Media Expressions. Social Scientific & Cultural Approaches to Media Research Chapter 16. Edward R. Murrow Apr 25, 1908 - Apr 27, 1965 (age 57).
Social Scientific & Cultural
Approaches to Media Research
This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it's nothing but wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful.
Speech to the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) convention in Chicago (15 October 1958)
Social Scientific Research (quantitative)
Cultural Studies (qualitative)
Explores how people make meaning, understand reality, articulate values, and interpret their experiences through use of cultural symbols in media.
Takes a subjective experiential perspective.
Early Research Methods
Public Opinion Research
Social Psychological Studies
Research involves following the scientific method:
Survey Research =2
Content Analysis = 3
Develops a coding scheme.
Conclusions based on number of times a symbol (image, word) appears.
Literary and cultural critics
Antonio Gramsci theorized about how the disempowered accept their oppression and even buy into it through media exposure.
Requires thorough grounding in theories used to analyze text.
Requires thorough understanding of the subject.
Often ignores audience effects.
Social Scientific Approach
Cultural Studies Approach
Research Question: Is morality inflected by gender, race, & class?
Close reading of the text.
Analyze the characters of Walter White, Skyler, Saul Goodman.
Review literature on ethics, gender, race, & social class .