodern epoch came into being according to postmodern theorists. • Know Baudrillard’s concept of hyperreality. • Know Lyotard’s argument regarding metanarratives or grand narratives. • Have some understanding of modern versus postmodern aesthetics. 8. Marxism and Critical Theory • Understand the basics of Marxist theory. • Understand Marx’s concept of base‐superstructure. • Understand Marx’s view of human history. • Understand how, according to Marx, a minority is able to exploit the majority without the majority revolting. • Know what communism is according to Marx. • Know what fetishism is according to Marx. • Know what the primary objective is of critical theory. 9. Semiotics and Structuralism • Understand Ferdinand de Saussure’s concept of language as a sign system. • Know the components of a “sign” and how language works according to Saussure. • Understand Saussure’s analogy of language functioning like the game of chess. • Know what key realization sparked the intellectual movement known as Structuralism. 10. Frontline: The Persuaders • Watch the Frontline video, “The Persuaders,” which can be found online at PBS.org. 11. Cultural Studies • Understand what cultural studies is and what cultural studies scholars are primarily interested in. • Understand the cultural studies concept of ideology. • Understand the cultural studies theory of hegemony. 12. Application of Theory Questions For the final set of exam questions, you’ll need to apply the theoretical concepts you learned in class to particular cases. Thus, you’ll need at least a rudimentary understanding of each of the theories listed above. ...
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- Fall '10
- Cognitive Dissonance, Cultural studies concept, Cultural Studies Theory, THEORY FINAL EXAM