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General Systems Theory

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  1. General Systems Theory Bertalanffy Used to understand the interrelationships among various organizational units

  2. Feedback • Information, positive or negative, received by organizations and its members • Through this that units are able to determine if the information being transmitted is clear and is sufficient to achieve the desired goals.

  3. Mass Media as Social Systems • Social science insist on evidence; makes them “seem” to defend media when actually defending process of research • Mass Media survives even flourishes despite sharp criticism • Answer: somewhere between public taste determines media fair and media fair determines public taste

  4. Social Systems • Media viewed as social systems that operate within a specific external system—American society • Pattern of action exhibited by individuals or sub-groups who relate themselves to one another within systems • Social system--abstraction

  5. Social Systems • A complex state of stable, repetitive, and patterned action that is in part a manifestation of the culture shared by the actors, and in part a manifestation of the psychological orientations of the actors (which are in turn derived from that culture). • The cultural system, the social system, and the personality systems (of the actors), therefore, are different kinds of abstractions made from the same basic data, namely, the overt and symbolic behaviors of individual human beings.

  6. Functional Analysis • Focuses on some specific phenomenon occurring within a social system. It then attempts to show how this phenomenon has consequences that contribute to the stability and permanence of the system as a whole.

  7. Types of Content • Low-taste widely distributed; widely attended to by mass audience; consistently poorly rated by critics • Nondebated widely distributed; widely attended to by mass audience; very little said by critics • High-taste widely distributed but note widely attended to by audiences

  8. Audiences Research Organizations Distributors Producers/Sponsors Advertising Agencies Subsystems of Control External Conditions Formal laws Informal norms Low Taste Content