Monday, March 22, 2004

LIS 810: Week 10 questions: Breaking up America – Market / audience segmentation and targeting
By Seunghyun Lee

1. The author, Turow argues that “marketers look for splits in the social fabric and then reinforce and extend the splits for their own ends” (p.7). Also, he points out that sharing ideas and feeling is more and more difficult to find.
How will the new wave of television technologies change and influence to American life? How is the new media system’s structure different from traditional media system’s structure?

2. Peper and Rogers predict that “interactive media will inevitably lead people to belong to “image tribes”– primary media communities by people who share lifestyle” (p.10). However, Turow argues that “primary media communities—image tribes—will guide consumers’ sense of social separation” (p.199).
What kind of role can interactive TV and the Internet play about the question of what the world is like and how the world ought to be? What are social tendencies to these new technologies?

3. Turow emphasizes on “advertising’s participation in the creation of mass society, a cultural environment that debased traditional values and denigrated the kind of high culture that undergirds great civilization”(p.27).
What is the advertising’s role in current America life? How does it contribute to changing America life? Did advertising images bring about capitalist realism? How does advertising influence on audience segmentation and targeting in the 21st century? How are media images created?

4. In modern society, many people are living in the environment such as “the wide diversity of media channels, the fascination of the Internet, the excitement of interactivity through cable system, cell phone systems, and satellites”(p.195). However, critics argue that these new technologies make people being isolated and unconnected. According to Turow’s quote on page 195, Rice University sociologist Stephen Kleinberg said that “the problem with enclaving is that it leads to the deterioration of any sense of connectiveness to the larger community.”
But don’t you think that neighborhoods, family, friends, communities, or even strangers are rather connected through these new technologies?

5. Turow argues that “the media of the future will be far more fragmented, with hundreds of market-driven options targeted and tailored to calibrated types” and “it could also reinforce suspicion, lack of empathy, and alienation between people of different backgrounds, income classes, and lifestyles” (p.199). In addition, he points out that the absence of strong collective media threats democracy.
However, in the past mass-market world, did mass-market media really come true democracy? And, wasn’t there any digital divide in the mass-market world? Should hyper-segmentation of America return to the mass-market world because of a threat to democracy? What would be desirable ways for hyper-segmentation of America?

6. Turow also argues that “key political and social issues may not be thrashed out” (p.199) because of the absence of strong collective media. Don’t you think that the new media technology such as the Internet actually makes an environment that more people can participate in, discuss and debate about political and social issues than before?

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