ERIC Number: ED206030
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Analyzing Media: Metaphors as Methodologies.
Students have little intuitive insight into the process of thinking and structuring ideas. The image of metaphor for a phenomenon acts as a kind of methodology for the study of the phenomenon by (1) defining the key issues or problems; (2) shaping the type of research questions that are asked; (3) defining the type of data that are searched out; (4) shaping the language in which the problem and results are expressed; (5) determining the procedures that are used to examine and collect data; and (6) determining what problems, questions, data, and procedures are ignored. For example, the most common metaphor for a medium is that it is a kind of "conveyor belt." The medium is seen as a passive delivery system of important messages. A very different metaphor for a medium is that it is a "language," that is, a specific way of encoding a message. This leads to the analysis of production variables or a study of the expressive potential of the particular medium. In television and film such variables as shot selection, choice of lens, camera angles, and so on can be studied to see how they affect perception and interpretation of the content. A third possible metaphor in media research is "environment." The medium is seen as a type of social context or social situation that includes and excludes participants. The use of metaphors is one way to start students thinking about thinking before they fully realize it. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the New England Conference on Teaching Students to Think (Amherst, MA, November 14-15, 1980).