Evaluate the part the media play in building the behaviour, feelings, language use, schedules and identities of our everyday lives.

ASSIGNMENT 1 60% (week 7) Your first assignment requires you to write a 1000 word report entitled: The role of the media in our everyday lives. Using data from (a) a personal media diary which includes 5 daily entries of at least 250 words and (c) relevant reference to the literature (see Module Reader and indicative reading list), you should present and critically evaluate the part the media play in building the behaviour, feelings, language use, schedules and identities of our everyday lives in today’s global village. Aim: The aim of the report is to give you the opportunity to understand the role the media play in constructing your identity and values. Rationale: Audiences and the media Media texts frame and mediate our perceptions of reality. Our everyday lives are often structured around viewing, reading and listening to media output, and ‘we regularly refer to media texts in social encounters’ (O’Sullivan et al., 1994: 157) Moreover, since we live in a media-saturated world, the flow of imagery and ‘facts’ from powerful media institutions and mediating institutions, provides a rich texture from which to give substance to our everyday lives and build evolving identities related to social roles. As Brown et al. (1994: 813) remind us …individuals actively and creatively sample available cultural symbols, myths, and rituals as they produce their identities. A large percentage of those cultural symbols and opinions are now generated in a media environment e.g. the internet, TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers . As a consequence of these different media environments we may: choose and construct new online identities using social networks such as Facebook, My Space and Virtual Worlds with real world markets; pick and choose the temporary ‘tribes’ we belong to in the global village of today, in response to the media genres we consume e.g. sci-fi, Vogue, Sky sports; let media representations of gender and race effect the way we think about ourselves and ‘others’ and hence influence our use of language and behaviour. References Brown, J., Dykers, C.R. , Steele, J.R.& White, A.B. (1994). ‘Teenage Room Culture: Where Media and Identities Intersect’, Communication Research 21: pp813-27. O’Sullivan, T., Dutton, B. & Rayner, P. (1994) [2nd edn.] Studying the Media. London & New York: Arnold Brief: To provide the data about your own media identity on which to base the discussion in your report, you will keep a daily diary for five days. Your five entries should each be about 250 words long. In these you should include: details of the different media you use, when you use them and what your motivation for using them is (e.g. pleasure, filling time, relaxing, addiction); your reflections upon the part today’s media play in actively creating and constructing your opinions and social/consumer identity (e.g. the way you dress, the music you listen too, the way you use your free time, your weight, your aspirations; what you think about the relation between teenage violence and video games); whether you are critical or accepting of dominant media discourses and representations of reality. In order to support your analysis of the data you collected you will need to do some background library reading to find books and journal articles which develop the themes you have chosen to discuss in your final report. Of course, one way to find relevant quotes and books is to use the material in the Module Reader and the weekly slideshows. This is a good starting point. But to demonstrate your skills at scholarly wider reading you will need to do some secondary research in the library. The library at Harcourt Hill campus has a large section devoted to media studies and is the perfect place to find the books you need. Format: Your findings and discussion about them will be presented in the form of a report of 1000 words. This should be laid out in the following format, including sub-headings: • A cover sheet followed by a contents page. • Introduction: a short paragraph sentences explaining the purpose and structure of the report • Findings and discussion: You should present the themes you identified in your diary data under sub-headings you consider relevant e.g. Preferred media genres, Opinions shaped by the media, Me-media-slave etc. In each sub-section you should include the relevant quotes from the diary data and your discussion of these in relation to the part the media plays in determining your identity and values. The points you make about this should be supported by at least 6 references to appropriate sources that are correctly Harvard referenced etc. • Conclusion: A two or three sentence summary of all that you have said, followed by brief recommendations for future research • Appendices: your daily media diary

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