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Flashcards in SY2 Media Deck (269)
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The technological means by which content is communicated between an origin and a destination, such as a telegraph, telephone, TV, book and so on



The plural of the word ‘medium’ which refers to a channel of communication


Mass media

Forms of communication that transmit information to large audiences through instruments such as newspapers, radio, TV, cinema and the internet


Media text

This term refers to any media product a sociologist wishes to examine. E.g. film, TV programme, web-page, newspaper article etc.


Media as an agency of socialisation

The idea that the media helps to transmit the culture of society by teaching people norms, values etc.


Marxist view of the media

A theory which argues that the media is an ideological instrument of the ruling class. It argues that media owners and advertisers have the biggest influence on media content


Ideological power

The ability to shape people’s minds in terms that favour the power holders. Control of the media can potentially be used for this purpose


Ruling class ideology

A set of ideas that justify the inequalities produced by capitalism. These are transmitted by the capitalist class through agents of socialisation such as the media


‘The new opium of the masses’

A phrase used by Ralph Miliband to describe the ideological effects of the media on audiences



A term used by the Marxist Gramsci to describe the domination of ruling class ideology in society. These ideas help to legitimate capitalism and are accepted as ‘common sense’ by large sections of the population



The process by which the mass of the population come to accept the rule of the few as natural and normal and inequality as fair


False consciousness

A Marxist term suggesting that the working class do not see the true nature of their exploitation, or the fact that they have common interests, because of the influence of ideology


Myth of meritocracy

The (false) belief that capitalism is a fair system where there are equal opportunities for all


American Dream

The idea that equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.



A form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another


Poverty porn

Any type of media which exploits the poor's condition in order to gain audiences


Frankfurt School

A group of German Marxists, e.g. Theodor Adorno, who argue that the capitalist ruling class use the media in an ideological way to control society’s thinking, thus ensuring passive conformity


Culture industry

A Marxist idea, which states that culture (e.g. music and the arts) has become something to be manufactured and sold, in order to make a profit by media companies


Popular culture

The culture of ordinary people


Mass culture

The idea that the mass media are responsible for a commercialised popular culture which revolves around superficial entertainment. This stifles creativity, imagination and critical thought in society


False needs

The outcome of sustained advertising which manipulates people into thinking that a consumer item is vital to their social well being


Pluralist view of the media

A theory which argues that audiences rather than owners, editors or journalists have the most influence on shaping media content. As media audiences are diverse this in turn leads to lots of choice and diversity within the media.


Media saturation

The idea that we live in a society where we are being constantly bombarded by messages and images from the media . As a result media images now dominate and distort the way we see the world


Wireless Communications

Things like smart phones, lap-tops and tablet computers


'Old media'

Media which rely on print and analogue communication, such as newspapers, print magazines and pre-digital TV and radio


'New Media'

Media based on digital computers, such as the internet, digital TV and digital radio


Digital natives

A term used to describe younger generations who have grown up in a digital media environment


Digital immigrants

A term used to describe older generations who did not have digital media when they were growing up. They have had to adapt to these technologies later on in life


Digital divide

Inequality between those who can and those who can’t afford, or don’t have the technology or skills to access, the ‘new media’


Web 1.0

A general reference to the World Wide Web during its first few years of operation before blogs, wikis, social networking sites and Web-based applications became commonplace