Saturday, October 08, 2005

Week 2 Resources, Eval and Analysis

The subject of Media Ecology is one that is very intrigueing to me, and in general I think we need to be thinking deeper about just how Media shapes and influences individuals, communities, societies and cultures. Media Ecology is just that, the study of how Media effects people, and then how we can make decisions about using Media that are well informed and good for our cultural "eco-system."
Here is a reading list of potential resources. Marshall McLuhan is a must for informing us about the effects of Media on society and culture. A genius before his time.
More avtual content from this site will help us figure out whether the subject of Media Ecology is a direction we want to go with this project.
This is a site list of resources having to do with media ecology. It has a couple great quotes about the subject at the beginning:
Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival.”Neil Postman
"Media ecologists are interested in the interactions of communications media, technology, technique, and processes, with human feeling, thought, value, and behavior."Christine Nystrom
Further down the page it lists resources under Academic Resources, Organizations and Programs; and then some Online resources. I’ve began checking some of them out, and a few of them are also on this week’s list.
Sage publications looks like a promising source, if only as a bibliography of further reading. Particularly, they are the publishers of the journal, “Media, Culture & Society” which “provides a major international forum for the presentation of research and discussion concerning the media, including the newer information and communication technologies, within their political, economic, cultural and historical contexts. The journal is interdisciplinary, regularly engaging with a wider range of issues in cultural and social analysis. Its focus is on substantive topics and on critique and innovation in theory and method.”
The Sage website itself doesn’t have much else in the way of content, but I should take a look at that journal in future weeks.
Another one of the programs listed on the media literacy site is this study abroad program through Michigan State University, “Media, Environment and Culture in Australia.” I don’t really know how helpful this would be for this project since it seems more like they are three separate areas for the program, rather than one program covering the integration of these three areas.
A really intriguing-looking book. There might be some helpful information here on the site as well, but I wonder if this book could be helpful. know this is an interview about an upcoming movie, but if you’re like me you can’t wait for the Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe to come out. The interview is with the head of Walden Media, the company that is producing the film (it’s only being marketed and distributed by Disney, Walden kept all creative control). The interest I have in this interview from the perspective of this blog is the way it discusses the phenomenon of interaction between a Media corporation and the mass public over the production of a well-loved story. It’s almost as if because the story is so well known and the book is so deeply loved, there’s a powerful though indirect relationship between culture and corporation which puts pressure and leverage on the decision-making processes of the project. The not-so-silent partner in Media decision IS the culture which it both caters to and shapes.


km said...

Luke! It is the first time for me to know the definition of media ecology from your analysis. Nevertheless, it seems like such a good approach, which is much related to our team project, global media and cultural issues because this knowledge could give us more fundamental points of view of how to use media efficiently for the Gospel. Consequently, checking out your week two research sources is very interesting to me. In other words, I feel that the more we know the perspectives of the ecology, the more evidently we could be learned how to use global media for God’s Kingdom.

Even though you started our team project in an awesome way, I am still wondering what kind of relationships between media ecology and transforming contemporary cultures by using global media. If you can clearly reveal your purpose using the approach, it will be more helpful to our team project.

brch said...

Hey Luke. Great material. The concept of media ecology does indeed seem to touch on our exploration of “global media and culture.” Understanding the effect media has on local cultures and vice versa could definitely give food for thought to those who might want to use media to communicate the gospel cross-culturally, or even to help them figure out whether media should be used to communicate the gospel at all (if it were found that most media has a negative or de-culturalizing effect, for example).

It sounds like the study of media ecology is akin to sociology insofar as it studies the interaction of media and culture while suspending any judgment on those effects. Whereas, by contrast, those in the discipline of social welfare actively seek to redress the injustices or systemic problems they find in society. As Christ-followers, I imagine our engagement with media ecology would also seek ultimately to have some kind of redemptive effect.

Ultimately, the culture of Christ, a culture that redeems all cultures in the world and makes them most fully what they were created to be, should infiltrate media and change the way media works in this world. Christ and those who follow him should have power to change the structures and forces that define the way media perpetrates cultures and changes them, so that ultimately media could be an agent of transformation somehow. But it’s all easier said than done, I’m sure.

I know we talked about your personal interest in looking into the ways that Christians are marginalized or ghetto-ized into its own sub-culture, which is then targeted as a consumer market and so forth. Would you say that media ecology has anything to tell us with respect to that area of exploration?

Unknown said...

Luke good work on the resources, for next week make sure to add a section with a synthesis of your findings, and your comments on it. Thanks.