Senin, 28 November 2011

Media Theory (Basic differences of approach)

The field of media theory is characterized by widely divergent perspectives. In addition to a fundamental difference between the left and the right of the political spectrum – between progressive and conservative, or critical and applied purposes – which plays a major part in structuring theory, there are two main differences of perspective in relation to mass media and society.
            One of these separates ‘media-centric’ from ‘society-centric’ (or social-centric) approaches. The former approach attributes much more autonomy and influence to communication and concentrates on the media’s own sphere of activity; the latter takes a view of the media as so much a reflection of political and economic forces that the theory for the media can be little more than a special application of broader social theory (Golding and Murdock,1978). Media-centric theory sees mass media as a primary mover in social change and often themselves driven forward by irresistible development of communication technology. Whether or not society is driven by the media, it is certainly true that the mass communication theory it self Is so driven, tending to respond to each major shift to media technology and structure.
            The second main dividing line is between those theorists whose interest (and conviction) lies in the realm of culture and ideas and whose emphasize material forces and factors. This divide corresponds approximately with certain other dimension: humanistic versus scientific; qualitative versus quantitative; and subjective versus objective. While these differences may reflect only the necessity for some division of labour in a wide territory, thay often involve competing and contradictory claim about how to pose questions, conduct research and provide explanation. These two alternatives are independent of each other, so that in fact several different perspectives on media and society can be identified. 
The four types of prespective can be briefly describes as follows:
  1. A media – culturalist prespective involves giving primary attention to comtent and to the reception of media message as influenced by the immediate personal environment.
  2. A media – meterialist approach involves the political-economic and the technological aspect of the media themselves receiving the moxt emphasis.
  3. A social-culturalist prespective emphasizes teh influence of social factors on media production and reception and the function of the media in social life.
  4. A social–materialist perspective sees madia mainly as a reflection of economic and material conditions of the society rather than as first cause.
Each of these prespectives can be cross-cut by a more radical or more conservative point of view. However, there has been a tendency for the critical perspectives to be more associated with either a society-centric or a culturalist perspective (or both).


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