Essay about Todd Gitlin Summary on Media

1238 Words5 Pages
Michael S. Earl
Ms. Welch
Eng 111-4177
Essay 2
10 March 2011
Gitlin’s View Todd Gitlin is a notable author born in New York City. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a PhD in sociology and was heavily involved in the Students for a Democratic Society group. Gitlin is now a professor at New York University where he teaches culture, journalism, and sociology. Gitlin’s selection, Supersaturation, or, The Media Torrent and Disposable Feeling, comes from his book Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives (2001). In this selection, Gitlin describes how private lives and domestic spaces have evolved from the seventeenth-century until now. He feels as though our once
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We have become immune to true feelings for individual images and stories, and thrive on the idea of the next gossip that will follow. In this selection of the book, Gitlin discusses a seventeenth-century Dutch painter by the name of Vermeer. Vermeer was known for being able to”fr[ee]ze instants, but instants that spoke of the relative constancy of the world in which his subjects lived” (Gitlin 558). People collected Vermeer’s paintings for display throughout their homes. Gitlin sees Vermeer as the seventeenth-century version of the media. In that time, the images painted were relative to the people’s era and private world. In today’s world Vermeer would be the equivalent to a celebrity photographer or movie director. If Vermeer, or any other artist of his time, were to see today’s households, they would find that the once private space inside the home is now much more dominated by images of the outside world than what would have been possible in the 1600’s. As mentioned in Gitlin’s research, statistics show that, “ ‘watching TV is the dominant leisure activity of Americans, consuming 40 percent of the average person’s free time as a primary activity [when people give television there undivided attention]’ ” (Gitlin 560). Even the wealthier parts of poor worlds have access to some sort of media. It would take someone from a third world country to be stunned by the fact that our lives are constantly portrayed through television, radio, internet

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