Media Theory Week 1

This week is the start of the Spring 2022 semester. one new class for me is Media Theory and Methods. The textbook I selected is called Media and Communication Research Methods written by Arthur Asa Berger. It is an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Chapter 1 covers – What Is Research?

Why does the author say that we all do research all the time?

We use Google all the time, as we constantly are asking questions and wanting quick answers. Research – is to search for and to find information about a small group of people or subject-based upon using methods of qualitative or quantitative methods.

What is the difference between scholarly and everyday research?

Scholarly would include historical facts and figures based on surveys and polls. Everyday research may only look for instructions or how-to videos.

What role does Cultural Studies Play in Research?

Cultural Studies – is a multidisciplinary approach using concepts from literary theory, semiotic theory, sociology, psychoanalysis theory, political theory, and other social sciences and humanities is used to analyze and interpret phenomena such as the media, popular culture, literature, social movements, and related matters.

What did Nietzsche say about the Role of Interpretation?

Friedrich Nietzsche – a German Philosopher who believed there are no facts, but Interpretations. See Video. The Problem of Certainty – Thinking isn’t evidence, One must question: How reliable is the research? How is it being used? Data – is understood to be a form of information, which can be numerical, organized, tabulated, and used for the basis of decision making. Evidence – is material that a reasonable person would find worth considering that supports some contention or theory. Evidence can be qualitative or quantitative.

What is the difference between Diachronic and Synchronic Research?

Ferdinand de Saussure – Structure of Linguistics – See Video.Diachronic = Change Over Time & Considered a Historical Focus vs. Synchronic = Change over Distance & is Considered Comparative. See Page 21 Figure 1.1 for Diagram Chart.

What role do Binary Oppositions play in the way the mind works? 

The Way the Mind Works. Binary Opposites = are basically opposites like cold vs. hot, or on vs. off. You can also have either Opposition like healthy/well or a Negation like healthy/unhealthy. See Chart on Pages 23-25.

Concepts – are relational and Facts by themselves, tell us little. It is a general idea to help us understand some phenomena or in this book a theory or application of a concept.

What are the Two Systems that shape our thinking and behavior according to Daniel Kahneman?

Thinking, Fast & Slow – See Video. There are two oppositional systems as per Daniel Kahneman – a Psychologist at Princeton University. System 1 – Fast – Automatic, with little or no effort. System 2 – Slow – Complex Computations and subject to experience, choice & concentration.

What’s the difference between “Dry” and “Wet” Japanese?

Overt vs. Covert Oppositions – According to De Saussure’s Concepts having meaning differentially is correct. Example: Dry vs. Wet or Dry, not wet vs. Wet, not dry. Overt” means “done or shown openly” while “Covert” means “not displayed or openly acknowledged.”

How does Qualitative Research differ from Quantitative Research?

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Media Research – See Chart on Page 29 & Video.

What are the Five Aspects of Communication discussed in this chapter?

5 Aspects of Communication – Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Small Group, Organizational, & Mass Media. See Page 30 for the in-depth definition of each type.

Week #1 Resources

Friedrich Nietzsche Video

Ferdinand de Saussure Video

Thinking, Fast and Slow Video

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Video

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