Notes on Theories of Mass Communications

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Popular culture Pages: 2 (762 words) Published: October 8, 1999
This is NOT an essay - it is a collection of notes which are the foundation of an 800 word comparison of two articles regarding the place of humanities in university studies, and the roles of mass communication.Part 1 (800 words - 30%)You will be given two short readings by the end of Week 3 of the Semester. Identify the approach or approaches used in each, and with reference to the features and examples of the identified approaches as presented in Subject materials, justify your answer.Andrew Riemer's article, "Cannon or Fodder?" (The Weekend Australian, 16-17 November 1996) can be identified as having both Idealist and Leavisite approaches within the text. This is indicated in several passages of the text:"My colleagues in the Department of English were irresponsible...They were trivialising the allowing undergraduates to sidestep the so-called canonical favour of whatever transient phenomenon or writer of small talent happened to be their latest obsession.""They were reprehensible ... in encouraging their students to impose simple sub-Marxist, sub-feminist templates on complex and mysterious works of literature ... Milton's Eve reduced to a mere victim of the patriarchy.""Alluring though it might be, we cannot recover intellectual integrity by turning back the clock.""Cannon or Fodder?" (The Weekend Australian, 16-17 November 1996)When looking at the approaches as they are presented in the Subject Materials, one is able to identify them as clearly being both Idealistic and Leavisite. Our Subject Book indicates that the Idealistic view of culture has been "conceived in the humanities and in journalism and popular social commentary ... a realm of moral, spiritual and aesthetic values which exist largely independent and above society". Further, this view states Culture was isolated from society - autonomous because it had to be abstracted from one way of life...
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