The study of anthropology is an interesting one, as it is the study of humanity, but it also has roots in the natural sciences and the humanities. Students of anthropology gain experience through ethnographic investigation, meaning that that use fieldwork to gather information about human societies. Anthropology understands that the relationships between people and their systems cannot be understood alone, and they must be studied within the context of each other. Anthropologists rely heavily on fieldwork in their studies, as this is the crucial method in gathering information. In fact, it is this ethnography that highlights the nature of anthropology. One prominent anthropologist is Mark Allan Peterson who wrote the well-known book, Anthropology and Mass Communication: Media and Myth in the New Millennium.
[...] They affect how people react and interact with each other and with themselves. In his book, Mark Allan Peterson has proved that the study of mass communication and the study of anthropology are interesting and inter- related. Through ethnographic investigation, students learn how mass communication affects the social world. Peterson's work has shown how anthropologists have acquired a growing interest in mass communication and the media. This essay has shown that Peterson was very adept in his unraveling of the way in which mass communication affects people, social systems, and [...]
[...] This essay will provide a critical review that assesses Mark Allen Peterson's Anthropology and Mass Communication, by evaluating the book as a whole by weighing its strengths and weaknesses while addressing a narrow set of themes and attributes. Before delving into the critique of Peterson's book, it is important that readers understand what is meant by the term ‘media anthropology'? This is very much the topic that the book at-hand is dealing with and it has two main facets. First, it concerns the anthropological study of media and second it concerns the public perception of anthropology, including how the mass media represents it. [...]
[...] Mass communication, including the existence of mediums like Pokemon and other synthetic worlds serve as a way for people to spread and validate cultural practices, values and norms. Mass communication serves as a way for people to become socialized with each other in ways that were not possible before the days of mass communication as we know it today. Pokemon is a great contemporary example because it has spread so quickly (it has been mass communicated) across the world, spreading ideas and norms as it proliferates. [...]
[...] Where intra- national media might have characterized human interaction and social phenomena in the past, our global society is shifting toward a system where trans-national mass media and mass communication is becoming a reality, and as Peterson points out, anthropologists will need to adapt to this changing reality. (Peterson 14). Nonetheless, it is a reality that promises to be fascinating in terms of anthropology and the implications it has on our social awareness and social systems. These synthetic worlds have such an influence on society that they have created cottage industries. [...]
[...] Interestingly, Peterson points out that a distinguishing feature of mass media and communication is that it is separated from face-to-face interaction. This is a distinguishing trait for many of the forms of mass communication that are of particular interest to anthropologists. This is important because it means that people react to mass communication in different ways. (Peterson 20). For example, one is likely to respond in different ways when being exposed to an idea from a friend through fact-to- face interaction than they are to hearing in on the television or the internet. [...]
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