Network Society

It is an undeniable fact that the emergence of network society has been one of the central themes in 21st century since the society is now living in an information age. As Austrian-born American physicist Fritjof Capra states “the network is a pattern that is common to all life. Wherever we see life, we see networks” (Capra:2002) Below, I would like to share a chart explaining the development of the information age and network society, which just describes the fact that the more the factors such as nature, land, capital and knowledge increase in time, the more the size of the information societies. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is exactly good or bad. It is good that we have such technology and network today we can even talk with someone whenever we want and anywhere he is in the world through certain networks; but is also bad that we have once started to lose traditional or conventional values of ours from the past, such as writing a letter and sending presents in it. So, what do you think about that?

Cultural Imperialism

I would like to share the link below as I reckon it is relevant t o week 12’s topic of discussion: Cultural Imperialism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naG0mA-SlhI

In the form of a mini-documentary, this 9:04 length video starting with funny but also protest song is a good example of what the contemporary situation is.

The overall idea is that in this world the wealth is unevenşy distributed, how big would your piece be?

Commercialization of Ourselves

Is this what we want when we have? Generally speaking, we are the victims of commercialized mass culture today, being sacrificed for the good of those having this kind of  monopoly in their hands. Not a traditional food but I am sure as you are that there is a generation growing up with this kind of diet culture today and by means of certain media, these things are displayed to us in a gorgeous formation. But do you think are they as genuine as they seem to be in commercials as well? No one says yes to this; but no one stands more than 1 week without being a part of this trend. So, don’t you think while we are eating these burgers, those providing us with these goods are eating ourselves up in fact?

Too Proud to be Prejudiced?

We are living in a such world that we come up any kind of products served for us concerning certain economic foundation. Written by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice is one of the world classics today. It is now for sure that since first published in 1813, the novel and the plot itself has been transformed into many different versions around the world. What are the effects behind that? It is all good to say that different types of a product are disseminated with the help of the media, but this case rather depends on economic concerns and, according to me opinion, it is generally the case in todays world.


We face Mona Lisas on the cover of notebooks at stationery,on the mugs we drink coffee, and t-shirts we wear. The Pride and Prejudice is another instance for this case showing us that even in art and its subtexts, there is economic concerns involved in. The book itself has been broadcast, used for TV commercial and even filmed, the title of which is changed into the ‘Bride and Prejudice’ for the Bollywood. This is true to say that all these things make our world enriched; but, I reckon that art , at least literature should not be degraded into such a place in the last instance for economic policies by the authorities to open up new industries. Ms. Austen would have appreciated that even 198 years later her work-of-art is still popular; but I am highly sure that she would rather not wanted such a place it is unconventionally in now.

What is the Difference?

Once, I encountered with a story. I would like to share it with you as far as I recall since I reckon it is relevant to this week’s topic.

There is a big business giant making shoe manufacturing. Once, the general manager tries to define a new strategy to have great profits. Therefore, he sends one of his personnel to make market research in one of the underdeveloped countries in Africa. The responsible researcher goes there and what he comes up with the idea is that it would not be so profitable to make marketing and sales there since the local people walk on barefoot. However, after a while the firm sends another researcher to the same place. After returning back to the premise, the researcher says: “There is a great potential there because no one wears shoe; we should start marketing right away.”

What makes me think about this story is that there can different kinds of views and purposes over an issue. The more variety to which people and set their mind, the more results they get. Here, we can evaluate the story in two ways: the first one tells us that sometimes it can be hard to overreach the established regulations or traditions when something new is planned to be introduced. On the other hand, the latter fact shows us that sometimes a deficiency can yield to alternative and even advantageous consequences. Here, the second researcher has gone that place and seen that well the people do not have a shoe to wear; but this is not necessarily mean that it is impossible to make them wear.

As far as this week’s topic is considered, we have discussed about dominant and participatory paradigm. Following the first example, we can see that being barefoot is a king kind of established regulation, a convention even though there are certain economic development problems. Therefore, the researcher is of the opinion that it is not logical to start advertisement campaigns, marketing, etc. through the media since this society is closed to outer novelties according to the dominant paradigm. However, what the second researcher comes up with that they can introduce the new product to their potential market by means of certain media there. How they manage this is only possible with the help of the local people in disseminating the idea as far as the participatory paradigm is taken into account. There are, of course, some disadvantages and advantages at stake; but this is a matter of what people aspire to achieve and how far they want to get while introducing something new.

Medium as Message

Most of the time we are confronted with ads, tv commercials,etc. in daily life. We are, the consumers, in fact aware of what we do? Here is a selection of posters most of which are published online by non-governmental organizations or non-profit seeking communities such as Greenpeace. What do you think they try to mean to us?

Media Effects

Turkey devastated by the quake last week which showed Turkish solidarity to the world once more. Allowing for the last week’s topic, I would like to mention about two projects in which the society participated substantially. In the weekdays of last week, there was a live program stream jointly broadcast on two rival channels concurrently. The theme was based on collecting donations to the victims of the earthquake in eastern Turkey. The result was huge, thanks to many people collectively participated into this program. This case shows us TV is maybe the most crucial medium to attract people’s attention and make them contribute at hard times.
The second project was a rock concert, called ‘Rock for Van’. There have been speculations that even people abroad or non-Turkish citizens bought the tickets in order to contribute to the victims even though they might have gone to the concert place.
Turkey’s agenda is changing so constantly that one day we cry for the trapped people, one day we lose ourselves in trifling issues. At this point, the media is the tool to circulate happenings; but, on the other hand, also a kind of authority to shape our sentiments and the way we reason ourselves and the world.

Inevitable Effects of Violence

 

I am one of the people claiming that there is a so-called ‘casual link’ between violence used in media and in society. The trend in media, especially in television, proportionally attributes violence and disharmony. It is indeed generally known fact that it is a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.

Violence in media especially affects children and the effects can be long lasting. As Wartella describes, there are 3 basic models explaining the situation: social learning (modeling) effects, priming effects and script theory effects.

According to the first parameter, children may take the characters in movies, TV series, etc. as their idol, so ‘learning’ how it is to be like them and acting accordingly. This may arise problems specially if the children in school age are in question since there are lots of news mentioning about children or the under aged killing their teachers, committing suicides, etc. Or, we can simply observe that the children watching cartoons all day are more aggressive or undisciplined.

In terms of the second parameter, we see that people have a tendency to show the same or more violence when they view it especially when interpersonal communication is allowed for. Because what they see, specifically in visual media, is intolerance and display of power. Therefore, this generally causes nothing more than negative psychological effects such as depression, anxiety and traumas.

What scripts theory, lastly, suggests is that human behavior is shaped according to patterns called ‘scripts’ and act analogously. This makes people ‘desensitized’ and ‘overloaded’ like machines, deprived of realizing their own feelings. For instance, we can say that the people who are affected by scripts overestimate the risk of being victimized in a crime in real life since they have already some kind of ‘tolerance’ towards violent behavior.

In the light of these assessments, what do you think the future of our children will be like?

 

 

An Overview

Eisenhower representing U2 crisis

I would like to mention about an international issue in the view of three distinctive theories covered in last week. The U2 crisis, which today’s one of great bands took its name from, was a spy-plane incident which caused a tension between the USSR and the US during the Cold War.

Let me tell the event at first in a nutshell: Under the approval of The US President Eisenhower, a spy-plane mission, which would fly over the Soviet airspace in order to take photos of bomber camps clandestinely started. In 1960, the plane was shot down and the pilot was taken into prison. The Soviet President Khrushchev announced the event to the world and required an apology, which caused the US a great embarrassment. But Eisenhower denied it was spying and this was carried out under CIA, without his authority and permission. However, the detained pilot admitted the mission, so Eisenhower had to apologize. The case was that the two presidents were at Paris summit for the talks of disarmament. This event just caused political tension between the two great powers of the time, making Cold War hardened again.

We have talked about information, systems and communication theories last week. Imagine only how the talks between the two presidents in the light of this event in a diplomatic environment take place at the summit. According to information theory, this event would be only a successive way of communication: Khrushchev utters his criticism about the issue by sending his message; Eisenhower, on the other hand, denies and utters a different claim; and their interaction goes back and forth not in a complex, complicated way but a successive conversation in a linear process.

In terms of systems theory, on the other hand, the talks can be assumed to be made up of different parts. For instance, the US President put himself in a dangerous position by denying and forcing his Russian counterpart in decision-making. The communication is surrounded by their relationships. This event was useful for political scientists in explaining some stakes of the Cold War.

According to communication theory, the whole interaction can be analyzed in a systematic way in which their communication takes place in a circular, ongoing trend. Opposed to information theory, here the overall relationship is more important than the elements in interaction.

Propaganda in the view of Public Attention

A Collection of Posters Explaining Laswell’s Approach to Mass Communication Research

Influenced by contemporary events of the age, Laswell’s (1902-1978) works were mainly based on instruments, especially propaganda, for governmental management of opinion by the public. Either used for good or evil purposes, Laswell was of the opinion that propaganda is a way to show collectivity, a kind of democracy yielding to certain actions. At below, you shall find a pile of posters published by the Allied Forces during the Second World War, all having impulses for the public so as to take an action especially in the daily life and attain their support against the Enemies: