Posted in September 2013

Latour, Bruno (1992) Where are the Missing Masses?


Editor’s intro: This article suggests Actor Network Theory as a compromise between Social Constructivism and Technological Determinism. Latour describes how human and non-human actors work together and influence each other. Uses a door hinge analogy

Iqani, Mehita. (2012) Consumer Culture and the Media


In Consumer Culture and the Media Iqani sets out to determine how consumer culture is constructed, promoted and maintained by media.  She argues that consumer culture has become ubiquitous because media, which also pervade almost every aspect of our daily lives, aesthetically package consumer culture and sell it back to us.  Media and consumer culture, … Continue reading

Peters, John Durham. (1999) Speaking Into The Air – Reading Notes


Main Argument Communication is a modern notion, developed in the nineteenth century and he argues that it has not been studied enough.  Peters traces the evolution of ideas around communication throughout history and extrapolates their wider social, political, philosophical and religious implications. Introduction What is communication and what does the term mean? “Divisions between self … Continue reading

Eisenstein, Elizabeth. (1983) The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe


Main Argument Eisenstein studies the cultural impact of the transition from scribal culture to print culture and suggests that historians have not properly acknowledged the significance of this revolution.  The impact of the printing press on the flow of information allowed major intellectual revolutions (Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution) to take place.  Ideas and information could … Continue reading

Broadcasting: Cultural Studies


We learned from Martin (1991) that new technologies such as the telegraph and telephone had to adapt to fit into existing social and cultural traditions, while at the same time they also birthed entirely new sociocultural practices.  In the same way, radio and television were not only mass disseminators of culture but a culture had … Continue reading

The Telegraph and Globalization of Information


In a previous reading by Baldasty (1992) we learned that news is a social construct, carefully engineered to supply the market demand.  Given this, we can conclude that the natural biases of news writers shape and distort the perceptions of news audiences. Historically, due to the confines of time and space, news was controlled by … Continue reading

The First Mass Media


Our readings these week explore turn of the century newspapers and magazines and demonstrate how cultural ideals, such as miserablism and consumerism, shaped mass media while at the same time mass media shaped cultural ideals.  Historians agree these transformations had implications for power and control, but disagree on the resulting degree of polarity between political … Continue reading

News in Print: 1500-1850


As we have already learned from Anderson (1991 [1983]) and Habermas (1989 [1962]), the invention of the printing press was not merely a technological advance; it also fundamentally changed the ways in which contemporaries perceived themselves within their societies. Our readings this week further extend this argument by examining how the practice of journalism actually … Continue reading