Sunday, May 31, 2009
2.) Isn't it funny that when males chatted to strangers on the internet, it was primarily with women and was generally done by flirting? Yet women were more interested with chatting with people from different countries - "a sort of mediated tourim".
1.) When determining meaning, who is right and who is wrong? If something means one thing to one person, but it is not the dominant meaning of society, are they better fit to interview because their views differ from that of the norm/expected?
2.) Machin uses common sense particular to a culture when discussing a person's reasoning towards an idea or belief. One may say common sense develops due to our surroundings and dominant ideologies gained as we grow, but at what point does one reject this "common sense" to form new meanings/reasonings towards an idea or belief and how?
1.) How long must you conduct research with people to allow them to break down walls and let the reasearcher see the participants true self?
2.) If ethnography helps to "create an imtimate knowledge required to understand that great conversation" what are the best other kinds of studies/research that may aid in accomplishing an imtimate knowledge?
2.)When asking in depth and open-ended questions, what "tricks" can researchers use to determine if their subjects understand the reasoning behind subjects' actions?
1. According to Tulloch, what two catefories were the elderly viewers divided into? What was the relationship of cultural values in determining viewing behavior?
2. What might be some reasons why the elderly viewing audience become disconnected with society and mainstream culture? On the other hand, how do the elderly stay current with the mainstream? How do they relate to soap operas?
1. On page 38, Machin notes that we are unconscious of our cultural framework meaning that we cannot rely on peopleto offer explanations for why they do things. What might be some implications of this for researchers conducting an ethnographic study? For example, how would my group go about researching why 'tweens' are "sexting" at such a frightening rate?
2. What did Polanyi argue in terms of society being unconscious of our cultural framework and what two observations did he make in accordance with this? How do Machin's examples of European art films and Hollywood movies support this observation?
1. "Ethnography does not provide a transparent window on the world" (pg. 169). What does this
mean and what specific steps must be followed in carrying out an ethnographic study?
2. What kinds of problems are associated with carrying out an ethnographic study and what must a researcher be mindful of in terms of finding respondents and recording data?
Ethnographic Research for Media Studies
1.) The author mentions ethnographic gaze often, and frequently states, “this is what I mean”, but it is always different. What exactly is the ethnographic gaze?
2.) It's discussed that ethnography is used to research so many different topics from culture, societies, to more specific things like why a college man likes to get drunk every friday and get in a fight downtown. Is it even possible to find answers to questions so specific through this type of research, especially since every person is raised with different situations molding them into different people with a different thought process.
1.) Polanyi’s second observation is “the fact that we generally do not have access to the reasons that we do things” (p 39) and that if people are asked to answer this question they often refer to common sense, which has been framed by our culture. Do you think that this changes from person to person depending on one’s education level?
2.) While reading about science, witchcraft, and explaining things away, the thought of all the different conspiracy theories from Presidential assassinations, UFO’s, and 9/11 came to mind. They all seem to revolve around the government. In the past did the government determined and implemented their own thoughts into our society, which overtime became our culture and only recently people have stopped being passive and become active of the beliefs of certain ideas and began to question?
3.) The term “cultural took kit” is brought up multiple times throughout the chapters, but never given a definition. Is this term best described on page 36 as the three things people do to visualize when communicating?
1.) Willis makes a point that “commodities and images are used by people to create meaning, identity, and belonging” (p 97), therefore, consumerism should not be seen as passive, but an active choice. Do you agree with this?
2.) When discussing fashion, the book states, “many youth subcultures have not been directly instigated by the fashion industry” (p 96). Willis says the clothes are bought in second hand stores, does this mean that the fashion industry is not at all marketing towards these people?
1This specific chapter relates to doing an a study on Trinidadians and how they use internet. The idea that the internet is such a widespread thing, got me to thinking, along with the research that Miller and Slater conducted that internet isn't used the same everywhere. The United States alone is an example of that, some use it for gaming, some for talking to relatives in another country, business, entertainment, news.etc. When thinking of the internet what do you specifically use it for? Think about how in accordance with the study that Miller and Slater created that the internet was seen as accepted immediately, was the American culture apprehensive at first, or like the Trinidadians did we accept just a fast and used it without thinking of future consequences, as in facebook and putting up photos ie?
2. Why according to this chapter, did the Trinidadians accept the internet so fast? The internet impacted the Trinidadian culture almost immediately, for what uses did people, middle class lower and upper class use this for, and even the government? This widespread use of the internet seemed to strengthen bonds between dispersed Trinidadian families, true or false?
3. Do you agree that the websites you visit can link you as the type of person you are, like in the Chapter, someone who visits Nike website can help describe that person, perhaps as sporty? Does technology so infinately describe us as a person, or even as a generation?
1. What does the Machin's term ethnographic gaze mean, and what tool kit does he connect this with? Describe that specific tool kit, and that actions we create with it.
2. In this chapter Machin talks about a sociology called ethnomethodolgy. This describes how we use the cultural tool kit. Who created this approach, and what experiment did he have his students do. How does ethnomethodology help us understand our cultural tool kit?
Chapter 15 Question's
1. Right away in Machin's chapter 15, he gives us an example of of a research technique that wouldn't be possible, what is that technique, and why, does Machin say it wouldn't work as a great project?
2. After reading the research question paragraphs we are given an example on how to conduct a hypothesis. This idea about conducting a research on how women respond to advertising and then creating a hypothisis, that images become an important resource for the way that young women like to think about themselves really helped to understand the hypothesis theory. What happens, according to Machin if you do not use a hypothes. Do you like the hypothesis theory or the inductive approach?
3. When you are doing a research and you are doing a study of people, understanding their settings is very important and to be a part of those settings is equally important, but in order to conduct a true research, what must you obtain from those you are studying to truly understand your settings? And why is this so important to receiving information? Do you agree that a proper research can only be conducted under these circumstance, if so why then do some researches partake in undergoing different identities?
Chapter 10 responses:
1) A section in Machin describes Stacey's study of women in the 1940's and their experiences with cinema/Hollywood. A part of Stacey's study, when dealing with memories and recollections, described women "losing oneself 9in romance fiction is something the women felt embarrassed about. But this itself could be thought of as patriarchy where women's likes and dislikes are dismissed or trivial," (Machin, 120).
Prior to this specific study, Stacey argued that cinema pictures contained masculine themes which portrayed women as secondary, weak, beautiful, and scenery; for male pleasure.
If women of the 1940's wanted to distinguish themselves as attractive, powerful, glamorous and popular women like in the films they watched, wouldn't admitting to the emotion of embarrassment feed the masculine portrayal of women in cinema? How do women set themselves apart from the stereotype of the time if their recollections of cinema experiences were dismissed and thought of as trivial, and they submissed to males' dominant themes?
2) At the end of this chapter Stacey asks, "How do these (the representations of women in the films Charlie's Angels and Coyote Ugly) fit in with other representations of women in the media and in society in general," (Machin, 122)?
These representations portray women as beautiful, sexy, powerful, independent, smart and adventurous; quite a difference from 60 years ago. With that in mind, when did this turn in cinema representations happen, and what was the male reaction towards losing the stereotype they created? If the male audience was the dominant opinion, how did these representations become and stay popular?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Chapter 2 Introduction Responses
1) Machin makes a statement on page 34 which reads, "One of the most important steps in ethnography is learning to think about all behaviour as being accomplished through culturally accepted meanings." From our discussion in class of what ethnography is, I'm not sure if this means outsiders (those who are newly introduced to the culture) determine if specific behaviors can be distinguished as acceptable cultures through means of already perceived norms, or if a culture which is under speculation is supposed to be accepted regardless of the 'registered' accepted meanings?
2) Machin argues "mainstream cinema is hard to distinguish as 'high culture' because it is produced on an industrial scale for a mass audience," (pg. 33). If this be so in Western culture, why do film critics react differently and direct more attention towards independent film makers? Why is this category celebrated as an art form, when 'big-budget' films are only seen as entertainment? By whose and what standards do we categorize cinema as high or low culture when sub-categories fall into different labels?
Chapter 15 Introduction Responses:
1) Machin states on page 165, "Ethnography should be thought of...as being a methodology which is characterized by improvision." Methodology, according to wikipedia, relies on rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study. Does this mean that studying a particular culture in order to charaterize it as accomplished is based on assumed truths? I understand when conducting a study, hypothesis must be made in order to gather information or possible outcomes, but is this method fair to the focused culture? If assumptions, which may be used several times, act as origins to learning about a culture, how are we as students suppose to know the truth for which that society has intended?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1.) When Blumer says, "...film was received by audience members in the context of their social background and individual life histories.", does this indicate that instead of violent film causing people to react violently, violent people are drawn to violent programming?
2.) In the Gilbert and Sullivan study implicating that media stunts children's creativity and imagination, how exactly was their study designed and how did they come to this conclusion exactly?
Seiter, pp. 11-16
1.) When describing the encoding-decoding model, it mainly focuses on television as the medium, but couldn't you also argue that people are drawn to different media based on their experiences and backgrounds?
2.) When discussing how researchers are so quick to "...avoid studying media in context, preferring sanitized, controllable situations, producing data that was irrelevant to everyday life", is this a way these researchers try to simplify problems and blame on the media?
1.) Morley argues that television audiences need to be studied in the natural settings in which most media are consumed, but is there a such thing as "natural" when studying subjects in correlation to research?
2.) how exactly Radaway chose these specific romance novels , or if they were chosen at random and how they differed from other novels surrounding love and relationships?
1. When and why did such strong gender roles take place, indicating that the home is a workplace for a women and a place of leisure for men?
2. Do you think the TV viewing habits between men and women are a direct reflection of how men and women express their emotions overall?
1. If the mass media is constantly being blamed for causing violent acts, why hasn't more research been done to prove these accusations?
2. Theodor Adorno critized American media, stating it is superficial and mind-numbing. He believes that this media leads to loss of intellectual stimulation and creativity. But without any in depth research of the media he critized, how can he say that it doesn't inspire or engage others?
1.) Today in class it was discussed that the media of television most likely does not care about the “why” people watch a show, as long as the ratings are high. When the book refers to the research of McQuail, stating “we needed to be aware that people have different reasons for watching television, and therefore the kind of effect that it had on them would certainly depend on this. (p.73). Does this still follow with what we talked about in class, or does it completely disregard it?
2.) Is the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) an organization that is in Britain only, or are there multiples of them worldwide and that study all the different cultures?
3.) There are studies from 15 years ago that discuss the political economy and the belief that “American media are owned and controlled in a fashion that links them into the ownership of the other large corporations and capital interests in general”, and that “where America has an interest, may not even make it into the news if this might reflect on the country badly, or it this clashes with corporate interests” (p.70). My question is, why has society not attempted to change this? Do we not deserve to know what have we all passively sat here and accepted the information given to us?
Television and News Media Audiences
1.) The book says “Morley’s interviews were conducted en famille. (p.22)”. What does this mean?
2.) Both Morley and Gray’s studies showed that women spent less time with the media of television and VCR’s due to household chores. Has there been a more recent study that includes working women in families with today’s technology, such as DVR’s?
Machin Chapter 4
1. The author states that the 1980's marked the pioneering year of the idea of "ethnographic" research. What reasons made this sort of research method unheard of prior to the last thirty years?
2. Is the media a hegemonic force, or rather is it a reflection of culture and society itself?
Seiter pp 11-16, 21-24
1. In what ways were media effects and also media effects theories discussed prior to the 1960's when the paradigm in which we currently look at these was different?
2. In studying media effects, does the cultivation theory relate at all, or play any supporting role in the practices of ethnographic studies and research?
2. The uses and gratification approach was thought to be a more useful in looking at the way the news media set the agenda for what people think of as being important to society. Do you agree?
2. James Curran criticizes the 'new revisionism' in qualitative audience research, expressed irritation with the failure of some researchers to recognize when they are revisiting questions that have been debated since the 1930's, without references to any work down before 1970. What questions is Curran referring to?
1. What are the 3 types of interpretations in the encoding-decoding model? Is there a relationship between this model and active and passive audiences?
2. What are some examples of television programs that fall under each of these 3 categories?
1. "Gender does not simply predetermine media consumption and use" (Ang 1996: 116). Do you agree with this statement? Do you think that media consumption by men and women remains the same today as it was conlcuded in Morley's research findings?
1. According to the text what is the Uses and Gratifications model and how does it differ from cultural studies?
2. As discussed in class and in the text where does ethnographic research stem from and in what mass communications tradition was when ethnographic research first used?
Seiter pp 21-24
3. In the text pages 21-24 that had to be read, Morley conducted a research, In Family Television, on the ways men and women watch television. In the study women thought the men were extremely talkative while watching television and the women tended to watch more t.v. and controlled what was watched, while the men thought their wives and daughters didn’t talk enough, and the husbands watched less t.v. and had less say in what was watched. True or False? This detailed research can be described as an active research, true or false?
6/10: Age and media audiences, Teens: Mitchell and Natasha
6/11: Gender and media audiences: Sarah, Ashley A., Ashleigh F.
6/15: Sexuality and media audiences: Elyse and Monica
6/17: Fandom: Tara and Kristin
Wed., 5/27 -- Mitchell
Tues., 6/2 -- Natasha
Wed., 6/3 -- Kristin
Thurs., 6/4 -- Elyse
Mon., 6/8 -- Monica
Wed., 6/10 -- Megan
Thurs., 6/11 -- Ashleigh F.
Mon., 6/15 -- Kathleen
Tues., 6/16 -- Tara
Wed., 6/17 -- Sarah
Thurs., 6/18 - Ashley A.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Journalism and Media Communication 661
Seminar in Mass Communication and Society
Topic: Media Audiences
Monday – Thursday, 9:30 AM – 12:10 PM
Professor: Elana Levine
Office: 131 Johnston, 229-4718
Office hours: Mondays, 12:15 – 1:30 and by appointment
All of us are media audience members. Whether we listen to the radio in the car or in a store, watch television in the living room or in a bar, read the newspaper at the kitchen table or on the internet, we encounter media in all aspects of our everyday lives. This course is an examination of media audiencehood, of the experience of reading, viewing, using, listening to, and consuming media. We will explore the ways that media scholars in the cultural studies tradition have researched media audiences, and we will read and discuss many studies about a diverse range of media audiences. We will consider audience engagement with “old” media, such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast television, as well as “new” media such as the internet, mobile technologies, and video games. In addition, you will conduct your own media audience studies.
By the end of this course, you will:
1) Understand the theories and methods of media audience studies in the cultural studies tradition
2) Gain insight into the experiences of different media audiences, particularly in terms of aspects of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and age
3) Improve upon your reading, writing, and analysis skills
4) Develop a more sophisticated, critical perspective on your own relationship to media, as well as other people’s relationships to the media in their lives
Available at the UWM Bookstore
David Machin, Ethnographic Research for Media Studies (London: Arnold, 2002)
Ellen Seiter, Television and New Media Audiences (Oxford & New York, Oxford
University Press, 1999) ISBN: 0-19-871141-7
Books are also on reserve at the Golda Meir Library
Available on e-reserve through the UWM Library Homepage
S. Elizabeth Bird, “Gendered Readings,” in For Enquiring Minds: A Cultural Study of
Supermarket Tabloids (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1992)
Denise Sevick Bortree, “Presentation of Self on the Web: An Ethnographic Study of
Teenage Girls’ Weblogs,” Education, Communication & Information 5:1 (March 2005):
Lynn Schofield Clark, “Dating on the Net: Teens and the Rise of ‘Pure’
Relationships,” in Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Communication
and Community, ed. Steven G. Jones (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998), 159-183.
Henry Jenkins, “Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten,” in Television: The Critical
View, Sixth Edition, ed. Horace Newcomb (New York and Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2000), 470-494.
Melanie E.S. Kohnen, “The Adventures of a Repressed Farm Boy and the Billionaire Who
Loves Him: Queer Spectatorship in Smallville Fandom,” In Teen TV, ed. Sharon
Marie Ross and Louisa Ellen Stein (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008),
Marjo Laukkanen, “Young Queers Online: The Limits and Possibilities of
Non-Heterosexual Self-Representation in Online Conversations,” in Queer Online:
Media Technology & Sexuality, ed. Kate O’Riordan & David J. Phillips (New York:
Peter Lang, 2007), 81-100.
Andrea Press and Camille Johnson-Yale, “Political Talk and the Flow of Ambient
Television: Women Watching Oprah in an African-American Hair Salon,” in New
Directions in American Reception Study, ed. Philip Goldstein and James L. Machor
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 307-323.
Ellen Seiter, “Making Distinctions in TV Audience Research: Case Study of a Troubling
Interview,” in Television: The Critical View, Sixth Edition, ed. Horace Newcomb
(New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 387-398.
Ellen Seiter, “Wrestling with the Web: Latino Fans and Symbolic Violence,” in The
Internet Playground: Children’s Access, Entertainment, and Mis-Education (New
York: Peter Lang, 2005), 63-82.
Katherine Sender, “Selling Sexual Subjectivities: Audiences Respond to Gay Window
Advertising,” in Gender, Race and Class in Media, ed. Gail Dines & Jean Humez
(New York: Sage, 2003), 302-313. ISBN: 0-7619-2261-X
Michael Serazio, “Virtual Sports Consumption, Authentic Brotherhood: The Reality of
Fantasy Football,” in Sports Mania: Essays on Fandom and the Media in the 21st
Century, ed. Lawrence W. Hugenberg, Paul M. Haridakis, and Adman C. Earnheardt
(Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008), 229-242.
Tracy, Pamela J. “‘Why don’t you act your color?’: Preteen Girls, Identity, and
Popular Music?” in Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences,
Content, and Producers, ed. Rebecca Ann Lind (Boston: Pearson, 2004), 45-51.
Class participation – 15%
Since this course is a seminar, it is designed to maximize your participation. This means that all students are expected to contribute to class discussion, to listen attentively to fellow students, and to put thought into their comments and questions. Students will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their contributions to class discussion.
Attendance policy: Attendance is expected at each class session. Students are responsible for all materials covered in those sessions. Students are granted one absence without penalty. This is not a “freebie,” but is designed to allow for illness or unforeseen circumstances. For every absence in excess of one, the class participation grade will be lowered by 1/3 grade (e.g., A to A-, B- to C+); any student with more than three absences will be given an automatic failing grade for the course. Every three days that a student is late will count as one absence. Students are required to make up any missed work for all absences.
Reading questions– 10%
Each student will be responsible for posting discussion questions based on the assigned readings to the class blog. These should be posted by 10PM the night before class. Students should submit 2-3 questions for each article or book chapter. (I will announce any exceptions in class.) These questions may be points of clarification, questions about the application of the article’s ideas or argument to a different instance, or speculation about the implications of the article’s argument. The course contains 24 different reading assignments. Each student must submit questions for 18 of those assignments to get full credit.
Leading discussion – 10%
Each student will be responsible for leading class discussion for 45 minutes-1 hour of the class period one time during the semester, together with another student. Your job is to conduct a discussion of the day’s assigned readings in whatever manner you choose. You may bring in examples for analysis, you may engage the class in an exercise, or you may pose open-ended questions to be discussed as a group. The two discussion leaders should share equally in leading and should coordinate their plans for the class in advance.
Research project - 65% Total
In this group project, you will design and execute your own media audience study. Working in groups of 3 or 4, you will choose a specific audience group and specific medium, media text, or media genre to study. You will research previous literature on your topic and design an audience study that draws upon various ethnographic methodologies. You will conduct some research independently and some as a group. Your group members will pool your research and each person will write a 10-15 page paper based on that research. In addition, the entire group will offer a 40 minute presentation to the rest of the class, summarizing your findings. This project will be broken down into a series of shorter assignments:
1) Topic/research meeting with Elana (Required but not graded) – 5/28/09
2) Literature Review (Graded individually, 10%) – Each group member will research and review three sources that relate in some way to the research project, including previous research on the specific topic and contextual research into the text or audience under study. At least two of these sources must be scholarly; one can come from a popular source. Three to five pages. – Due 6/2/09
3) Research Plan (Individual grade, 5%; Group grade 5%) – This assignment has two parts. The first part should be written by the group as a whole (and will be graded as such). In this part you will set out your topic, your research questions, and the specifics of your project, including what combination of sources/methods the group as a whole will use (2 pages). Each student should also submit an individual research plan, with specifics of interviews, other research methods, and any potential problems you anticipate. Also include talking points for interviews (2 pages). Individuals will submit details of research plans, including talking points for interviews (2-3 pages). – Due 6/2/09
4) Transcripts/field notes (Individual grade, 10%) – Each group member will submit transcripts from individual and any group interviews, as well as field notes from participant observations and/or on-line chat and message board research. – Due 6/15/09
5) Group presentation (Group grade, 5%) – In this 40 minute presentation, your group will present your research and conclusions to the rest of the class, as well as lead a discussion/question and answer session about your project. All group members are expected to participate equally. – 6/18/09
6) Final paper (Individual grade, 30%) -- In this 10-15 page paper, you will analyze all of the research gathered by your group, setting out an argument about the relationship between your audience group and the media product they consume. – Due 6/22/09
In order to pass the course, all work must be completed. All assignments are due at the beginning of class on their due date. Late assignments (including those handed in later in the class period) will be penalized 1/3 grade per day (i.e., A to A-, B- to C+, etc.)
Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors. Any instances of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, will receive the full penalties, per the policies and practices of the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, the College of Letters & Science, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
If you need special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course, please contact me as soon as possible.
Students will be allowed to complete examinations or other requirements that are missed because of a religious observance.
For university policies on these and other matters, please see http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/SecU/SyllabusLinks.pdf.
5/26/09 – Introduction
5/27/09 – Theories and methods of media audience studies
Seiter, Television and New Media Audiences, pp. 11-16; 21-24
Machin, Ethnographic Research for Media Studies, Chapter 4
5/28/09 – Project Work Day – Library/Groups meet with Elana
6/1/09 – Ethnographic method and media audience studies
Machin, Ethnographic Research for Media Studies, Introduction, Chapters 2,
6-11 (selected), 15
6/2/09 – Problems in media audience research
Machin, Ethnographic Research for Media Studies, Chapter 5
e-reserve: Seiter, “Making Distinctions in TV Audience Research: Case Study of a
Literature Review and Research Plan Due
6/3/09 – Race and media audiences
e-reserve: Press and Johnson-Yale, “Political talk and the flow of ambient
television:Women watching Oprah in an African-American hair salon”
Tracy, “‘Why don’t you act your color?’ Preteen girls, identity, and
6/4/09 – Race and media audiences
e-reserve: Seiter, “Wrestling with the Web: Latino Fans and Symbolic Violence”
Means Coleman, “The Menace II Society copycat murder case and thug life:
A reception study with a convicted criminal”
6/8/09 -- Age and media audiences: Adult/child relationships
Seiter, Television and New Media Audiences, Chapters 3, 4, and 5
6/9/096 – Project Work Day
6/10/09 – Age and media audiences: Teens
e-reserve: Bortree, “Presentation of Self on the Web: An Ethnographic Study of
Teenage Girls’ Weblogs”
Clark, “Dating on the Net: Teens and the Rise of ‘Pure’ Relationships”
6/11/09 -- Gender and media audiences
e-reserve: Thornham, “‘It’s a boy thing’: Gaming, gender, and geeks”
Bird, “Gendered Readings”
6/15/09 – Sexuality and media audiences
e-reserve: Sender, “Selling Sexual Subjectivities”
Laukkanen, “Young Queers Online”
Transcripts/field notes due
6/16/09 – Fandom
e-reserve: Jenkins, “Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten”
6/17/09 – Fandom
e-reserve: Serazio, “Virtual Sports Consumption: Authentic Brotherhood: The
Reality of Fantasy Football”
Kohnen, “The Adventures of a Repressed Farm Boy and the Billionaire Who
Loves Him: Queer Spectatorship in Smallville Fandom”
6/18/09 – Presentations/Discussion of findings
Final Paper Due – Monday, June 22, 4 PM