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Also, check it out! Stuart Hall just wrote a new piece on the ideology of neoliberalism.

I know the stuff we read of his is rather old, so wanted to show you something more recent he did.

See you tomorrow!


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Stewart Hall gives three examples of dominant stereotypes prevalent in American media, the “slave”, the “native”, and the “clown/entertainer”. As the United States continues to diversify, what new stereotypes have emerged?

As students studying media and communication, we are learning to critically analyze media texts and sources, however, I can't help but wonder if we should be doing this for every media source we encounter. Is it possible for us as media literacy students to simply watch, read, or view media the way it was intended? Or must we constantly analyze and question. As Dines and Humez point out that one of three ways to encode text is to produce a negotiated reading, this is what we as students are attempting to do; Understand and encode the media text as the producers intended while also resisting, questioning, and analyzing this meaning. My question is then, have you ever found yourself operating within the 'dominant' or 'preferred' code that broadcasters and producers intended?

I found the topic of encoding and decoding to be a very dense and complex read. From what I understand, the intended message to be eventually decoded by the reciever is encoded at some point before being released. I wonder if the sources that do the encoding have a percentage or specific demographic in mind when considering their message and how they measure their success. If something is recieved negatively and causes controversey, would that be an error in decoding? For example, recently JC Penney had to pull a T-shirt line geared towards young girls. The consumers thought the messages printed on the shirts were innapropriate. Would this be an error in encoding or an error in demographic research?

I also found the topic of encoding and decoding very complex. Stuart Hall (page 170) states that, "Certain codes may, of course, be so widely distributed in a specific language community or culture, and be learned at so early an age, that they appear not to be constructed- the effect of an articulation between sign and referent- but to be 'naturally' given. Simple visual signs appear to have achieved a 'near-universality' in this sense: though evidence remains that even apparently 'natural' visual codes are culture-specific. However, this does not mean that no codes have intervened; rather, that codes have been profoundly naturalized". Can you think of any codes in our culture that we learned at such a young age that they don't appear to be composed? If so, what are they and what leads them appear so natural?

In Encoding and Decoding there was a remark by Gerbner (pg. 169)saying "representation of violence on the TV screen are not violence but messages about violence." It got me thinking about different cultures and how it views violence. For classic Japanese films, they often put the protagonist of an action film honorable; meanwhile in many of the American films they often put the protagonist as a jerk or a badass. So I was wondering how did the American culture lead to believe that being a badass as cool?

When television producers feel that they are failing to get their message across to the audience, because the audience decoded the message not as it was intended with the dominant or preferred code, should they address the audience to help explain how to decode the message that they intended? Or should they be unable to address the audience since it is the receiver who alone can decode the message and choose the media message? Finally in order to stop audiences not interpreting messages as producers originally intended, do television production companies lead viewers toward decoding media with dominant codes? If this is the case, how do they do this?

I found the last two paragraphs of Dines & Humez's "A Cultural Studies Approach to Media: Theory" to be interesting. They discussed how "new digital technologies have clearly added to the opportunities available to do-it-yourself cultural producers outside the commercial world of the media industries, including fans." I believe these individuals also have their own messages which they want to get across to their audience. Will this new media outlet affect our processes in decoding and encoding messages we watch on TV/hear on the radios/read on the news? If yes, how will it affect them?

While reading the section titled, "A Cultural Studies Approach to Media: Theory" I started to think more about one of the issues that is raised in this section regarding how "our national and international cultural production is so largely controlled by a few profit-oriented corporations". I'm wondering: what if there weren't any laws that kept one corporation from dominating and completely taking over the media world? What would this mean for our society as a whole? Would it create a unified society where nearly everyone started to believe the views and opinions of those behind the media or would there be an outburst of controversy and conflict as a result?

I wouldn't say an error in encoding.However,there might have been something fundamentally wrong with the whole process of communication, and here is why I so response:According to,when a sender of a message encodes,he or she has to choose the appropriate verbal and nonverbal codes,put that message into codes and,therefore, transmits the message through an appropriate medium.what constitutes an appropriate medium is debatable,however.What you should also take into consideration is that the encoder has to choose the appropriate medium,according to, based on factors such as the receiver,the message, and the urgency of the message.The sender may choose to transmit the encoded message through non-verbal signal,body language,speech or in writing.If the receiver is not aware of the codes and is also not adept in using the medium,the receiver may not be able to decode the message.When this happens,problems in the form of your question,arise because there is a huge potential for message mis-interpretattion,mis-comprehension,mis-construction, and eventually,mis-application especially if there is an interference in the medium.

As I was reading the Stuart Hall piece, I became fascinated with the thought of how many things we are so used to just seeing and not having any idea of the things they are leading us to believe. When Hall says that just by changing the wardrobe into a sweater or something warm, it gives the viewer the idea that it is cold out and with the right background, we are then placing the season and time of the year in one piece. What I am wondering is if anyone has seen a show or movie where this was not contributed into the film and they were lead in a different direction? Do you think this is effective encoding and decoding?

Through this week’s discussion and readings, it has made me think a lot about how media has affected my own life and the ideologies I have attained. Also, thus far into the class I have come to realize that media literacy is becoming a very popular topic of study and concern. Every media that I encounter I seem to analyze and wonder how is this show/advertisement/magazine/etc. trying to influence me? What is the message they are trying to encode? With that being said, media literacy can, and I think will, dramatically change the way in which media industries send messages, as well as the way in which they are received and interpreted. One main question that i have is how will the media transform in the future, either negatively or positively, to encode messages to their audience? Will media literacy cause future audiences to reject the desired encoded message and “create an oppositional reading of their own”(Dines & Humez)?

After reading cultural theorist,Stuart Hall's latest piece, "the march of the neoliberals" in which he argues that the new political love-affairs between Liberal democrats and the Conservative in advancing ideology is an "unresolved rupture of a new conjecture",I keep wondering that, like the hegemonic stability theory in Global Political Economy that advocates for a singular nation-state to remain a world power in order to stabilize the international system,isn't it politically beneficial to the entire globe to have an ideological hegemon in the international body politics so that it permeates national,cultural,religious and relational spheres? I am asking because it seems from Hall's argument that ideology will not go away anytime soon, and that is why he's asking whether it could be reversed?

Do you think with all the media mergers that companies have made, they have over stepped their boundaries and taken to much control? or Are you ok with what is going on in the media? AND Do you agree with the article, is there reason for concern?

Michelle, what specific article are you referencing?

In the second article, "A Cultural Studies Approach to Media", It brings up Extreme Home Makeover. It talk about how the show represents a fairy tale ending to a less than fortunate family. What the show also forgets to mention that government also plays a role in taxes and what not. Now i may be going away from the conversation a bit but one reason I dislike reality game shows and television series is because they lead false hopes and exploit our culture. The Biggest Loser teaches people how to eat healthy and to workout the right way. They eat the best of foods and work non stop all day on the show. In real life though, They have an 8 hour job, little to no money, kids who need attention and so forth. It is not realistic. What I am getting at is that Media Conglomerates show us what we want and capitalize on it even though it may lead us to believe other things down the road. My question to you is simply do you believe me? Can you think of a good reality TV show? I would love to know one.

Reading the "cultural studies approach.." article, Lull defines hegemony and I wonder when does the dominance change or how can it change so that media is more free and not dominated by one being. Where does ones thoughts and ideas originate that makes their decisions the way it is. Is hegemony so far into the main thought or being that it could never change. If ones thoughts and ideas control a whole body of media, in all types of aspects, who told that certain someone how to run things and so forth? Does that person know how powerful they are? Do they get satisfaction knowing that they can control what the public sees and believes?

How could "perfectly transparent communication" ever be achieved? Is that what we as an audience/the receivers want? Do we want non-hegemonic news and media? How would we want our media to be effectively communicated to us?

In Stuart Hall's article, he talks about how icons in the media are perceived by the viewer as having the same properties as what the icon represents. He uses the example of a cow, and says that if we compare the television representation of a cow to an illustration in a book or the "linguistic sign 'cow'-we can see that both, in different degrees, are arbitrary with respect to the concept of the animal they represent." Does this mean that television producers have no real responsibility for what they put on TV, because the viewer should be able to differentiate between that image and reality? If we apply this concept to violence on television, does that make it okay?

Hi Melody,

I realized that I posted up the wrong question for the wrong readings! Anyhow, here is the right one.

In Stuart Hall's article "Encoding/Decoding" he talks about denotative and connotative association. Denotative is the literal meaning, while connotative association refers to the interpretative or changeable meaning of a sign. What happens when a message produced in the media of one culture is taken and shown to a different culture with different social norms and rules? It is obvious that the intended message will be misunderstood or not understood at all. What are some ways in which this can be avoided?

Hi Melody, I was referencing "A Cultural Studies Approach To Media"

Since the way we consume media has changed so drastically over the past 25 years, how has encoding and decoding evolved within the mass media corporations? Is it harder for audiences to decipher media's coding or for media corporations to produce new and clever ways to send the desired message?

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This page contains a single entry by Melody published on September 14, 2011 9:24 AM.

Hegemonic Society was the previous entry in this blog.

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