Friday, September 2, 2011

Reading Question 1

One of the three described approaches to studying media industries is what is known as the "production of culture" model. A more sociological approach than the other two traditional methods, this approach displays how the medium itself that the media create and distribute and perpetuate shape some of the most important elements of our culture. In other words, the communication between "us" and the media is most certainly constitutive - the media shape the culture of the masses just as the reverse is true.

The six facets of production that are analyzed all seem to be viable contributors to what the model calls a systemic shaping. Technology, law and regulation , industry structure, organization structure, occupational careers, and market are all factors that are appropriately studied by the production of culture model. In that sense, the approach gets it right.

However, by limiting the study to just cultural industries (as the article mentioned), and leaving out explanations as to the roles of consumers, the power structures created, etc., this model leaves quite a bit to be desired. The approach seems to pigeonhole itself into only describing the basic interactions between the media and the cultural industries, and even falls short of analyzing the ideas and characterizations that the model uncovers.

Overall, the approach gets it right in emphasizing the "symbolic elements of culture" that are shaped by the medium or media that perpetuated them. However, the approach seems to be far to one-dimensional to be a foolproof or all encompassing method of studying media industries.

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