305MC (Lecture 1): Analysing Media & Communication – Introduction

Introduction Key Themes

  • Spectacle
  • Power
  • Memory
  • Spectacle 2
  • Power 2
  • Memory 2
  • Summary of the module

Submission Date: 9th December

3000 word essay (with separate bibliography) on a given topic

23 November 500 word essay plan (23rd November)

*Send plan to respective tutor via email

Attend, Be Present, Engage & Do the reading

Engage with key concepts

  • Read
  • Play
  • Challenge
  • Be curious

Brian Massumi (Canadian social theorist)

  • Concept = Brick

That builds the courthouse of reason, or is thrown through the window

Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995, French Philosopher)

  • Concept = Tool box
  • Re-invention
  • Re-appropriation
  • Concepts should be challenged
  • Against a coherent system of belief


Michael Foucault (1926-1984, Power)

Guy Debord (1931-1994, Spectacle)

Maurice Halbwachs (1877-1945, Memory)

Foucault On Power

  • Formed as subjects through discourse (system of thought)
  • Discourses produce and exercise power
  • Operates at all levels of social relations
  • Exercised through the body
  • Not about repression but about production of knowledge and claims to ‘Truth’
  • Power is knowledge

Contemporary Society: Power exercised through surveillance

[LOST HIGHWAY CLIP] David Lynch, 2003

Society of Spectacle

  • Something that overpowers and impresses us
  • Create illusion of participation
  • Distracting the mass audience from the workings of power (e.g. politicians spinning stories in the media


Maurice Halbwachs

  • Human memory can only function within a collective context
  • Collective memory is always selective
  • Memories formed through technology
  • Various groups of people have different collective memories
  • Creates different modes of behaviour

[Book: The Collective Memory]




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