The ranking of search engine results is commonly encountered media in daily life. However, most users are unaware of how search engines rank websites or even that the results are ranked, and trust that search engines arrange results appropriately. The purpose of this study is to clarify the history of the discourse on media (i.e., search engines) used to find webpages in Japan by analyzing articles in major Japanese personal computer magazines published during the Web 1.0 era. Consequently, this study clarifies that (1) the World Wide Web was originally considered as a “plaything” before becoming a tool for content searching, (2) tools for searching websites altered from semantic directories to computational rankings, and (3) discourse explaining computational technology gradually decreased resulting from a change in the search engine environment from over-competition to monopolization. Through this historical process, search engine rankings have become the major media for finding websites. This suggests that search engine rankings as media have become black-boxed, and implicit trust in the rankings was constructed. This study contributes to understanding how digital platforms affect daily communications by applying a media studies perspective.
Before attempting to conceptualize the body schema/image in the film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, which is directed by Mamoru Oshii, this study compares the film with European and American cyborg films. Based on this comparative review, it is concluded that the film intends to avoid the return to humanism in the postmodern condition where the theoretical and ideological skepticism has arisen, and such thought of the film is called posthumanism.
Next, this study analyzes what kind of body schema/image is created by posthumanism. In the film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, the bodies of dolls are interpreted as artificial constructions. The body schema/image constitutes the underlying theme of the entire film, and the bodies of dolls are exactly the representations of human bodies. In other words, the film reveals that the understanding of the body is socially constructed, and such social constructionist perspective of the body frees us from the mystique attached to ‘human bodies’ as organic unity.
Furthermore, according to the body schema/image in the film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, ‘the construction of the body’ is not merely an abstract concept but has boundaries defined in concrete conditions and also this construction can only have the contingent foundation: ‘the body’ can be constructed by networks and interactions with others different from but constituent of oneself. In addition, this understanding of the body may be connected with the concept of respect for others that cannot be understood or valued by humanism.
Research literature about media use in aging has argued that the motivations to fulfill the need to connect with others or societies facilitate the elderly's use of media and has suggested that media contribute to their fulfilling life or successful aging. From the uses and gratifications perspective, this study examines how the elderly's use of media relate to their successful aging.
The results of a convenience sample survey in the Tokyo area (n=1644) indicated that most media gratifications may not contribute to successful aging among the Japanese “young old” (58∼70 years). Scores from the Morale Scale are negatively correlated with media gratifications, especially consummatory gratification in television viewing. This suggests that the previous view about the role of television in aging is invalid and may be too optimistic.
In addition, the contribution of media gratifications to scores on the Morale showed little difference between retired and non-retired. This result raises questions about prevailing notions that the retired elderly lose motivation in their life and media complement their commitment to society and their social activities.
Although previous research has tended to accept the activity theory which supposes that communication would be maintained at an active level throughout the aging process, this study does not support this hypothesis.