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The Reality of the Mass Media

Author: Niklas Luhmann
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
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"Luhmann argues that the system of mass media is a set of recursive, self-referential programs of communication, whose functions are not determined by the external values of truthfulness, objectivity, or knowledge, nor by specific social interests or political directives.


Luhmann Explained

Author: Hans-Georg Moeller
Publisher: Open Court
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What are systems? What is society? What happens to human beings in a hypermodern world? This book is an introduction to Niklas Luhmann's social system theory which explains specific functions like economy and mass media from a cybernetic perspective. Integrating various schools of thought including sociology, philosophy and biology Luhmann Explained results in an overall analysis of "world society". Special attention is given to the present-day relevance of Luhmann's theory with respect to globalization, electronic mass media, ethics, and new forms of protest.


Self reference in the Media

Author: Winfried Nöth
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
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This book investigates how the media have become self-referential or self-reflexive instead of mediating between the real or fictional worlds about which their messages pretend to be and between the audience that they wish to inform, counsel, or entertain. The concept of self-reference is viewed very broadly. Self-reflexivity, metatexts, metapictures, metamusic, metacommunication, as well as intertextual, and intermedial references are all conceived of as forms of self-reference, although to different degrees and levels. The contributions focus on the semiotic foundations of reference and self-reference, discuss the transdisciplinary context of self-reference in postmodern culture, and examine original studies from the worlds of print advertising, photography, film, television, computer games, media art, web art, and music. A wide range of different media products and topics are discussed including self-promotion on TV, the TV show Big Brother, the TV format "historytainment," media nostalgia, the documentation of documentation in documentary films, Marilyn Monroe in photographs, humor and paradox in animated films, metacommunication in computer games, metapictures, metafiction, metamusic, body art, and net art.


Addressing Modernity

Author: Hannes Bergthaller
Publisher: Rodopi
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Niklas LuhmannOCOs theory of social systems is one of the most ambitious attempts to create a coherent account of global modernity. Primarily interested in the fundamental structures of modern society, however, Luhmann himself paid relatively little attention to regional variations. The aim of this book is to seek out modernity in one particular location: The United States of America. Gathering essays from a group of cultural and literary scholars, sociologists, and philosophers, Addressing Modernity reassesses the claims of American exceptionalism by setting them in the context of LuhmannOCOs conception of modernity, and explores how social systems theory can generate new perspectives on what has often been described as the first thoroughly modern nation. As a study of American society and culture from a Luhmannian vantage point, the book is of interest to scholars from both American Studies and social systems theory in general."


Global Technology and Legal Theory

Author: Guilherme Cintra Guimarães
Publisher: Routledge
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The rise and spread of the Internet has accelerated the global flows of money, technology and information that are increasingly perceived as a challenge to the traditional regulatory powers of nation states and the effectiveness of their constitutions. The acceleration of these flows poses new legal and political problems to their regulation and control, as shown by recent conflicts between Google and the European Union (EU). This book investigates the transnational constitutional dimension of recent conflicts between Google and the EU in the areas of competition, taxation and human rights. More than a simple case study, it explores how the new conflicts originating from the worldwide expansion of the Internet economy are being dealt with by the institutional mechanisms available at the European level. The analysis of these conflicts exposes the tensions and contradictions between, on the one hand, legal and political systems that are limited by territory, and, on the other hand, the inherently global functioning of the Internet. The EU’s promising initiatives to extend the protection of privacy in cyberspace set the stage for a broader dialogue on constitutional problems related to the enforcement of fundamental rights and the legitimate exercise of power that are common to different legal orders of world society. Nevertheless, the different ways of dealing with the competition and fiscal aspects of the conflicts with Google also indicate the same limits that are generally attributed to the very project of European integration, showing that the constitutionalization of the economy tends to outpace the constitutionalization of politics. Providing a detailed account of the unfolding of these conflicts, and their wider consequences to the future of the Internet, this book will appeal to scholars working in EU law, international law and constitutional law, as well as those in the fields of political science and sociology.


Facing the Reality of Communication

Author: John Joshva Raja
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Setting the Agenda

Author: Maxwell McCombs
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
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McQuail s Mass Communication Theory

Author: Denis McQuail
Publisher: SAGE
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This fully revised and updated edition provides a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to the range of approaches to understanding mass communication.


Christianity and the Mass Media in America

Author: Quentin J. Schultze
Publisher: MSU Press
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The mass media and religious groups in America regularly argue about news bias, sex and violence on television, movie censorship, advertiser boycotts, broadcast and film content rating systems, government regulation of the media, the role of mass evangelism in a democracy, and many other issues. In the United States the major disputes between religion and the media usually have involved Christian churches or parachurch ministries, on the one hand, and the so-called secular media, on the other. Often the Christian Right locks horns with supposedly liberal Eastern media elite and Hollywood entertainment companies. When a major Protestant denomination calls for an economic boycott of Disney, the resulting news reports suggest business as usual in the tensions between faith groups and media empires. Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life. The tension between Christian groups and the media in America ultimately is a good thing that can serve the interest of democratic life. As Alexis de Tocqueville discovered in the 1830s, American Christianity can foster the “habits of the heart” that ward off the antisocial acids of radical individualism. And, as John Dewey argued a century later, the media offer some of our best hopes for maintaining a public life in the face of the religious tribalism that can erode democracy from within. Mainstream media and Christianity will always be at odds in a democracy. That is exactly the way it should be for the good of each one.


The Moral Fool

Author: Hans-Georg Moeller
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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Justice, equality, and righteousness these are some of our greatest moral convictions. Yet in times of social conflict, morals can become rigid, making religious war, ethnic cleansing, and political purges possible. Morality, therefore, can be viewed as pathology-a rhetorical, psychological, and social tool that is used and abused as a weapon. An expert on Eastern philosophies and social systems theory, Hans-Georg Moeller questions the perceived goodness of morality and those who claim morality is inherently positive. Critiquing the ethical "fanaticism" of Western moralists, such as Immanuel Kant, Lawrence Kohlberg, John Rawls, and the utilitarians, Moeller points to the absurd fundamentalisms and impracticable prescriptions arising from definitions of good. Instead he advances a theory of "moral foolishness," or moral asceticism, extracted from the "amoral" philosophers of East Asia and such thinkers as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Niklas Luhmann. The moral fool doesn't understand why ethics are necessarily good, and he isn't convinced that the moral perspective is always positive. In this way he is like most people, and Moeller defends this foolishness against ethical pathologies that support the death penalty, just wars, and even Jerry Springer's crude moral theater. Comparing and contrasting the religious philosophies of Christianity, Daoism, and Zen Buddhism, Moeller presents a persuasive argument in favor of amorality.