W7-W12 Power, Culture, Invidual

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38 Questions

What concept refers to a culture in which the fantastical creations of media, film, and computer technologies have become more real for us?


According to Benedict Anderson, what is a nation?

An imagined political community

What was the state of states according to The Peace of Westphalia?

States were not allowed to interfere with each other

What does the term 'simulation' involve according to the text?

Questions of originality and reality are eliminated

'Nativism', 'Colonialism', and 'Post-Colonialism' are terms associated with which concept?


'Loss of religious community and wane of monarchy contribute to modern concept of the nation-state' - This statement aligns with the views of which scholar?

Benedict Anderson

What is one role of symbolism in politics?

Help people recognize who holds power

How do powerful symbols impact the general population?

Create emotional receptivity to authority

Which type of ceremony is mentioned as a way to acquire authority?

Induction ceremony/swearing in

What is a consequence of living in an 'Echo Chamber' according to Cass Sunstein?

Limited exposure based on previous preferences

Why do rituals and symbols hold importance for organizations as per the text?

To create emotional attachment and recognition

What do symbols help individuals conceive according to the text?

The authority figures and their roles

What is the main idea behind Guy Debord's concept of 'society of spectacle'?

To focus on the consumption-driven nature of contemporary society

What does the concept of 'spectacle' do to individuals?

Distracts them from reality

In the context of media and consumer society, what are some characteristics of spectacles mentioned in the text?

Involves everyday life experiences

How does Paul Virilio contribute to the discussion on technology and society?

By emphasizing speed as a significant but often overlooked aspect of history

What is the effect of the proliferation of screens, as mentioned in the text?

Enhances the division between public and private spaces

According to Jean Baudrillard, what is the fundamental structure of society based on?

Consumption rather than production

What role does technology play in the way members of a diaspora maintain ties with their homeland?

Enabling members to retain connections

What is the main driving force for human beings, as described by Thumos?


In the context of 'Clash of civilizations,' what prediction is made regarding the future of political systems?

The dominance of liberal democracy

What does the concept of cultural hybridization involve?

Interaction between external and internal cultural flows

What does deterritorialization refer to in the context of culture?

Declining significance of geographic location

What concept does Orientalism focus on?

Binary opposition to Western culture

What is the main characteristic of language as discussed in the text?

Innate ambiguity

What is the impact of television on mediated politics as stated in the text?

Creates anxiety and constructs social problems

What does the text suggest about the language used in political discussions?

Shapes beliefs and relies on social situations

How is public opinion portrayed in mediated politics?

As a subjective social construction

What term describes the relationship between sports and media according to the text?


Which event is mentioned as embodying society's values and dramatizing controversies in media culture?

Super Bowl

What major sports network is highlighted for offering a variety of content beyond just sports highlights?


Which event is used as an example of mediatization, interweaving American values and consumerism?

Super Bowl

What term is used to describe the relationship between sports and different media platforms?

Sports-media complex

Which type of media provides different frameworks for news interpretation compared to mainstream media?

Social media

What purpose does culture jamming serve using mass media tools?

Challenge marketing strategies

'Militainment' refers to which industry's propaganda tool according to the text?

US military

Why is alternative media considered crucial according to the text?

For addressing ignored issues.

What tactic does culture jamming use to challenge marketing strategies?

Hoaxes, parody, and satire.

Study Notes

Condition of Exhaustion

  • Exhaustion of spatial perspective and temporal distance in Virilio's screen
  • 1st window: door-window
  • 2nd window: light-window
  • 3rd window: television and computer terminal as historical successors and departures from prior windows


  • 1st order: counterfeit
  • 2nd order: mechanical reproduction transforms status of product
  • 3rd order: simulation with digital reproduction, questions of originality and reality drop out altogether


  • Culture where fantastical creations of media, film, and computer technologies are more real than reality
  • No distinction between object and sign
  • No difference between reality and its representation

Baudrillard's Simulation

  • No longer access to reality, only clash of simulations
  • Culture without any reference to reality, only simulations

Nation State and Community

The Peace of Westphalia

  • States not allowed to interfere with other states
  • Found in Europe

Nation-State as Imagined Community (Benedict Anderson)

  • Nation is an imagined political community
  • Nationalism complicated, viewed in terms of religion and kinship rather than ideology

Nationalism and the Nation-State

  • Nation-state formed due to loss of religious community and wane of monarchy
  • Simultaneity is necessary
  • Print-capitalism involved


  • Definition: network of information flow or communication grids within and outside national boundaries
  • Can media create a community, contributing to solidarity among members?

Ritual and Symbolism

  • Politics expressed through symbolism and ritual
  • Symbolism helps recognize who is powerful
  • Manipulating symbols reinforces authority
  • Rituals change, new ones arise, old ones fade
  • Organizations exist through symbolic representation
  • Symbols can be objects, people, or heroic leaders

Political Spectacle

  • Lavish public performance or display
  • Shaping modern society, politics, and social life
  • Mediated through media culture and consumer society

Guy Debord: Society of the Spectacle

  • Live in a society organized around production and consumption of images, commodities, and staged events
  • Embodies contemporary society's basic values

Characteristics of Spectacles

  • Infotainment society
  • Transfixed by packaging, display, and consumption of commodities
  • Includes sports, film, television, fashion, pop music
  • Invades every aspect of experience
  • Enters new form of technocapitalism

The Ecstasy of Communication (Jean Baudrillard)

  • Basic structure of society is consumption, not production
  • Mass media enables consumption of all possible spectacles

Speed and Acceleration (Paul Virilio)

  • Speed overlooked in history
  • Geography subordinated to communications technology
  • Screen technologies ubiquitous
  • Division between public and private spaces altered
  • Private home increasingly deterritorialized by transnational media

Atopia and Diaspora

  • Technology's role in viewing community
  • Media technologies enable diaspora members to retain ties to their homeland

Cultural Impact of Globalization

Cultural Differentiation

  • "Clash of civilizations"
  • Cultural convergence and homogenization
  • "Global spread of American values"

The End of History

  • Thumos: human beings driven by recognition
  • Liberal democracy must leave room for difference
  • Predicts liberal democracy, but cultural differences will remain

Clash of Civilizations

  • Nine civilizations: West, East Europe, Greater China, Islamic belt, India, Japan, Latin America, Buddhist zone, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Conflicts will accumulate at fault lines between civilizations
  • Western power will decline over time### The Sporting Spectacle
  • The proliferation of sports coverage in North America has created a "society of spectacle" where sports and media are intricately linked.
  • Guy Debord's concept of "society of spectacle" refers to a society organized around the production and consumption of images, commodities, and staged events.
  • Media spectacles, such as the Super Bowl, have common elements such as symbolic representations of participation and dramatize controversies and struggles.
  • Television is a medium of spectacular programs that tell us how to appear and behave.

Media and Sports

  • The relationship between sports and media can be viewed as symbiotic, with each relying on the other for survival.
  • The NFL's relationship with television is a prime example, with American television contracts from 2022-2033 earning the NFL over $100 billion.
  • The Super Bowl is a perfect example of mediatization, where media becomes an integral part of other social institutions.
  • The Super Bowl pre-game show has become increasingly spectacularized, with networks using synergy to promote themselves and integrate into the content of the program.

Alternative Media

  • Alternative media provides different frameworks for newsgathering and interpretation, normalization of access for marginalized voices, and covers stories ignored by mainstream media.
  • Alternative media can be seen as a response to mainstream media's characterization of certain events and provides a different perspective.
  • There are different ways of viewing alternative media, including as a blanket term, dealing with opinions of small minorities, and expressing attitudes hostile to widely held beliefs.
  • Alternative media can also be viewed as a way to politicize "repression of events" and provide a platform for people who don't have a voice in mainstream media.

Spectacle and the Super Bowl

  • The Super Bowl is a spectacle that breeds more intense spectacles, blurring the line between content and promotion.
  • The Super Bowl pre-game show is an example of synergy, with networks using it to promote themselves and integrate into the content of the program.
  • The Super Bowl embodies American values and consumerism, and is subject to media logic.

More on Spectacle

  • Spectacles, such as the OJ Simpson trial, disrupt ordinary and habitual flows of information, fixating attention on events that distract people from pressing issues of everyday life.
  • Spectacles can define entire periods of culture and politics, and can be argued to be generated by media to attract audiences.
  • The OJ Simpson trial was a media-mediated spectacle that revealed social conflicts, dominant values, and politics.

Movies and the Military

  • The movie industry is influential globally, and American movies can potentially serve as a powerful form of propaganda for the national security establishment in the US.
  • The US military has had a long-standing relationship with Hollywood, with the Pentagon's Motion Picture Production Office working with Hollywood filmmakers to co-produce war scripts and provide access to military equipment and personnel.
  • The partnership between Hollywood and the military has led to the creation of "militainment" products that glorify the Department of Defense at war.

Test your knowledge on the concepts of spectacles, Guy Debord's society of spectacle, and the influence of media and consumer society. Explore how public displays and media culture shape modern politics, social life, and everyday experiences.

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