MASS MEDIA AND MINORITIES “WHAT IS MASS MEDIATED CULTURE” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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MASS MEDIA AND MINORITIES “WHAT IS MASS MEDIATED CULTURE”
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MASS MEDIA AND MINORITIES “WHAT IS MASS MEDIATED CULTURE”

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  1. MASS MEDIA AND MINORITIES“WHAT IS MASS MEDIATED CULTURE” • MASS MEDIA IS COMPOSED OF LARGE-SCALE ORGANIZATIONS THAT USE PRINT OR ELECTRONIC MEANS (SUCH AS RADIO, TELEVISION, OR FILM) TO COMMUNICATION WITH LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE.

  2. HOW IS CULTURE MEDIATED BY MEDIA? • MEDIA PRESENTS US WITH INFORMATION AND IMAGES ON: 1) HOW THE WORLD IS ORGANIZED, 2) THE SOCIAL RELATIONS THAT PREVAIL, AND 3) ASSUMPTIONS (ABOUT SUCH THINGS AS – MEN & WOMEN, MALENESS AND FEMALENESS, PEOPLENESS AND PEOPLE OF COLOURNESS) THAT WE USE WHEN WE CONSTRUCT OUR EVERYDAY LIVES

  3. MEDIA AS SOCIALIZING AGENTS THEY FUNCTION TO: • INFORM US ABOUT EVENTS; • INTRODUCE US TO A WIDE VARIETY OF PEOPLE; • PROVIDE AN ARRAY OF VIEWPOINTS ON CURRENT ISSUES; • THEY MAKE US AWARE OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES (THAT IF WE PURCHASE THEM, SUPPOSEDLY WILL HELP US TO ACCEPT OTHERS), AND; • ENTERTAIN US BY PROVIDING THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY (THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES).

  4. MEDIA IMPACT ON CHILDREN • RECENT ESTIMATES INDICATE THAT CLOSE TO 100 PERCENT OF CANADIAN HOUSEHOLDS HAVE AT LEAST ONE TELEVISION. CANADIAN VIEWERS WATCH AN AVERAGE OF 3.3 HOURS OF TELEVISION PER DAY (ADAMS, 1998). THIS MEANS THAT THE AVERAGE SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD WILL HAVE SPENT MORE TIME WATCHING TELEVISION THAN ATTENDING SCHOOL

  5. Deconstructing The Media • The media constitute a socially constructed system of technologically driven communications that are anything but neutral or passive in delivery. Media are actively involved in shaping messages and circulating meanings. • [Therefore] media is configured by “hidden agendas” and “dominant ideologies” in advancing vested rather than common interests. • [Therefore] media are not only constructed through human agency, they also construct realities by “naturalizing” our perception of the world as necessary and normal rather than conventional and constructed. • Cultural frames of reference are imposed that define some aspects of reality as acceptable and others as unacceptable. • There is a double-edged nature of media relations to society and society-building – it informs and it is complicit in the information [it is complicit in generating information (a view of the world); It has an “assumptive reality”

  6. What Are Some Of The Major Assumptions(Those Things That Go Without Saying) • One is that it is not complicit in social life; That it is merely a mirror on the world; That it is (or can be) neutral. • [Yet sociologists agree] the commitment to “inform” and “entertain” is riddled with hidden agendas that benefit some, handicap others. • The media establish standards of performance, then fail to live up to these expectations, (in effect creating a disjuncture between expectations and reality, both at institutional and public levels. • They generate social problems by virtue of their existence as a big business, their status as discourses in defense of profit, and their role as an instrument of “thought control” in a democratic society. • By examining newscasting, tv programming, advertising, and “internetting,” the media can be shown to exert a negative impact by eliciting mixed messages at odds with the ideals of a progressive society. • This is tied to the phenomenon of "thought control" – in my usage this refers to the ability to inculcate incoherent and at times contradictory assumptions and beliefs by the mass of the population.

  7. THE PHENOMENON OF “THOUGHT CONTROL” • IN MY USAGE THIS REFERS TO THE ABILITY TO EXERT UNDUE INFLUENCE • ONE EXAMPLE REFERS TO THE INCULCATION OF INCOHERENT AND AT TIMES CONTRADICTORY ASSUMPTIONS AND BELIEFS BY THE MASS OF THE POPULATION.

  8. MEDIA AND CRIME: “THE PROCESS OF THOUGHT CONTROL” • MOST CANADIANS LEARN ABOUT CRIME THROUGH THE MEDIA RATHER THAN FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. STORIES ON TELEVISION AND RADIO, AND IN NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, AND BOOKS SHAPE OUR VIEWS ABOUT CRIME AND CRIMINALS. HOWEVER MEDIA DO NOT SIMPLY “REPORT” THE NEWS. EDITORS AND REPORTERS SELECT THE CRIME NEWS WE HEAR ABOUT AND CONSTRUCT THE WAY IN WHICH IT IS PRESENTED.

  9. Fear of crime and the media:“Does the Matrix have you?” • UNFORTUNATELY THE PICTURE OF CRIME WE RECEIVE FROM MASS MEDIA IS VERY INACCURATE. • EX: WHILE MOST CRIME IS PROPERTY CRIME, MOST STORIES IN THE MEDIA DEAL WITH VIOLENT CRIME. • GABOR (1994) REVIEWED ALL THE CRIME-RELATED STORIES REPORTED OVER TWO MONTHS IN AN OTTAWA PAPER: • SEVEN PERCENT WERE VIOLENT CRIMES (THE CITY AVERAGED JUST SIX MURDERS PER YEAR). • WHILE VIOLENT CRIMES WERE OVER REPORTED – WHITE-COLLAR AND POLITICAL CRIMES WERE ALMOST NEVER REPORTED. • BETWEEN 1990 AND 1996 THE HOMICIDE RATE IN CANADA DECLINED BY ALMOST 20 PERCENT WHILE MURDER COVERAGE ON CBC AND CTV NATIONAL NEWS PROGRAMS INCREASED BY 300 PERCENT. • CALGARY HAD 12 MURDERS IN 1996, A YEAR THE CALGARY HERALD PUBLISHED 1667 MURDER-RELATED STORIES (NATIONAL MEDIA ARCHIVE, 1997).

  10. Why does media misrepresent crime? “If it bleeds it leads” • STORIES THAT ATTRACT VIEWERS OR READERS WILL BOOST RATINGS AND CIRCULATION EVEN IF THESE STORIES DO NOT REPRESENT THE REALITY OF CRIME. • THE INFORMAL RULE IS: “IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS” (REFLECTING THE FACT THAT THE PUBLIC ARE FASCINATED BY SENSATIONALIZED, BLOODY STORIES SUCH AS THOSE OF MASS MURDERS OR ATTACKS AGAINST HELPLESS SENIOR CITIZENS.) • THE PRIMARY GOAL OF THE MEDIA IS TO MAKE PROFITS BY SELLING ADVERTISING.

  11. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE MEDIA MISREPRESENTATION OF CRIME? • CANADIANS GREATLY OVERESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF VIOLENT CRIME THAT IS COMMITTED AND HAVE A FEAR OF CRIME THT IS MORE INTENSE THAN THE RISK OF VICTIMIZATION JUSTIFIES. • .EX: ONE SURVEY FOUND THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF CANADIANS – 75 PERCENT – FELT THAT MOST CRIMES ARE ACCOMPANIED BY VIOLENCE, THROUGH THE TRUE FIGURE IS LESS THAN 10 PERCENT (DOOB AND ROBERTS, 1983). • DESPITE A SIGNIFICANT DROP IN CRIME THROUGHOUT THE 1990S AND INTO THE NEW MILLENNIUM A SURVEY FOUND THAT CANADIANS ARE MORE FEARFUL OF CRIME THAN THEY WERE IN 1991 (STATS CAN, 1998). • OUR FEARS ARE REINFORCED BY THE GLOBAL COVERAGE OF VIOLENCE. TELEVISION CAN INSTANTLY BRING US EVENTS FROM ANYWHERE AND VIOLENT CRIMES SUCH AS MASS MURDERS IN AUSTRALIA AND IN SCOTLAND ARE REPORTED AS IMMEDIATELY AND AS INTENSELY AS IF THEY HAD HAPPENED IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES.

  12. CONSEQUENCES OF THE MEDIA MISREPRESENTATION OF CRIME (CON’T) • THE MEDIA ALSO PROVIDE US WITH A DISTORTED STEREOTYPE OF OFFENDERS. VIOLENT CRIMES ARE MOST OFTEN COMMITTED BY RELATIVES, FRIENDS, AND ACQUAINTANCES, NOT BY ANONYMOUS STRANGERS. • CORPORATE AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR A GREAT DEAL OF SOCIAL HARM, BUT THEIR ACTIVITIES ARE RARELY RECEIVE MUCH ATTENTION IN MEDIA. • THE FEAR OF CRIME AND OUR IMAGE OF THE CRIMINAL HAVE AN IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT POLICY TOWARD CRIME. ACTUAL CRIME TRENDS ARE IRRELEVANT – IF THE PUBLIC FEELS CRIM IS OUT OF CONTROL, IT DEMANDS THAT GOVERNMENT DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. • WHILE CRIME RATES ARE DECLINING, A COMBINATION OF INCREASING MEDIA COVERAGE OF CRIME AND PRESSURE FROM A VARIETY OF INTEREST GROUPS HAS LED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TIGHTEN SEVERAL LAWS INCLUDING THOSE CONCERNING IMMIGRATION, YOUNG OFFENDERS, AND FIREARMS.

  13. Marginalized Communities • Research challenges the perception that we are all equally likely to be crime victims by revealing that the most "marginalized groups" in society have the greatest chance to be victimized by crime. • At the same time, marginalized communities have pointed to the inadequate response by the state to their victimization == people who fit the typical offender profile {stereotype} are "over-policed", while those who commit serious harms but do not hold these characteristics are typically "under-policed"

  14. What Are There (Hidden Or Disguise) Manifestations Of Racism In The Mass Media • A)              INVISIBILITY OF PEOPLE OF COLOUR – NUMEROUS STUDIES CONFIRM THAT CANADA’S MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY IS POORLY REFLECTED IN THE ADVERTISING, PROGRAMMING, AND NEWS-CASTING SECTORS OF POPULAR MEDIA; DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN DECISION-MAKING. • IN MANY CASES, PEOPLE OF COLOUR IN MEDIA ARE “SEGREGATED” ON SEPARATE SHOWS OR FORUMS – IN OTHERS THEY ARE INTEGRATED INTO “MAINSTREAM” AS TOKENS WHO MUST ADOPT A MAINSTREAM-LIKE PERSONA. (BOTH ARE FORMS OF NON-ACCEPTANCE).  • B)              STEREOTYPICAL PORTRAYALS – EVERYWHERE IMAGES OF RACIAL MINORITIES ARE STEEPED IN UNFOUNDED GENERALIZATIONS THAT EMPHASIZE THE COMICAL OR GROTESQUE.  • EX: -- AUNT JEMIMA HAS APPEARED ON BOXES OF PANCAKE MIX FOR OVER 100 YEARS. (THE SMILING BLACK WOMAN, WHOSE HEAD USED TO BE WRAPPED IN A KERCHIEF REMINISCENT OF A MAMMY/SERVANT IMAGE.) RASTUS IS STILL THE CREAM OF WHEAT CHEF, AND UNCLE BEN IS THE SMILING GRANDFATHERLY BLACK MAN ON THE BOXES OF RICE FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY. THESE IMAGES, CREATED DECADES AGO, ARE WOVEN INTO POPULAR CULTURE (AND PROMOTE WHAT SOME PEOPLE CALL “SIMPLE-MINDED SERVANT” STEREOTYPES). • C)              STEREOTYPES ARE A KIND OF “CONVENIENT SHORTHAND” – SIMPLIFY MEDIA PROCESS. MEDIA MOVERS JUST TAP INTO A POOL OF STEREOTYPES TO CREATE A READILY IDENTIFIABLE FRAMES (TROPES) THAT IMPOSE A THEMATIC COHERENCE THAT AUDIENCES CAN RELATE TO BECAUSE OF SHARED CULTURAL CODES.

  15. MEDIA AND CULTURAL HEGEMONY“HIDDEN AGENDAS AND DOMINANT IDEOLOGIES” • REFERS TO THE SUPREMACY OF A GROUP WHICH MANIFESTS ITSELF IN TWO WAYS: AS DOMINATION AND INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL LEADERSHIP (GRAMSCI, 1971; GIROUX, 1981). • SOCIAL SCIENTISTS BELIEVE WITH THE CHANGING FORMS OF DOMINATION THAT HAVE DEVELOPED IN ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, WITH THE RISE OF MODERN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SOCIAL CONTROL HAS BEEN EXERCISED LESS THROUGH THE USE OF PHYSICAL DETERRENTS AND INCREASINGLY THROUGH THE DISTRIBUTION OF AN ELABORATE SYSTEM OF NORMS AND IMPERATIVES. • .THOUGHT CONTROL ON A MASS SCALE LEADS TO A SUBTLE AND ACCOMPLISHED SOCIAL CONTROL HERETOFORE NON-EXISTENT.

  16. THECRIMINALBLACKMAN • IN HER 1998 BOOK, THE COLOR OF CRIME, KATHRYN RUSSELL SPEAKS OF THE "CRIMINALBLACKMAN." • THE CRIMINALBLACKMAN IS A COMPOSITE OF WHITE FEARS OF BLACK MEN’S CRIMINALITY == IT MAY BECOME SO STRONG AND SO WIDESPREAD THAT IT ALLOWS FOR “RACIAL HOAXES,” IN WHICH A WHITE OFFENDER BLAMES AN AFRICAN AMERICAN, USUALLY MALE, FOR THE OFFENSE IN QUESTION AND IS READILY BELIEVED BY CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENTS AND/OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. • {{{EX: CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF MEDIA COVERAGE— INFLUENCES PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF SERIOUS CRIME AS LARGELY A MATTER OF RACE, REAL ESTATE (INCORPORATING CLASS AND AREA), AND FAMILY CONSTITUTION [LEADING TO AN INDICTMENT OF FAILED “MOTHERS” {RACIALIZED AND GENDER-IZED BY WHITE PATRIARCHY]}}}

  17. MEDIA MITIGATES AGAINST MULTICULTURALISM • MEDIA ACTS TO ABET DOMINATION AND INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL LEADERSHIP -- NORMS, VALUES, AND ASSUMPTIONS -- OF WHITE, MALE DOMINATED INSTITUTIONS. • {FINE, BUT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?} – THIS CONTINUES TO PREVENT THE MASS MEDIA FROM FAIRLY AND ACCURATELY REFLECTING AND REPRESENTING THE MULTIRACIAL REALITY OF CANADIAN SOCIETY. • WHITE ELITES CONTROL THE STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS OF THE MASS MEDIA, IT MAY BE EXPECTED THAT THE WHITE PRESS SHARES IN THE OVERALL SYSTEM THAT “SUSTAINS WHITE GROUP DOMINANCE”

  18. THE EUROPEAN GAZE • WHEN A NEWS STORY IS TOLD FROM A MALE, PARTICULARLY A EUROPEAN-NORTH-AMERICAN MALE POINT OF VIEW, THE STANDPOINT OF THE REPORTER OR EDITOR IS NOT NOTED. IT IS ASSUMED TO BE A GENERAL, UNBIASED, OBJECTIVE POINT OF VIEW. • WHEN THE STORY IS TOLD FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A PERSON OF COLOUR, IT IS COMMON FOR THE POINT OF VIEW TO BE DEEMED A "SPECIAL INTEREST" AND THE STANDPOINT TO BE SEEN AS "NOT OBJECTIVE." THE WORDS OR VIEWS ARE MODIFIED TO PRESENT THEM TO A EUROPEAN MALE GAZE. • MEDIA IS COMPLICIT IN ENTRENCHING DOMINANT, OR "HEGEMONIC," SOCIAL PATTERNS OF WHO IS IMPORTANT, WHOSE WORDS ARE WORTH MORE AIR TIME, WHOSE GAZE IS CONSIDERED THE GAZE, WHO HAS POWER. • YET -- IN A SOCIETY THAT CLAIMS ALL PEOPLE ARE INDIVIDUALS, NO ONE GROUP HAS A MONOPOLY ON OBJECTIVITY, AND IN ORDER TO WORK TOWARD A SOCIETY THAT IS TRULY FAIR AND JUST TO ALL, WE ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW OTHER PEOPLE PERCEIVE THE SOCIAL WORLD.