It’s a Marxist world out there

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I am doing my paper on Marxist Analysis and reading about Marxist approach to society, although Marxist based his theory and idea on society around the industrial revolution, I feel that a lot of his ideas are integrated in today’s society. We are very much influenced by media and the materials produced around us. I remember in lecture we talked about working for the material goods we have in our lives and we strive to obtain these objects to make us “happy” in a sense. I feel that it’s true in a sense. While I was doing my paper and flipping through the magazines that I purchased all I saw were hundreds of advertisements for clothes, make-up, shoes and bags and whole segments and also advertisements promoting Hollywood celebrities and also celebrities endorsing these products. People purchase these magazines because we feel that we can relate to these popular trends by buying and consuming the products being advertised. Again, as mentioned in my previous blog about commodity fetishism, we make certain commodities and items important to us and our society and we believe that it is normal, natural and true. We need to be more critical and observant of what is being fed to us as a society and also as individuals.  

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Reality vs. Media Reality

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The media and all forms of it can fool a lot of people. There are so many instances on the internet, blogs and even memes that portray the wrong information about someone, something or a situation. I feel that, if the source presents the information in a presentable manner and it looks like a professional and legit source (when in reality it isn’t), people will be more prone to fall for the information in that source even if the information is not really backed up with true fact. A lot of the media today depends on the visual appeal most of the time, if it looks nice, it attracts people to the story and what the piece is about. There are so many instances in the media, articles and reports that do not set out to tell the whole story but only the parts that they think will attract the readers or viewers. And again, depending on the source and how legitimate the source is, people do not really pay attention to the full story but instead stick with what is presented to them. In class someone said that they should be critical readers and thinkers and really think about what they’re reading or watching because today’s society is easily swayed on what is portrayed in the media. Another example of this is was shown in the video shown in class called “doubt” about the fake science that was published about cigarettes that shown that cigarettes didn’t have harm to humans. People believed these sources of media because huge companies and organizations supported these claims of cigarette smoke not being harmful. Huge companies and organizations have the power to sway the public because they have influence over populations of the information that gets put out there. 

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Media’s Influence

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This image is an interpretation of how influenced so many of us are by not just media through the TV but every aspect of media. Media influences us and has such a huge impact within our society that it influences the way we think and has the ability to change our viewpoints on an issue. One part that really stuck out to me and made me want to blog about media’s influence was the image of “Hundreds Missing in Colorado”. The image makes its viewers feel a sense or urgency in terms of helping these people get out of such a tragic situation but it still holds the image and perspective of the American population staying strong together through tough times like this, as one student said in lecture. The image also makes it’s viewers have an emotional response by feeling sorry for the people who have to undergo. A lot of images and even videos have the same effect in terms of influencing out emotional responses and thought processes. By getting an emotional response from its viewers, in a way it keeps us engaged and keeps us wanting to watch more of what that type of media has to offer. For example, the pictures in the news paper need to capture it’s audience or else no one is going to want to read the article or they might find it boring because the picture is boring. The media has to capture individual minds and hearts in order to gain attention and for it to gain mass popularity. Over all, media is something that influences everyone everyday of our lives. 

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“I Shop, therefore I am”

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This picture describes the very idea of commodity fetishism. It shows us that money and objects that have social powers within society have a huge driving force in what influences everyone as a whole. People within society need to have a special connection and relation between objects to feel like they have a sense of power within a society that is forever connected to money and commodities. We feel that these objects will relieve us and make us happy in the long run and in a way we feel that these objects have “special” elements by doing so, but in fact we, the people, place these objects on a pedestal and make these objects something that is very important to us. In essence, what we buy become who we really are. We think what we buy defines who we are and where we fit in but in fact we are just giving objects and commodities and large produces and economic structures powers to rule over society in a sense. We take these objects and commodities and create a relationship with them in order to form a social relationship with others. I feel that what people are able to buy and the amount of money they have place them within a type of “social order” in terms of consumer and producer way of life. People are so consumed in buying the “new”, “in” thing from huge, popular corporations which push them to attain social powers over society.

One great example that we talked about in lecture was the new iphone 5 coming out. I feel that the new iphone 5 have very similar characteristics as the iphone 4 but apple added and changed minor, unnecessary aspects of the phone and people are feeding into a sense of hype because apple is what’s “in” in today’s society. Apple is very much advertised in movies, TV shows and media which basically places apple as a valuable commodity within today’s society. This means, that getting this new apple product, will help us as individuals feel like we have a sense of power or feel a sense of relief by buying these new, upcoming products, when in fact we are just giving Apple, and other powerful companies, more social powers.

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This is a picture reminds me of the discussion we had in our second lecture about the iPhone 5. It really captures the image that the iphone is a huge item that us consumers are controlled by. We are controlled by the idea that we need to get the “newer, faster and better looking NEW phone” but in reality us individuals can do without getting all these new updated phones. I feel that these new upcoming phones play into the role of commodity fetishism because we make these items important to us in a way that we feel more welcomed or we feel like we fit in a society that is always changing in terms of the new products. By the new iphone coming out after just a year (or less) of the iphone 4 coming out, it shows us that Apple is after finding something “new” because its a gesture of gaining more money which in turn, gains more power, especially in today’s society. In today’s world, we are so consumed in getting the new items and objects that will help us fit in more with today’s society. By doing this, we feed into the cycle of consumer fetishism- “the products of everyone’s labour become what society makes us” (law of value: the fetishism of commodities, 2010)- when we buy a commodity we have an experience between ourselves and society. This means we so easily give into the fact that we consume the new “in” thing, which forces the producers to make new items and objects for us to consume, which give them the power, which in turn means they gain the money and in a sense the “authority” over society. In lecture, he makes a point that we make this cycle between the producers and consumers everlasting and that we make commodity fetishism a part of our everyday lives and it works for us. It is pretty clear that capitalist and higher powers in society such as huge corporations are benefiting from the cycle of commodity fetishism, but in reality, it’s a cycle that is impossible to get out of.

commodity fetishism- iphone

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What is not media?

During the first Lecture, the professor asked us a question which was “what is not media?” and now that I think about it, I feel that everything, if not most things are media. What really stuck out to me is that he pointed out that even a watch, a device that is known worldwide is a form of media. A watch, which is used to tell time, is what governs everything someone does and when events in everyones lives take place.

I also really like the video he showed us of the green screen shots. The green screen video shots really opened my eyes and led me to think that our society is very heavily influenced and distorted into the realm of media, to the point where some of us don’t even know what is real and what is fake (like the green screen video’s for example).

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Lecture 1 Media Studies

Media studies is something that is very new to me, although I am in my 5th year at university. I have never thought of taking a media’s class until another student recommended it to me as it is something that is totally new and a good experience, especially ending off my stay here at UTSC. During the first lecture I have learned that media is not only related to TV programs, news updates, magazines, newspapers and what others might think of as “promotional” aspects to our world. Most people think of media as something that relates to advertisements, the tv, the news, celebrity posts and mostly aspects in the entertainment field. Defining media in the first lecture has really opened my eyes to a broader definition of media. Media can be defined in terms of objects, languages, sounds, places and mainly everything around us. Media can be tied to particular sounds like the old school bell our professor rang in class. He said that media can be tied to the bell because globally, whenever people hear a school bell there is an automatic response to it, whether it means to start running to class or indicating your late for example. I have never thought of media in a broader sense until our prof connected it to objects and other things aside from TV or advertisement media. 

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