Archive for December, 2010


Overall I really enjoyed this course. It encouraged my opinion and insight into the effects of new media and media in general on human social behaviour. Although the professor did try to include the effects of the internet on behaviour or the social system in most lectures, I think overall the problem and the issues are bigger than the effects caused by the internet. Yes I do agree that the internet has had a significant impact on freedom of speech and created an outlet for the audience to discuss their opinions, create a new realm of the public sphere and has the potential to influence the social order. It is still important to recognize that the internet is still controlled by corporations. All the dominant websites that the masses use are corporate websites. For example YouTube and Google and Facebook are all owned by corporations, all the major newspapers that have online editions are all owned by corporations, therefore although there is freedom of speech, that voice is usually very minimal and the individual still has limited power.

Decommodified, Deinstitutionalized, Unconstrained, Globalized

As a final lecture, I thought this was a pretty good one. Well organized and the points were well made. The key terms were: alternative symbolic economy, Expanded normative debate, expanding expressive capabilities, toxic parody, indellible memories and the market censor depoliticization of context.

A statement said in class is that television and music videos have become more and more sexualized. I couldn’t agree with Mr. Strangelove and Madonna more. I was actually discussing the new Keri Hilson music video entitled “The Way you Love me” and Keri who is usually known for being very classy and decently clothed in her videos, is now gyrating and grinding in panties in front of and above the camera lens. It leads me to question when is “too sexy” for a music video. Lady Gaga was just as scandalous in her “Alejandro” video. To be honest I think that these videos are more in the soft porn genre then music videos at this point. But I do remember a decade ago maybe female artists would have the camera focused on cleavage, that progressed/transgressed to cameras focusing on their curves or their behinds and now its gone to the point where women are opening their legs with panties on infront of cameras. Like how far is too far? And do people realize the target audience for these artists, its usually young teenagers, and that this can have an effect on overall promiscuity and the perception of the role of women in society.

Another topic covered was that of individualism. The argument was made that previously or in traditional society our personality was buried, and today the modern individual is less institutionalized in terms of religion and by two trends, de-‘sacredization’ and capitalism. I argue that we are just as institutionalized as before, but this time by different things. For example we are still highly influenced by our education system. We are also highly influenced the media system and the power holders and gatekeepers who dictate what we shall see and when we see it. We are also highly influenced by consumerism and materialism, these forces are so big that they can inspire poor people to buy things they can’t afford and don’t need in order to look cool or feel equal to others in their social circle.

Who we are significantly depends on what they tell us.

Chapter 6

When discussing this chapter in class we focused on Noam Chomsky’s and Herman’s Manufacturing Consent/ Propaganda Model. I previously read the model in my political communiction’s class and used the model as a case study for how the media dealt with the U.S. war in Iraq.

As said in class, News is the fifth estate. And one cannot have democracy without a free press. In class Professor Strangelove said, that Chomsky said “Democracy is a tyranny state because it gives the semblance of freedom. But the power elite still have power”. However, when I read that article, I think Chomsky just meant to say that Propaganda is possible in a democratic state, however it is just harder to see.

So the news produces an audience to advertisers and defines the situation. The corporate news system creates the public opinion or even as some might say a public sphere of some sort.

The internet has created corporate news plus two billion.

Social Engineering of Desire

The internet brings various ideas and rapid innovation. There is this mass context and mass realm of ideas where the individual identity is under stress. In popular culture there are all types of metaphors expressing the fear of self. It leaves people questioning, especially young people, “What part of us belongs to us”.

Everything that we see around us, as well as the shows we watch, the stuff we read, the things we learn in school all have an influence on who we are. The individual is colonized so the institutional values become our values.

Nowadays the individual has the potential to change things in the social order or system through new communication avenues such as the internet. The internet is not under the same control and same gatekeepers as television. Through the internet, the individual is able to amass collective action which can have institutional effects.