World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Media culture

Article Id: WHEBN0036822955
Reproduction Date:

Title: Media culture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mainstream, Culture jamming, American Dream, Media culture, Recuperation (politics)
Collection: Media Studies, Popular Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Media culture

In cultural studies, media culture refers to the current western capitalist society that emerged and developed from the 20th century, under the influence of mass media.[1][2][3] The term alludes to the overall impact and intellectual guidance exerted by the media (primarily TV, but also the press, radio and cinema), not only on public opinion but also on tastes and values.

The alternative term mass culture conveys the idea that such culture emerges spontaneously from the masses themselves, like popular art did before the 20th century.[4] The expression media culture, on the other hand, conveys the idea that such culture is the product of the mass media. Another alternative term for media culture is "image culture."[1][2]

Media culture, with its declinations of advertising and public relations, is often considered as a system centered on the manipulation of the mass of society.[5] Corporate media "are used primarily to represent and reproduce dominant ideologies."[6] Prominent in the development of this perspective has been the word of Theodor Adorno since the 1940s.[5] Media culture is associated with consumerism, and in this sense called alternatively "consumer culture."[1][3]

Contents

  • Definitions 1
  • Media culture through religion 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Definitions

"Popular culture and the mass media have a symbiotic relationship: each depends on the other in an intimate collaboration."
—K. Turner (1984), p.4[7]

The news media mines the work of scientists and scholars and conveys it to the general public, often emphasizing elements that have inherent appeal or the power to amaze. For instance, giant pandas (a species in remote Chinese woodlands) have become well-known items of popular culture; parasitic worms, though of greater practical importance, have not. Both scholarly facts and news stories get modified through popular transmission, often to the point of outright falsehoods.

Hannah Arendt's 1961 essay "The Crisis in Culture" suggested that a "market-driven media would lead to the displacement of culture by the dictates of entertainment."[8] Susan Sontag argues that in our culture, the most "...intelligible, persuasive values are [increasingly] drawn from the entertainment industries", which has spelt the "undermining of standards of seriousness." As a result, "tepid, the glib, and the senselessly cruel" topics are becoming the norm.[8] Some critics argue that popular culture is “dumbing down”: "newspapers that once ran foreign news now feature celebrity gossip, pictures of scantily dressed young ladies... television has replaced high-quality drama with gardening, cookery, and other “lifestyle” programmes [and] reality TV and asinine soaps," to the point that people are constantly immersed in trivia about celebrity culture.[8]

Since the 1950s, television has been the main medium for molding public opinion.[9] In Rosenberg and White's book Mass Culture, MacDonald argues that "Popular culture is a debased, trivial culture that voids both the deep realities (sex, death, failure, tragedy) and also the simple spontaneous pleasures... The masses, debauched by several generations of this sort of thing, in turn come to demand trivial and comfortable cultural products."[8] Van den Haag argues that "all mass media in the end alienate people from personal experience and though appearing to offset it, intensify their moral isolation from each other, from the reality and from themselves."[8][10]

Critics have lamented the "replacement of high art and authentic folk culture by tasteless industrialised artefacts produced on a mass scale in order to satisfy the lowest common denominator."[8] This "mass culture emerged after the Second World War and have led to the concentration of mass-culture power in ever larger global media conglomerates." The popular press decreased the amount of news or information and replaced it with entertainment or titillation that reinforces "fears, prejudice, scapegoating processes, paranoia, and aggression."[8]

Critics of television and film have argued that the quality of TV output has been diluted as stations pursue ratings by focusing on the "glitzy, the superficial, and the popular". In film, "Hollywood culture and values" are increasingly dominating film production in other countries. Hollywood films have changed from creating formulaic films which emphasize "shock-value and superficial thrill[s]" and the use of special effects, with themes that focus on the "basic instincts of aggression, revenge, violence, [and] greed." The plots "often seem simplistic, a standardized template taken from the shelf, and dialogue is minimal." The "characters are shallow and unconvincing, the dialogue is also simple, unreal, and badly constructed."[8]

Media culture through religion

Media culture, in its mass marketing, has been compared to the role of religions in the past. It has been considered as taking the place of the old traditional religions.[11][12][13] The waves of enthusiasm and fervent exaltation for a given product, a characteristic consumerist phenomenon, has been equipared to the "ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism".[14][15]

Conversely, the Catholic Church, the dominant religion in the Western world, has been considered retrospectively as an antecedent and sophisticated form of Public relations, advertising and Multinational corporation, selling its product to a mass of worshipers/consumers.[16][17]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Jansson (2002)
  2. ^ a b Thoman (1992)
  3. ^ a b Thomas (2012) p.30 quotation:
  4. ^ Adorno (1963) quotation:
  5. ^ a b Bignell (2007) pp.21-2
  6. ^ Nomai (2008) pp.5, 41
  7. ^ Shuker, Roy (1994). Understanding Popular Music, p.4. ISBN 0-415-10723-7.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dumbing down". Nomuzak.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  9. ^ Diggs-Brown, Barbara (2011) Strategic Public Relations: Audience Focused Practice p.48
  10. ^ Van den Haag, in Rosenberg and White, Mass Culture, p. 529.
  11. ^ from Debord (1977) thesis 20: "The spectacle is the material reconstruction of the religious illusion."
  12. ^ Debord (1967) thesis 25 on the spectacle and the sacred
  13. ^ Nomai (2008) p.176
  14. ^ Debord (1977) Thesis 67
  15. ^ from Debord (1977) thesis 132: "The masters who make history their private property, under the protection of myth, possess first of all a private ownership of the mode of illusionn: in China and Egypt they long held a monopoly over the immortality of the soul ... The growth of their real historical power goes together with a popularization of the possession of myth and illusion."
  16. ^ Ballardini, Bruno (2006) Gesù lava più bianco. Ovvero come la chiesa inventò il marketing. Review and excerpts [1].
  17. ^ Ballardini, Bruno (2011) 'Gesù e i saldi di fine stagione. Perché la Chiesa non «vende» più. Review [2].

References

  • Adorno (1963) Culture Industry Reconsidered
  • Bignell, Jonathan (2007) Postmodern Media Culture
  • Debord (1977) [1967] The Society of the Spectacle, translation by Fredy Perlman and Jon Supak (Black & Red, 1970; rev. ed. 1977). Online at Library.nothingness.org (accessdate=2011-08-20)
  • Debord (1994) [1967] The Society of the Spectacle, translation by Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York: Zone Books). Online at Cddc.vt.edu (accessdate=2011-08-20)
  • Jansson, André (2002) The Mediatization of Consumption, Journal of Consumer Culture, March 2002 vol. 2 no. 1 5-31
  • Nomai, Afsheen Joseph (2008) Culture Jamming: Ideological Struggle and the Possibilities for Social Change. Free pdf download available.
  • Thoman, Elizabeth (1992) Rise of the Image Culture, in Media & Values, Issue# 57
  • Thomas, P. L. (2012) Ignoring Poverty in the U.S. the Corporate Takeover of Public Education

Further reading

  • Duncan, Barry (1988). Mass Media and Popular Culture. Toronto, Ont.: Harcourt, Brace & Co. Canada. ISBN 0-7747-1262-7
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.