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Sociology and Media terminology
Active audience approaches theories that Cultural effects model the view that the
stress the effects of the media are limited media are powerful in so far as they link up with
because people are not easily influenced. other agents of socialisation to encourage
Agenda setting Controlling which issues come particular ways of making sense of the world.
to public attention Cultural hegemony the interests of the ruling
Allocative role The power to set the goals of class being accepted as `common sense' by the
an organisation and make key financial decisions mass of the population.
rather than day-today control. Cultural imperialism The imposition of
Beauty ideal the idea that women should Western Culture on developing countries.
strive for beauty. Cultural pessimists Commentators who are
Catharsis the process of relieving tensions pessimistic about the spread and influence of
for example, violence on screen providing a safe new media technologies.
outlet for people's violent tendencies. Cyber media the internet and worldwide web.
`Churnalism' uncritical over-reliance by Desensitisation the process by which, through
journalists on `facts' produced by government repeated exposure to media violence, people
spin doctors and public-relations experts. come to accept violent behaviour as normal.
Citizen journalists members of the public who Digital citizenship The ability to participate in
record news events, for example, using online society.
mobile-phone cameras. Digital citizens Those who use the internet
Collective intelligence the way in which users regularly and effectively.
of new media combine skills, resources and Digital divide - The divisions between those
knowledge. with access to the internet and the skills to use it
Compression the way which digital and those who lack access an appropriate skills.
technologies can send many signals through the Disinhibition effect effect of media violence,
same cable. whereby people become convinced that in some
Content analysis a research method that social situations, the `normal' rules that govern
analyses media content in both a quantitative conflict and difference, i.e. discussion and
and qualitative way. negotiation, can be replaced with violence.
Convergence the combination of different Diversification the practice of spreading risk
ways of presenting a variety of types of by moving into new, unrelated areas of business
information (e.g. text, photographs, video, film, E-commerce Commercial activities conducted
voices, music) into a single delivery system. on the internet, e.g. advertising and selling
`Copycat' violence violence that occurs as a goods and services.
result of copying something that is seen in the Effect approach an approach based on the
media. hypodermic syringe model which believes that
Correlation a relationship between two or the media have direct effects on their audiences.
more things, where one characteristic is directly Empower make powerful.
affected by another. False consciousness a Marxist term to
Cross-media ownership Occurs where describe the way in which people's values are
different types of media, e.g. Radio and TV manipulated by capitalism.
stations are owned by the same company
Cult of femininity the promotion of a
traditional ideal where excellence is achieved
through caring for others, the family, marriage
Folk devil a stereotype of deviants which Investigative Journalism Journalism that aims
suggests that the perpetrators of the so-called to expose the misdeeds of the powerful.
deviant activities are selfish and evil and Male gaze the camera `inspecting' women in a
therefore steps need to be taken to control and sexual way in films and TV.
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Marginalising making a group appear to be
to `normality'. `at the edge' of society and not very important.
Gatekeepers people within the media who Mass media Agencies of communication that
have the power to let some news stories transmit information, education, news and
through and stop others, e.g. editors. They entertainment to mass audiences.
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News aggregator sites websites which Representative democracy A system of
present news stories on particular topics from a government in which the people are
wide range of sources. represented by elected officials.
New media generally refers to the evolutions Ruling class ideology a false and distorted
of existing media delivery systems and the picture of society which supports the position of
development of new digital communication the ruling class.
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Tokenism including a limited number of
minority group members only because it is felt
that this is expected.
Transnational ownership The ownership by a
single company of media organisations which
operate in two or more countries.
Underclass group below the working class,
dependent on benefits and unlikely to secure
Uses and gratifications model the view that
people use the media for their own purposes.
Vertical integration owning all the stages in
the production, distribution and consumption of
a product.…read more