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2009 - International Communication Association Pages: 24 pages || Words: 7882 words || 
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1. Martin, Sylvia. "The Production of Spectacle / The Spectacle of Production: An Ethnographic Study of Film/TV Media Production" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott, Chicago, IL, May 21, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p299123_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As Walter Benjamin noted, the production of commercial film and television constitutes a spectacle. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Hollywood and Hong Kong, I examine several visual images that are created and on- and off-screen forms of spectacle. I focus on the audience of media workers who mediate in the immediate site of production: film and television sets. Media workers form a preliminary audience that requires further study. Many media workers are not concerned with educating or enlightening audiences about how to be citizens or consumers; in fact, many of these media workers during filming consider audiences as secondary to themselves as spectators. To provide a historical anchor for my claim, I invoke Tom Gunning’s theorization of “cinema of attractions”. The inspiration for this early period of filmmaking – magic shows, vaudeville, and circuses - continues to permeate the character of film/TV production in Hollywood and Hong Kong. Early film’s key feature of provoking stimulus illustrates my point that forms of interactivity are happening long before paying audiences view the finished product. The immediate “audience” of media workers is a participatory one that “talks back to” the images on the factory floor of production in ways that show that reception is simultaneously occurring amid production. This immediate audience’s capacity to mediate should not be underestimated in the study of how and why media plays a powerful role since decisions about how imagery and performance are created are determined not only by studio executives and corporations but also by individuals “below-the-line” .

2017 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
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2. Lowe, Brian. "Trumping Spectacle? The Sociological Study of Spectacle and the 2016 American Presidential Election" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada, Aug 12, 2017 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1253983_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The election of Donald J. Trump in the 2016 American Presidential is explained in part through the hypothesis that Trump is a spectacular candidate whose established presence in popular culture allowed him to maintain public attention. This analysis suggests that Trump’s ability to avoid crippling political damage despite sustained media critiques of his false and misleading statements in largely due to his capacity to manipulate mediated spectacles to his advantage. In brief, Trump’s established “brand” through reality television and sustained coverage in popular media allowed Trump to eclipse his lesser known (and more politically established) rivals in the unusually large Republican presidential candidate field. Trump’s continued use of social media and his skill at deflecting media scrutiny allowed him to be fairly successful in agenda setting during both the primary and general election. While Trump’s campaign is historic to the degree that it relied on social media and that Trump lacked political or military experience, there is evidence that this emergence of spectacular candidates -- including the merger of political life and popular culture – has been occurring in the United States for decades.

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