History and philosophy of the media

GRIN Verlag
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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject Communications - Journalism, Journalism Professions, grade: 1,7, Indiana University (School of Journalism), course: Journalism J650, 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: “One can choose to study fish or one can choose to study the environment they swim in.” One of the reviewers for the recent book Elusive Consumption Eric J. Arnold summed up the two approaches of market research with his nice little illustration. He goes on to say “many traditional academic market researchers are like those who study the fish. Contributors to this volume [Elusive Consumption] are like those who opt to study the water. One can argue about which approach leads to catching more fish. My bet lies with those who explore the environment.” For him, it is evident that the only way one can come close to evaluating the interaction between consumers and market forces is by focusing on the “environment” the consumer finds himself in. That is exactly what the authors of the book Elusive Consumption found out after extended research. There are certainly critics who oppose this view and want to see more attention paid to the consumer and his habits and behavior. The interesting figure in this problem is the definition of this “environment” the consumer is situated in. This essay attempts to present some of these definitions of environment and theories of the relationship (if any) between consumer and market. What are the factors that come into play and influence consumer behavior and how has that question tried to be answered in the past. What role do advertisements play specifically in this context? The main argument of this paper is that there is no such thing as an overarching theory when it comes to identifying reasons for consumption just as there is no homogenous audience in relationship with the product being offered. In fact, this argument challenges the notion of a dual relationship between consumer and product, between message and receiver and supports more the idea of multiple factors that all come together in this highly complex interplay of decisions and reasons.
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GRIN Verlag
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Jan 12, 2007
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Social Science / Media Studies
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Essay from the year 2004 in the subject Communications - Journalism, Journalism Professions, grade: 1,0, Indiana University (School of Journalism), course: Journalism J650, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Robert A. Gross begins his article Markets, Magazines, and More with reference to a quote from Ellen Gruber Garvey’s book The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture which summarizes quite well the essential reason behind many developments that led to the creation of an American mass market. “Why...do men make magazines? To sell ad. space in them. What’s a magazine? So many pages of ad. space.” According to Gross magazines were not so much about content as they were about the advertisements in them. Of course, magazines had to be sold in order for people to read the ads, but the content of the magazine was not designed to improve the reader’s life but to get him interested in the product and eventually make him buy it. Many scholars such as William Leach see this development in the American media landscape from a purely informational and even missionary character to a consumption and marketing based arena as a major move away from the traditional values of media outlets such as the newspaper and others. Leach evaluates this change in his book The Land of Desire where he takes a close look at the changes within the American culture and market. He argues that in the decades after the Civil War “American capitalism began to produce a distinct culture, unconnected to traditional family or community values, to religion in any conventional sense, or to political democracy. It was a secular business and market-oriented culture [...].” He traces this change from the time of the Protestant settlers and early American community life, where the ultimate fulfilment was salvation, spiritual blessings for all and an end to poverty, to the 1900s, where those religious ideals were increasingly transformed and commercialized into personal satisfaction and individual pleasures and profit. With the appearance of “new pleasure palaces” such as department stores, theaters, restaurants, hotels, dance halls, and amusement parks Americans experienced the joy of personal satisfaction. Whereas in the past, Leach writes, “values had taken their character from ... the church; now they were deriving it from business and consumption.” This democratization of individual desire of the post Civil War culture is probably one of the “most notable contributions to modern society” according to Leach.
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Miscellaneous, grade: 1,3, Free University of Berlin (John F. Kennedy Institut), course: Rise to Power: US Foreign Policy in the 20th Century, 24 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: No area seems to be of more importance in the field of foreign policy and diplomatic history today than the so called Middle East. The continuing clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian suicide bombers, the difficult challenge of stabilizing a newly elected government in Iraq and the growing tension between Iran and the international community concerning the issue of nuclear power are just a few examples which illustrate the urgency to look at origins of these conflicts. As an example for this essay, I have chosen the case of Iran. I will focus on the very beginning of the involvement of the United States in the Middle East, and I will demonstrate what kind of issues and perceptions played an essential role in the determination of U.S. policy towards Iran. Although I do not attempt to find causes for the current situation, some of the factors I will identify in this essay might also serve as an explanation for the current conflict with Iran. Yet, this is not my primary intention and further research and empirical data will be required to investigate connections to the contemporary situation with Iran. However, I will argue that the way US policymakers viewed their Iranian counterparts did not change fundamentally for many decades at least regarding the country of Iran if not more countries in the Middle East. I downplay this aspect because a lot more research is needed to support this argument and it would extend beyond the scope of this essay. Mostly the dealings with Iran and its premier Muhammad Musaddiq in the early 1950s at the time of the Anglo-Iranian oil crises will be of relevance. The essence of my argument is that even though strategic thinking and the fear of a communist takeover of Iran played a role in negotiating with Iran, the reason why Musaddiq was toppled by the CIA and the British MI-6 was because Western diplomats had a so called “orientalist” mindset and perceived him as too weak and irrational as to fight off Soviet attacks and propaganda which could have led to an eventual takeover of Iran by Soviet forces. In order to pre-empt that, the United States and Britain collaborated to bring down Musaddiq and install a shah regime that would, on the one hand be more favourable to Western oil interests, and on the other hand more resistant regarding possible Soviet invasion efforts.
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject Sociology - War and Peace, Military, grade: 1,0, Indiana University (Sociology Department ), course: S 660: Politics and Public Opinion Research, 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Information and statistics about how a great part of the American public felt about certain issues concerning their life or the nation have not been available for very long. Even in the absence of data there have been vast speculations and reports by the news media on public opinion regarding specific policy decisions by the government. In the maiden decades of the republic policymakers and businessmen were always trying to grasp what the public mood was with respect to a particular event or decision. Yet due to the poorly developed infrastructure and lack of technological innovations at that time it was nearly impossible to find out what the thoughts of a larger part of the population were in a reasonable matter of time. The “scientific” public opinion polling that is taking for granted today is not that old. The American Institute of Public Opinion, more commonly known as the Gallup poll, came into existence in 1935 just in time for the 1936 presidential election between Roosevelt and Landon. The Literary Digest, just as the American Institute, attempted to predict the winner of the 1936 election with the data they collected during their research polling. In the end, the Gallup poll was more accurate and predicted with Franklin Roosevelt the correct winner of the election even though the survey was conducted with fewer respondents but with a much more representative selection. Had the Literary Digest been right in its analysis maybe today’s standard polling procedures would be somewhat different.A much older tradition in the history of the United States is the debate about the merits of public participation, majority rule and popular sovereignty. It is a debate as old as the nation about the definition of the proper role of public opinion on affairs of the national government. In this context the emphasis is especially on affairs of foreign policy, issues about military operations in particular. Ole Holsti identifies the two traditions American thought which define both sides. On the one hand there is a long liberal tradition in the United States which characterizes public opinion as “a force for enlightenment and a necessary if not sufficient condition for sound foreign policy and thus a significant contributor to peaceful relations among nations.” On the other hand there is a long realist tradition which sees the public as a “source of emotional and shortsighted thinking that can only impede the effective pursuit and defense of vital national...
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