Cultural Industries: Culture in a Cup

What are cultural industries? According to Hesmondhalgh’s texts cultural industries are defined as those which have “leisure, information, entertainment, media, and creativity” as their primary outputs. Others might refer to the cultural industries as simply “entertainment and the arts”.

What is missing in referring to the cultural industries is the required awareness of the impact such industries have people. Members of The Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse) warned about the difference between true needs and false needs. But of what concern are these to us? Continue reading “Cultural Industries: Culture in a Cup”

The Internet, Mass Media Pervasiveness

The Internet is a pervasive medium that enhances personal communication, access to information, and freedom of speech, while making obsolete borders, reversing isolation even as it reduces tactile and direct experiences with real people, which retrieves a sense of tribalism a global village.

By means of the Internet, the ways in which we can communicate have been forever enhanced. The Internet is here to stay and it will ever continue to grow in popularity. Continue reading “The Internet, Mass Media Pervasiveness”

No Offense Barney!

Dear little sister Erin,

I worry about you and your children when it comes to the dangers of television. You see when I was young I watched Sesame Street on PBS. Then several years later you came along and watched Barney, the big purple dinosaur who sang the incessant “You love me” song. I never owned a Big Bird nor Ernie doll. But Barney’s marketing and merchandising was seen in your life as you towed around the plush toy and wore clothes with his branding. Continue reading “No Offense Barney!”

Popular Media Critique

Ms. Magazine covers national and global news relating to women’s issues. It features investigative reporting, political analysis, and content about feminist leaders, as well as issues related to women’s relationships, religion, civil rights, money, health, and the environment. Continue reading “Popular Media Critique”

Democratic Power and the Printing Press

I love my books.

Someone, who I am certain was probably pretty important, once said “Knowledge is power.” Before the fifteenth century however the distribution of knowledge was inhibited by the process of oral and scribal transmission. Enter the printing press which allowed reproduction of information for easier access and a broader reach. Hence we see the ‘democratization of knowledge’ which brought on a revolution in power; knowledge is power. Continue reading “Democratic Power and the Printing Press”

Sociology of Family: New Era. New Bra. New Rules.

The article I am reviewing was called “The Secret Lives of Wives: Why They Stray” that appeared in the July 12th, 2006 issue of Newsweek Magazine. The article was written by Lorraine Ali and Lisa Miller of Newsweek with assistance from Vanessa Juarez, Holly Peterson, Karen Springen, Claire Sulmers, William Lee Adams and Raina Kelley. The articles description states “with the work place and the Internet, overscheduled lives and inattentive husbands—it’s no wonder more American women are looking for comfort in the arms of another man”. Continue reading “Sociology of Family: New Era. New Bra. New Rules.”

Social Meaning and Cultural Codes in Communication

Culture is a pattern of rules, premises, meanings and symbols constructed socially and passed through history. For example surfers define a culture by means of their unique pattern of rules, meanings and symbols that have been socially constructed and passed on. “Dude, hang ten!” Continue reading “Social Meaning and Cultural Codes in Communication”

Cultural Codes in Communication Key Concepts

Code: a system of values and rules which names what is significant in the world and expresses the nature of those things it names.

Culture: a socially constructed and historically transmitted pattern of symbols, meanings, premises, and rules.

Cultural code: a code that is socially constructed, historically transmitted, distinct among codes, and socially consequential; a system of values and rules people use to make sense of and judge the actions of themselves and others. Continue reading “Cultural Codes in Communication Key Concepts”

Social Drama Reveals Cultural Codes in Communication

Social dramas are a handy means of revealing cultural codes of communication because they usually distill arguments down to cultural perspectives through emotional arguments. What I mean is, people are stripped of their generic beings and the cultural values and beliefs at their core shine through while their emotions play into the drama. For instance in Daley’s speech he immediately turns to the revered symbol of a mother, and artfully twists the professor’s challenge into an accusation of Mrs. Keane and of how well she raised her son. This happened because gender and place are key themes of the Teamsterville spoken life, and this argument was suddenly about an offense both to her in her female role, and his station as a mother raising a son fit for office.

Continue reading “Social Drama Reveals Cultural Codes in Communication”

The Influence of Advertising on Magazine Journalism

Please, just call me Ms.

Ms. Magazine was the first U.S. magazine to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women’s magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism. Continue reading “The Influence of Advertising on Magazine Journalism”

Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Class in Popular Television

Sex and the City‘ has been known for pushing the edge of ‘real’ on television. You might imagine with this greater breath of freedom that they would use that position to promote positive images of women, people of color, gay and lesbians and those of different classes. However, that is just not the case. Women are portrayed as being absolutely consumed with the pursuit of men, love, clothes and shoes. Little do we know of their jobs, and even less time is spent discussing them. The main cast is white American’s, with few ethnic characters appearing in a single episode. Carrie and Charlotte have ‘best’ gay friends who serve as fashion accessories. Stanford is the prominent gay character, and together with Anthony, these men serve up flamboyant gay as if it’s going out of style. Finally, issues of class aren’t approached at all… everyone is well-to-do with an amazing apartment with only one financial concern – how many of the new season’s shoes you will be able to purchase.
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Ethnicity, Gender and Communication: Privilege

Privilege is an advantage, right or perk that is not available to everyone, but only an elite group. For example, my boyfriend and I work for the same company, his group reimburses a portion of his cell phone expenses, while mine does not. He was complaining when they took that benefit away. I explained to him how he cannot complain because it was a privilege, not a right. He should be happy for the benefit while he had it, because others just as deserving did not get the same perk. Continue reading “Ethnicity, Gender and Communication: Privilege”

Highlights of the History of Communication

The absence of print technology made oral communication of vital importance during the classical period in ancient Athens. Without the luxury of the printed word, the Athenians had to rely on the spoken word for the propagation of political theory and ideas, for personal expression which at times was used as a means of entertainment and finally to argue for justice in the newly formed democracy. Continue reading “Highlights of the History of Communication”

Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

A Guide for ESL Tutors

As a tutor, you will be working with students from other cultures. You will gain an appreciation for different cultures by providing the student with an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Encourage the student to talk about his/her family and country. If you are asked about American customs, be sensitive to the tutee’s viewpoints. What is socially acceptable in the U.S. might be unthinkable in the student’s culture. Most foreign students are eager to talk about their country and traditions. This interaction might be a valuable learning experience for you. Continue reading “Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness”

Interpersonal Communications: Summary

I’ve learned a lot over the past several weeks about my communication skills; areas where I am adept and areas where I could use focused attention for improvement. First, I will explore the skills I have demonstrated some measure of ability over are my use of non-verbal communications, confirming communications, and resolving conflicts with the win-win approach. Next, I will delve into the areas that I will, using the resources provided by this class, exerting effort in my endeavor to improve. Those areas are reducing my defensive reaction when it comes to criticism, having a better understanding and grip on my emotions, adjusting my self-concept, identity management, using the clear message format in tense situations, and finally empathic listening without diverting attention to myself. Continue reading “Interpersonal Communications: Summary”

Communication Skills of Leaders

I have had the honor of attending my first Microsoft conference, TechEd, and watch the inventor of ASP.NET and the head of the team I work for, Scott Guthrie, speak. He is consistently rated one of the top speakers at the convention and is an influential leader in the world of web technologies.

Foremost of importance in what a key leader such as Scott should follow is an awareness of perception. In marketing they say “perception is reality” conveying the concept that it doesn’t matter what is real, just what other people think is real. It is of vital importance for Scott’s position that he come off as a “no shit” guy who knows what he’s talking about. Continue reading “Communication Skills of Leaders”

Interpersonal Communication: Self Disclosure Exercise

You will need to find a partner to complete this exercise. Although it is possible to do this experience online, I think you might enjoy it more with face-to-face communication. Your partner could be your spouse (significant other), a friend, or family member. Each person will ask the other questions from the list. Participants in this exercise are encouraged to go in to detail with their answers and avoid 1-2 word responses. Either party may choose to pass on a question, but that person must not ask that same question of the other party. You do not need to record your responses. Continue reading “Interpersonal Communication: Self Disclosure Exercise”

The Other Box that Changed the World

It’s been called a phenomenon. It’s been praised as a piece of highly desirable innovative design. It’s been regarded as inferior and hard to use. It became an instant pop icon and has changed the streets of every metro city in the country. Beyond its significant price tag, substantial amounts of money is spent accessorizing this accessory. It’s sleek and smaller than a breadbox, it’s about the size of your hand. Its translucent white case with stainless steel back lays the foundation for its undeniably powerful brand.
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