Communication Models Lecture Notes

Reading: Chapter 2 in Humphreys
Key Terms:
  • Platform
  • Media Convergence
  • Media Ecology
  • Technological Determinism
Web 2.0 – a historical turn in the way that we are participating in digital media – a cultural era that relies on technological advances
Platforms – a system that coordinates the exchange of information between two or more groups of people
Convergence – the integration of ways of communicating information across social media platforms
What is social media?
 Social media goes beyond private, dyadic communication and it usually happens in a public or semipublic forum.
Social media platforms are owned by companies, but social media as a form of communication cannot be limited to a certain business.
Social Media Studies
  • Social media as a term emerges only in about 2007 – previous to this we talked about “networking sites”
  • Social media as a set of practises for communication – proposal from Humphreys
    • Trend toward a sociological perspective in studying social media rather than a technological perspective
Models of Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Mass
Traditional Model of Communication:
Social Media Communication Model
Media Ecology
The study of media as an environment.
A medium is a technology within which a culture grows, it gives form to a culture’s politics, social organization, and habitual ways of thinking.
  • Technological determinism – the technology determines the way people use it rather than the other way around
Technological Determinism
  • Technology determines our situation
  • “The interactions of individuals are structured by contrasts in communication technologies, legal structures and social norms”
  • Rooted in causality
Causality has been a central concept in media studies since its inception.
Three forms of causality
  • Teleological (everything is pre-determined)
    • Mechanical (one variable leads to the next, and leads to the next, and to the next)
      • Non-linear (ripple effect)
  • You couldn’t have the computer without the abacus, you couldn’t have the plant without the seed
  • Linear cause and effect
  • Cyclical, interpolating
  • Butterfly effect
Structuration Theory
  • Individuals’ interaction create the environments
  • This is basically the inverse of determinism
  • Anthony Giddens is the first to develop this theory
Key Themes:
  • Individual vs collective
  • Personal vs Mass
  • Free will vs control
Three key differences between traditional and social media models
  1. Content
  2. Participation
  3. Control

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