Phase I: All powerful media? (The masses (Tonnies, (1910) (Gesellschaft…
Phase I: All powerful media?
: these theories are quite old and pessimistic. Here is some negative effects or impacts of social media
social media can be used for purposes of propaganda,
threats of privacy
vulnerability of the systems to hacking
He tried to understand social interactions. His idea is that people have common understanding and expectations with forms the basis of routine interpretative interaction. But when the routine is disturbed, behavior becomes erratic, random and uncoordinated. Individuals undergo a transformation: they become infused by the collective excitement. He distingues publics from crowds. The public is larger, dispersed and enduring, based on rational discourse and included the better informed sections of the population.
Park and Trade
They made a distinction between the public and the crowd. The crowd has always existed. Whereas the public is a modern concept.
wanted to develop a collective psychology that would allow politicians to better lead and control the crowds.
He responds to
's identification of crowd behaviors: according to Moscovic, the people engaging in crowd behavior: are mentally deranged - born with criminal tendencies- are not well integrated into society (disintegrated social elements)
Gustave Lebon respond to Moscovic by saying that these explanations are not sufficient and that the crowds are made up by normal individuals who get transformed in a psychological process proper to the crowd. He insists that people in a crowd act highly irrational. In a crowd, there is a collective mind, people do not think for themselves anymore. They got a sense of invincibility and all their sentiments are exaggerated.
Adorno and Horkheimer
, (1960') "The Culture Industry" according to it, medias empires are governed by commercial and financial interest and do not always have general interest in mind
have been made to the transformation theories: -People in crowds are usually neither alone nor anonymous. -Human beings in problematic situations (fire, tornadoes) rarely lose control even if they are scared. -Circular reasoning. -Suggestibility and hypnosis suggest a hypodermique needle with is a metaphor of communication. -Rational discourse can be found in crowds.
The Frankfurt School
(Germany's first institute for social research)
"The work of Art in the age of mechanical Reproduction" (1935) He wanted to see how the media could be used for social progress. According to him, new forms of mass communication may transform consumers into active participants. Mass culture creates a cult of celebrity. Thanks to the mass media, art is not only a thing for the elite anymore :check:
Adorno and Horkheimer
"The dialectics of Enlightenment"(1845). Chapter: "The culture Industry"A key idea is that reason has turned against itself and against the legacy of the enlightenment. (based on marxism) Let's develop some key-words in "The culture industry" :no_entry:
Weber claims that institutions in modern societies are marked by instrumental rationality. The modern world is a disenchanted world
Human products are seen as things without any thought about how it was made. Instrumental rationality lead to this problem. Taylorism: Taylor is responsible for splitting the production process into small acts. Lucas said that the fate go-f the worker become the fate of society as a whole.
A fetish is an object endowed with magical properties. Commodities hide the work and exploitations that went into their manufacture. It devalues human labour and social life
They tried to understand the self destruction of enlightenment in order to redeem its promise. Human reason led to the first global, fully technological war. There is nothing left for the consumers to classify, the producers have done it for him. Marcuse claims that commodities are sold to us through the manufacturing of false needs. The total effect of the culture industry is one of anti-enlightment.
: a non-alienated worker expresses his own individuality, he has the satisfaction that he has gratified a human need in his labour. In opposition, a alienated worker commodifies himself by selling his time, he becomes an instrument to the capitalist wheel. He has no control over the termes of his work, he becomes estranged from the products he makes.
Marcuse's One-dimensional Man
he critics dehumanization and alienation
1-Dimensional Repressive Society
total critique of advanced industrial capitalist and communist societies. It critics dehumanisation in capitalism affluence . For him, society is dominated by instrumental rationality, Change is only allowed when it already fits into the system.
he does not know his true needs because they are administered/superimposed. Freedom is turned into its opposite: freedom to sell one's labor, political freedom to vote fort indistinguishable representatives, freedom of expression is ineffective. Media play a role in the creation of false needs that serve the system. The fact that everyone consumes the same products does not mean equally but rather globalisation
All these points speak about the "
" It's a theory that understand abstract notions such as "the masses" or "communication" in their social, political and historical context. It seeks to identify discrepancies between the way a society claims to function and how it actually functions. Culture Industry claims diversity but all media are the same. (contradiction) Masse culture is not produced by the masses but rather for them. What should we care about the Frankfurt School? --> They are the first thinkers to systematically examine the relationship between mass media, mass culture and mass society.
Critics of this critical theory:
-it's a philosophical project, there is no empirical evidence. -it's highly speculative theory. -Elitism? -What are false needs? -No analysis of audience responses. -A strong normative component. -an overgeneralized dismissal of popular culture
Case study: The war of the worlds
: It's a science fiction book and movie. It was adapted in the 30' as a radio programme. It's about martian invasion. At the end of the broadcast, Orson Welles said: "remember the terrible lesson you learned tonight, people have to be more critical about the stuff they hear on the radio"
Problems and consequences
After the broadcast, a lot of people in the US were afraid that it was true and 1 million people were seriously disturbed by the broadcast.The study showed the following determinants to play a role among those who did panic: -tuned in after the programme began, -stopped listening before the end, ..
:check: according to Laswell, propagande can be used for democratic good, public debates should be replaced by democratic propaganda For Bernays, public relations is the same as propaganda but without the negatives connotations.
:no_entry: During WW1, Germany, UK and US created institutions to shape public opinion in support of the war. Propaganda is powerful because of the vulnerable state of mind of average people.