Transmission and cultural communication

In one of my text books: Media Making;mass media in a popular culture, the authors discuss the difference between the “transmission model” and the “cultural model” of communication.
The linear model is the “transmission model”. It is the standard model of communication, and shows messages being sent and received (p. 17 “linear model” /“transactional model”). There is a sender, who sends a message to a receiver, who receives it and gives a feedback message. It’s linear in that it moves in a line over time. Just like a telephone. The message is created, “encoding” (turning thoughts into words), transmitted, received, and “decoding” (words into thoughts). The transmission model is focused on the information transmitted to an audience. Problems with the model include: accuracy, precision of the meaning, and how effective is the message. The model doesn’t really allow for differing interpretations, or differing purposes of individuals. It would ask things like “How is the audience taking this information and using it to make decisions about what to buy?” The Media Making book recognizes these problems, and offers the Cultural Model as a solution.
The “cultural model” takes into account that people do not always fully understand each other, and tries to understand external factors of how a group views something, given their group beliefs. Culture is a “set of practices” or “a way of life” that are shared by some group of people, and if all these big and little practices are put together, you get a kind of collective culture. Culture includes “shared space” (p. 22), and shared practices. A group believes the “right way” to do something is the way that they have been taught, and that way the practice has been handed down from within the cultural group. Within cultures, people share a certain viewpoint of the world. Because the people within it believe in similar practices, the group starts to build a vision of “what is true” about the world. And this collective picture is called Ideology (p. 23) which is the “shared set of ideas” a group has, or a “a map” they share.The cultural model would ask different questions, like “Does the public bring into this expectations about what an product represents?”  “What do they assume the audience believes in?” In what way do our views of age or race play into how these advertisements are seen and interpreted?”
Merging the two models together would be ideal. A model that can recognize the accuracy of communication and merge with cultural influences, this would be best to develop a culturally sensitive and accurate theory.


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