Baudrillard: Simulacra and Hyperreality, Social Construction of News and Postmodernist View

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Simulacra

  • Representations of representations
  • We live in the age of simulations
  • Reproduction of objects or events
  • Dissolution of TV into life and life into TV
  • Spiral system with no end or beginning
  • E. g. , 1. Nature is original and the representation of nature is the copy, like Monalisa Painting
  • E. g. , 2. Copy of an original iPhone, mass produced
  • E. g. , 3. Copy of something that does not exist, like stories of unicorns

Hyperreality

  • A representation that is “more real” than the reality it aims to represent
  • Contemporary society as death culture
  • Death represents paradigm of all social exclusion and discrimination
  • Binary opposites- life and death
  • Reality is experienced differently depending on who you were, where you are and your source of information.
  • Every audience constructs its own version of reality and everything represented in the media is experienced as multiple realities
  • No single definite account of reality
  • Ever-changing patterns
  • Our knowledge of reality is itself the product of different representations
  • It is constructed from the way individuals choose ideas that suit their prejudices and beliefs

Social Construction of News

  • The media don՚t simply ‘mediate the message’ through representations; “they are the message.” -McCluhan
  • This idea is important in relation to something like the social construction of news since news reporting involves a representation of reality that
  • A neutral ‘window on the world’ that objectively reports events as they unfold.
  • The world represented through the media is always and inevitably a reconstructed reality – one filtered through a media lens that is no more and no less objective than any other reality filter.

Postmodernist View

  • Social networks have the power to control distribution of information rather than institutions
  • This information is produced and consumed by the same people.
  • Information flows between different points in a network
  • It is impossible to distinguish between producer and consumer.
  • This idea challenges Marxist and Feminist notions of power (class and gender)
  • He saw no revolution unlike Marx but only a black hole
  • Catastrophic
  • Increase in consumerism and meaninglessness

MCQ

Q. 1. According to Baudrillard, when we move towards the realm of subjective, intangible ideas about the world it is called

1. First order of simulacra

2. Second order of simulacra

3. Third order of simulacra

4. Hyperreality

Answer: 3. Third order of simulacra

Q. 2. Infomercials are an example of

1. Hyperreality

2. Differentiation

3. Simulacra

4. Dedifferentiation

Answer: 1. Hyperreality

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