Vertical Integration

Vertical Integration is a term that is used to describe a strategy that many businesses use to increase their profits. Vertical integration happens when a company multiplies its production operations and potential into different stages of manufacturing on the same path, such as when a company owns its distributor and/or providers. Vertical integration is extremelyContinue reading “Vertical Integration”

Public Sphere

In 1964, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas defined the public sphere as “a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed” (Habermas, 1974, p. 51). Apart from this, he states that public sphere is the bridge that connects society and state (Soules, 2007). Because of the public sphere, individuals can congregate,Continue reading “Public Sphere”


Intersectionality can be defined as a way to bridge that gap between two or more identity positions. The article “On Black Feminist Thought: Thinking Oppression and Resistance Through Intersectional Paradigm” states: “A significant aspect of critical studies of intersectionality is their relation to power and stratification. What distinguishes black feminist thought is that it isContinue reading “Intersectionality”


The encoding/decoding model of communication is a system that describes how media messages are produced, circulated, and consumed by people in society. The model was developed by Stuart Hall, a cultural studies scholar and theorist, in 1973. Hall was an influential member of the Birmingham School and his creation of encoding and decoding has madeContinue reading “Encoding/Decoding”

Agenda Setting

Agenda Setting Theory is a media effects theory that explains how media affects the emphasis viewers place on certain topics happening in society. The ‘catch-phrase’ associated with this theory is that the media does not tell us what to think, it tells us what to think about. Bernard Cohen actually stated this is 1963 referringContinue reading “Agenda Setting”

Cult Media

Cult media is a term that exists through the continuous evolution of its own definition. Although there exists no one fixed definition of cult media, several influential scholars have defined sets of criteria that function as a working definition of cult, which include the overlapping categories of audiences (Jenkins 1992, Janvocivh 2002), knowledge/trivia (Hills 2003,Continue reading “Cult Media”


Guy Debord was a French theorist that became an important part of postmodernity and shaped the theory of the spectacle and its role in society during the 1960s. He is particularly interesting with the fact that he often put his theory into practice with his creation of the situationist group that often protested against societalContinue reading “Spectacle”


The topic of pastiche in modern society is extremely applicable to multiple different fields. Because of this, theorists like Fredric Jameson have written pieces mentioning the term pastiche and applying it to their respected fields. The initial focus in Jameson’s work was the way pastiche has an effect on and has been affected by theoriesContinue reading “Pastiche”

Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test is an examination of a film, book, or any work of fiction in general based on three criteria. For a work of fiction to pass the Bechdel Test, the work must a) have at least two women b) who talk each other c) about something other than a man. If the workContinue reading “Bechdel Test”

Fourth Screens

In contemporary media, screen technology is proving itself to be an enduring and critical piece of communications and media studies. The fourth screen has been recognized as a more accessible compilation of each of the earlier screening technologies. Therefore, to fully explain fourth screens, we must begin by identifying first, second, and third screens. TheContinue reading “Fourth Screens”

Textual Analysis

Textual analysis is a method in cultural and media studies that critically examines and interprets the meanings of culture through texts (Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. 2017). Texts can be defined as any “unit of meaning for interpretation and understanding” (Ouellette & Gray, 2017), though cultural studies views texts broadly as anythingContinue reading “Textual Analysis”

Third Screens

In a media studies lens, computers are the third screen that consumers use to view content, with movie screens and television screens existing as the first and second, respectively (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2017). Computers can be used to access movies, television, books, magazines, newspapers, music, and a vast amount of other content. The technologicalContinue reading “Third Screens”

Media Oligopolies

The term oligopoly, according to Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Farbos in Media and Culture: Mass Communications in a Digital Age, refers to “an organizational structure” in the economic systems of the media, in which “a few firms control most of an industry’s production and distribution resources” (221). This system of complete dominationContinue reading “Media Oligopolies”

The Male Gaze

Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze is based on Freudian constructions of the psyche. Sigmund Freud was a psychologist who developed the practice of psychoanalysis which examines the conscious and unconscious areas of the mind. Mulvey uses psychoanalysis to highlight the patriarchal structure of women in films. A Freudian concept that is present throughoutContinue reading “The Male Gaze”


During the second wave in the 1970s, feminists closed in on what could possibly be the source of women’s oppression (Ingraham, 2017). Chrys Ingraham elaborated on the theory feminists proposed during this time to what is the central fountainhead of women’s oppression :heteronormativity. Ingraham summarizes what most feminists during this time period understood heteronormativity. SheContinue reading “Heteronormativity”


George Ritzer created his theory of McDonaldization in 1993. Ritzer was able to do this by analyzing the economic practices that McDonalds employs. Ritzer claims that these practices have a huge impact on the structure of global corporations as well as everyday life (Ritzer, 2013). Ritzer was able to utilize many past theorists because hisContinue reading “McDonaldization”


Propaganda is any type of mass communication strategically placed in order to gain public support for an issue, program, or policy. It includes, but is not limited to, media such as advertising or publicity. (Campbell et al, 2017). Propaganda has traditionally been used by governments in order to rally people behind political agendas that inContinue reading “Propaganda”


Meritocracy has several definitions, one being “a system structured around advancement of people who are selected on the basis of individual achievement” (Littler, 2018, p. 24). The ideal meritocracy is one where leaders are determined based on the successes they achieved through hard work and perseverance. Although meritocracy has histories all around the world, itsContinue reading “Meritocracy”