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COMM002: Media and Society

Unit 1: Mass Media as a Cultural Industry   We can think of mass communication as an activity, something people do to get messages across to other people. That’s true if we consider only the simplest definitions of mass communication and mass media. But the messages produced by media organizations become part of our culture. In many instances, they are efforts to change our culture, or even create new cultures of community or of the mind. In this unit, we will explore the history and development of media and culture, and we will examine how the two are intertwined in our lives. We also will look at a framework for analyzing media messages using the concepts of media literacy. 

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you about 7.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 1.25 hours

☐    Unit 1 Assignments: 1 hour

☐    Unit 1 Assessments: 30 minutes

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- define mass media and mass communication; - summarize the history of media and describe their functions; - discuss the concept of culture and describe how it relates to mass media; - identify and describe examples of transmedia, citing the qualities that define transmedia storytelling; - summarize the basic concepts of media literacy; and - analyze and explain media texts within the media-literacy framework.

1.1 Mass Media as a Cultural Industry   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Introduction: ‘The Lost Cell Phone’,” and “Section 1.1: Intersection of American Media and Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Introduction: “The Lost Cell Phone,” and “Section 1.1: Intersection of American Media and Culture” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to access the full text, or if you prefer, you may download the text by visiting Saylor’s Bookshelf and clicking “DOC” beneath the book’s title.
 
Read the introduction to Chapter 1, “The Lost Cell Phone” on pages 4-7, and Section 1.1, “Intersection of American Media and Culture” on pages 8-11, paying special attention to the definitions of mass media and culture.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes. 

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
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1.1.1 Key Definitions   1.1.1.1 Defining Culture   - Lecture: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 2, Part 1: What is Culture?”; “Part 2: Developing a Common Culture”; and “Part 3: The Functions and Effects of Culture” Link: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 2, Part 1: What is Culture?”(YouTube); “Part 2: Developing a Common Culture” (YouTube);and “Part 3: The Functions and Effects of Culture”(YouTube)
 
Also available in iTunes
 
Instructions: Each video is a lecture on some aspect of media and culture. Listen carefully to these lectures, and try to relate Professor Dugas’s thoughts on culture with what you’ve read so far in Understanding Media and Culture. Take notes as needed.
 
Watching these lectures and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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1.1.1.2 Defining Mass Communication and Mass Media   - Lecture: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 3, Part 1: The Communication Process”; “Part 2b: Communications Settings”; and “Part 3: The Nature of Mass Communication” Link: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 3, Part 1: The Communication Process” (YouTube); “Part 2b: Communications Settings” (YouTube); and “Part 3: The Nature of Mass Communication” (YouTube)
 
Also available in iTunes
 
Instructions: Listen carefully to these lectures. Professor Dugas goes into great detail analyzing mass media with models that apply to all media. Take notes as needed.
 
Watching these lectures and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.2 A Brief History of Media and Culture   1.1.2.1 How Media Has Evolved   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 2: How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Media,” and “Section 3: How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 2: How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Media,” and “Section 3: How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Culture” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Section 2 on pages 11-22 and Section 3 on pages 22-27. The development of mass media since the advent of the printing press has gone in step with changes in culture. As you read these sections, try to connect the two along parallel tracks.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

1.1.2.2 The Cultural Times We Live In   - Web Media: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 3: New Media Landscapes, Part 6a” and “Part 6b” Link: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 3: New Media Landscapes, Part 6a”(YouTube) and “Part 6b” (YouTube)
 
Also available in iTunes
 
Instructions: Listen carefully to these lectures and try to connect Professor Dugas’s ideas with what you’ve read in Understanding Media and Culture.
 
Watching these lectures and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 Convergence and the Changing Media Landscape   1.2.1 The Five Types of Convergence   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 4: Media Mix: Convergence” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 4: Media Mix: Convergence” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Section 4 on pages 27-32, taking notes on Henry Jenkins’s five types of convergence. Then connect that information with the next reading.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

1.2.2 Convergence as Culture   - Reading: University of Southern California: Henry Jenkins’s *Confessions of an Aca-Fan: Convergence and Divergence: Two Parts of the Same Process* Link: University of Southern California: Henry Jenkins’s Confessions of an Aca-Fan: “Convergence and Divergence: Two Parts of the Same Process” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Jenkins makes the case in his blog entry that we overemphasize technological convergence (television on your cell phone), which might, in fact, be the least important type of convergence. He emphasizes how convergence is a cultural process.
 
Reading this post should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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1.2.3 Transmedia and Worlds of Culture   - Reading: University of Southern California: Henry Jenkins’s *Confessions of an Aca-Fan: Transmedia Storytelling 101* Link: University of Southern California: Henry Jenkins’s Confessions of an Aca-Fan: “Transmedia Storytelling 101”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Dr. Jenkins, in his blog, defines and explains transmedia. This reading should be considered alongside the following web media.
 
Reading this post should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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  • Web Media: Vimeo: Nikos Katsaounis’s “Henry Jenkins on Transmedia” Link: Vimeo: Nikos Katsaounis’s “Henry Jenkins on Transmedia”(Vimeo)
     
    Instructions: In the video above, Henry Jenkins discusses the effects of transmedia on society. Consider this alongside the previous reading, and think of other ways a transmedia strategy has been used to bring about social change.
     
    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Nikos Katsaounis, and the original version can be found here.

1.3 The Cultural Industries   1.3.1 Media Shapes Our Values, and We Shape Media   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 5: Cultural Values Shape Media; Media Shape Cultural Values” Link: Understanding Media and Culture (PDF): “Chapter 1, Section 5: Cultural Values Shape Media; Media Shape Cultural Values”
 
Instructions: Section 1.5 on pages 32-38 approaches the interaction of culture and media from a First Amendment perspective. Keep what he says in mind as you read and try to connect it to the subunits that follow.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

1.3.2 The Intersection of Media and Culture   - Lecture: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 4: The Interaction of Mass Media and Mass Culture, Part 1”, “Part 2”, and “Part 3” Link: YouTube: University of Nebraska: Professor Terry Dugas’s The Influence of Media on Culture: “Module 4: The Interaction of Mass Media and Mass Culture, Part 1”(YouTube), “Part 2” (YouTube), and “Part 3” (YouTube)
 
Also available in:

[iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/influence-media-on-culture/id262238502)  
    
 Instructions: In his lectures, Professor Dugas discusses the
process of socialization. See if you can discover where his thoughts
connect with the approach taken in Chapter 1, Section 5 (pages
32-38) of *Understanding Media and Culture*.  
    
 Watching these lectures and taking notes should take approximately
30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.3 Pop Culture and the Media   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 6: Mass Media and Popular Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 6: Mass Media and Popular Culture” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 1, Section 6 on pages 38-47, where the author defines pop culture as the media, products, and attitudes considered to be part of the mainstream of a given culture and the everyday life of common people. But he is trying to nail down something that doesn’t hold still, and the definition does not differentiate between culture (something lasting) and taste (something fleeting).
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

1.3.4 Pop Culture and Politics   - Web Media: Truthout: Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co.’s “How Pop Culture Influences Political Expectations” Link: Truthout: Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co.’s “How Pop Culture Influences Political Expectations” (Vimeo)
 
Instructions: Earlier in this course we watched a video in which Henry Jenkins discussed the Obama campaign as a successful use of transmedia. Watch this discussion, in which Bill Moyers and Neil Gabler talk about the effects of pop culture on the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign’s use of media also illustrates the concerns expressed in Understanding Media and Culture about how Internet culture allows organizations to bypass the gatekeeping function of mass media.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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1.4 Media Literacy   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 1, Section 7: Media Literacy” Link: Understanding Media and Culture (PDF): “Chapter 1, Section 7: Media Literacy”
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 1, Section 7 (pages 47-52) to gain a basic understanding of media literacy and how you can adopt this approach to view media with a critical eye.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

1.4.1 Digital Media Literacy   - Reading: Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy’s *The Intersection of Digital and Media Literacy and Digital Literacy Fundamentals* Link: Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy’s “The Intersection of Digital and Media Literacy(HTML) and “Digital Literacy Fundamentals (HTML)
 
Instructions: These readings discuss how digital media has made becoming media literate a more difficult task. The Internet culture complicates the questions of who created a message and what values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, the message.
 
Reading these articles and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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1.4.2 The Responsible Media Citizen   - Reading: Henry Jenkins’s *Confessions of an Aca-Fan: OurSpace: Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World (Part One)* Link: Henry Jenkins’s Confessions of an Aca-Fan: “OurSpace: Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World (Part One)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Media literacy is of profound interest to many teachers, who use media but also compete with it for the attention of their students. Read Henry Jenkins’s ideas on why teaching media literacy is important in a democratic society as young people possess greater and greater power to communicate through digital means.
 
Reading this post should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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