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Question 2: Consider Turow’s description of “entertainment formulas” (chapter 2, p. 50). Find another example (one that he does not mention) discussed in recent news, and apply his analytic criteria to it. Does it suggest the ‘tyranny of formula’ is at work? Explain. Include the URL or an attached copy of your selected article.
According to Turow, entertainment formula is a patterned approach whereby one creates a content that is characterized by three features namely setting, patterns of actions and typical characters. Setting is the environment where the content is taking place. These features are also called the subgenres of the entertainment formula. Patterns of actions are the activities that are connected to the typical characters. The typical characters are the people that mostly appear in the content. With this competitive world, writer, actors and producers in mass media, are coming up with a new mix of entertainment subgenres so as to entertain their target audience.
In the article, Movie Time: What are you Watching this Eid, published on 5th November, 2011 explores the ideas used film, Thakur 420, which was shot last month. It is characterized of the three features of entertainment formulas whereby the setting of the film is, in various places in, Lahore. The story has various typical characters, for instance, three men who trick a rich girl, and she finally falls in love with one of them. The girl has to be honest, be able to honor and defend her husband. Another typical character is Rana who plays as an honest man and he is charged with murder. He committed the action in order to save his family. Some of the patterns of actions are a mix of crime, love and comedy that revolves among three criminals. This is one of the films that are unavoidable because of the use of entertainment formulas recycled and repeated in a different level of artistry.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/288115/movie-time-what-are-you-watching-this-eid/. Movie time: what are you watching this Eid. Article published on 5th November, 2011.
Question 6: Reread the short excerpt from The German Ideology, by Marx and Engels, called “Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas.” Find an article from recent news that illustrates their main (and actually quite simple) theme, and briefly explain how it applies, with careful reference to the text. Include the URL or a copy of your selected news article.
In the Marx and Engels article, they argue about how the class struggle has been there all through the history. They support that Communist classless society are the replacers of the oppressive capitalist society. In the article, The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas, Engels and Marx attempt to identify the presence of an ideology in the society and how this ideology works to serve the class that is ruling. They show how ideas are formed so that the ruling class remains legitimating and naturalizing their rule. The history, which also includes the media and culture, is used to disseminate the ideas. For Engels and Marx, there is no state of neutrality or independence because the ruling class just examines how their ideas spread to the domination of people who accept them in order to serve their general interest (Marx & Engels, 2006).
In the new article, The Democratic Fraud and the Universalist Alternative, by Samir Amin, argues explains the electoral democracy’s failure to come up with real change. He gives the reason that all societies existing have been exploited by the ruling class in order to control them. As a result, these societies have been dipoliticalized by the state’s power who are the ruling class so that there would be no changes formed that would not serve their interest. As a result, these societies have been dipoliticalized by the state’s power who are the ruling class so that there would be no changes formed that would not serve their interest.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27297 25th October, 2011. The Democratic Fraud and the Universalist Alternative, by Samir Amin
Question 7: Find an example from recent news that illustrates “horizontal integration” among media companies. Describe and explain, and cite the appropriate assigned reading for a precise definition. Provide the URL of your selected article.
Horizontal integration is a defining characteristic in the consolidation of media, which was there since 1980s. Firms with horizontal integration are in a position to acquire added business units at a similar level of distribution, production and exhibition. This consolidation helps in facilitating firms broaden their control as well as capitalize on economies of scales by using shared resources. Employing horizontal integration, media firms gain more control in their market; however, these strategies in the economy limit the access of independent distributors and producers in the market. This is seen in the television industries whereby large firms have swallowed the independent distributors and producers firms.
In the article, Kirk Communications Announces Launch of its Global SEO and Web Development Franchise published on November 16, 2011, talk about Kirk communications. Kirk who is a leader of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website design and development will offer franchise model that are highly innovative to potential franchise. Kirk communications is a company that designs and develops websites located in New Hampshire and has extra offices in Delhi, India. Additionally, Kirk Communications provides inbound marketing including SEO and social media integration globally. Kirk's clients cover a wide range of horizontal and vertical markets including healthcare, financial services and technology. With its horizontal and vertical integration, Kirk media firm gains more control in their market.
Question 9: Find an example of your own from recent news that clearly illustrates “Resource Dependence” theory. Explain carefully, and support your arguments with textual citations. Include the URL or a copy of the article your select.
Resource dependence theory is a study explaining how external resources of an organization affect its behavior. This theory has allegations concerning the best divisional structure of organizations, production strategies, staffing of employees and board members, contract structure, external links of the organization and aspects of strategy of the organization.
In the article, From aid to development effectiveness, published by Patson Phiri, it explore the issue of effective development in Zambian government by coming up with a program that tackle the issue of economic growth together with poverty in Zambia. It has been gaining macroeconomic stability as well as dropping the inflation rate, yet the country has many questions concerning the high rate of poverty facing the people of Zambia.
According to Chikwanda, Zambia the country is still stable but poverty still exists because the country relies on other country for donations. They are facing mammoth challenges since they exclusively rely on foreign ideas in order to reduce poverty. It is the high time for the country to be resource independent whereby they do not have to depend on foreign countries for resources. The government should focus on improved domestic resource mobilization, trade, and direct foreign investment and reduced dependency on aids from foreign countries.
http://www.times.co.zm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2935:from-aid-to-development-effectiveness&catid=68:others&Itemid=113. From aid to development effectiveness by Patson Phiri.
Question 11: With which of the two views do you agree? Support your argument carefully with precise references to the readings. Avoid unsupported opinions.
I agree with the view (a) whereby masses are isolated and alienated beings that no longer belong in the same culture of the same values. This alienation has hindered them from exercising any important social action, which can help them in the future. Therefore, they are powerless since they lack influential people who can air their grievances. They end up being passive receivers of the media made of influential people from the audience who have little idea about them and their culture, and; therefore, they are supplied what is produced from their culture. Their original culture; therefore, disappears.
In the Mill Wright article, he says that the United States is no longer together as a mass society as powerful elites. They now receive information from media more than they give their opinions. The mass also become the markets of the media whereby the media invest using them. The information they acquire from media influences the mass, and they are unable to make their own decisions. In this case, mass media has more power that the masses and; therefore, offer them want they want in order to benefit them since they need to acquire more profits in this competitive market. Therefore, people are the ones left oppressed by the media as they gain more profit in their business.
Question 13: Dwight MacDonald argues that there are “reasons why Mass Culture is not and can never be any good” (p. 69). Would C. Wright Mills agree? Support your response carefully with references to the readings.
Popular art, which is one of the mass cultures, is necessarily aesthetic failure which in other words why mass culture is not good and can never be good. There are reasons to why mass culture is not good. First, popular arts have failed to produce excellent aesthetic satisfactions, but produce those that are counterfeits. The popular arts include music and movies and these are used by people to entertain them. When they produce those that are counterfeits, they destroy the mass culture, and this can never make them good.
The second reason is because popular art is charged to have intellectual shallowness, which is broken into two sub charges. The first charge is that it does not deal with problems that face people in life in a serious manner. It only aims at distracting the masses through giving them false satisfaction by showing them things they can accept and understand easily. The other charge is that the products of popular arts necessarily lack adequate subtlety, level of meaning and complexity so that they can be understandable to a huge audience that popular art search for to satisfy. Lastly, according to Adorno, mass culture is not good since popular arts lacks autonomy, which would give them the status of true artists. They forfeit their status due to the desire to serve and entertain the audience instead of being true artists.