The Dynamics of Mass Communication



  1. In his book The Dynamics of Mass Communication (Ch.3), Joseph Dominick describes the role that technological advances played in facilitating significant changes in our culture and society. Explain the cultural impact of the printing press, telegraph, radio, and television

(1.5 page, 9 points).

  1. In Communication as Culture (Introduction), James Carey argues that technological improvements in transportation and communication (or transmission) contributed to the political and cultural establishment of the U.S. Summarize James Carey’s main arguments

(1 page, 6 points).

  1. Neil Postman developed the notion of media ecology to account for the changes that new technologies would bring about. Identify key concepts of media ecology, and explain why the competition among new media and old media is so fierce (1 page, 6 points). If you cite additional scholarly sources, you can earn bonus points (up to 3 points).
  1. Can new media technology enhance social activism? Explain your position based on your reading of the following news articles (1.5 page, 9 points):
  • “Why Social Media is Reinventing Activism,”

  • “Four Ways Social Media Is Redefining Activism,”
  • “How Online Petitions Combat Corruption Abroad,”

  • “Hashtag Activism, and Its Limits,”

  • “RT If You: The Rise in Fake Activism,”

  • “The Rise of the Slacktivist: Infographic on Slacktivism,”

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