Mass Media Sociology

The mass media has become a big part of our society and its counterparts. In a time p of 50 years this medium has influenced society to an extent where it has created wonders. This immaculate tool can control almost every action we perform, from speaking to the actions that every human being performs in society. The mass media has brought upon a new era of idea’s and changes in the world we live in. As we analysis media in depth we will find many aspects of media which overlap and some of the smallest factors and aspects of media, which create the biggest impact on society.
Our main objective is to explore the mass media’s effects on society and see how the media has affected out way of life. Not to mention, compare the life styles of the previous and current generation. These are aims all sociologists focus on. The mass media is seen as a medium of communication, as well as a way of delivering messages and valuable data to the masses within a matter of seconds. As we move into a more technological era we see vast differences in culture, values and the basic change in the way of life.
The traditional way of life is dying; in-depth valuable heritage is no longer being followed. Many state that the media has blemished society which has created disparity within our traditional way of life. We are human beings with the power to take in unlimited amounts of information. The human brain contains functions that may never even be discovered by scientist due to its complexity. However, today the media has created a massacre of learning abilities and incoherent the emotional intelligence of human beings.

As individuals say that the mass media is a valuable tool to society and can create great changes, it is seen to debauch within society and the minds of the new generation. Over all we see that the media has a colossal negative impact in comparison to a positive affect on society. Socialization and society is one of the main aspects in co-relation to the mass media. As seen in the recent generation, norms, values and way of life has changed to a great extent in comparison to the past generations. Media has distinctly created its mark in the socialization process.
The mass media has social, developmental and various other forms of mental effects on children. A very important aspect of media society has embraced is the fact that it brings upon great awareness and understanding of the world around us. The media has exposed individuals of all ages to different aspects of the world that the previous generation was not aware of. This vast revelation has educated the youth thus making them more aware and ingenious about the world they live. Media has delivered messages to the world in a matter of seconds, providing us with intelligence about recent events around the world.
Although media may provide society with many advantages, the negative impact can have immaculate affects on society. Promoting bad habits such as smoking is a conspicuous negative impact on society. Adolescents’ smoking has become a big issue in today’s time. ” Almost 20 per cent of Canadian teens (aged 12-19) currently smoke (daily or occasionally”. Statistics state that the numbers of smokers have been increasing since 1990. The media has portrayed cigarettes to be a social and “cool” factor in society. Many youth state that they have smoked under peer pressure.
Adolescents try to fit in by smoking so that they are not out casted. As social creatures it is our instinct to be apart of society and belong to a “social group”. Another growing concern amongst the current generation is the amount of television watched and how it is affecting developmental and psychological thinking. Television has become a big part of society. As many parents work it is found that children, who are home alone when their parents are at work, watch TV as soon as they come home from school. This influences their thinking more then the outside world does.
Not to mention that violence can be encouraged in the media. It is crucial to understand that when children are at that peek in their life, they tend to imitate what they see. A ponderous medium of media is video games in co-relation to violence. Video games encourage violent behavior in children as they are at a crucial stage of adaptation. Society as a whole has been immensely effected by the social realm. In the fashion world, it is media that creates the trends and genres of different types of clothes. This is seen as an identity. The fashion world markets their clothes to society thru the media.
Using various sources such as, television, internet, newspaper and magazines. However there is a dark side to this industry. Today’s society faces controversy about women’s body figured. Size zero has become a behemoth fad in the modeling world. The size zero topic has caused a revolution, women around the world trying to enter the modeling industry are now harming their bodies in countless ways in order to achieve the “ideal” body. Women today face a lot of criticism about their appearances due to the superficial ideology created by the media. This has rought a lot of criticism from feminist around the world who state that women have died from starvation only to model. Today’s world has stereotypes formed from various forms of media. Stereotypes have been created ethnicities and cultures. As growing individuals we see distinct relations between the two. When we see a certain ethnicity portrayed in a particular way we judgments tend to be formed enforce them on that particular ethnicity. Eventually many individuals tend to conform to those stereotypes, thus them following the self fulfilling prophecy.
This can be dangerous as people’s self esteems may be affected, not to mention this activity can be harmful to society. For example, many African American people are portrayed as criminals and therefore displayed as “harmful” people in the media and its various forms; many fear them as they are known for causing harm and disruption. As this stereotype changes perspective of this particular ethnicity they tend to act the way they are seen in the media as society already believes that they are that certain stereotype. Since the 20th century we have seen a sudden rise empowerment in women, especially in North America.
Women all over the nation fought for their freedom of right and are till this day at war for equality. Feminist state that we are currently living in a patriarchal society, where men predominantly control society and its activities. Further more feminist quote “all knowledge learned by society is created by men, thus creating biases in favor of men and predominantly male oriented situations. The media enforces this knowledge, for one gender roles are enforced through the media to children and adolescents. Although these are promoted to adults to, there is no personality harm to adults.
For example, little girls and boys are shown playing sports and with toys that are meant for them, thus enforcing a stereotype and certain gender role of the behavior that is expected from these children. Disney as we know it promotes these gender roles to a great extends, with classical story lines. This shows young children how women are powerless and the male figure rescues her. This perception is seen distinctly in different forms as the child grows up. During the Second World War women refused to go back to their original jobs after then men returned from the war.
As an extreme of re-socializing women, the government sent out propaganda about how women we’re suppose to work in the homes and men to work in the factories. This is an extreme case of the media being used to change the perception of society. Feminist argue that media corrupted the minds of young women. Before the revolution women we’re allowed a double standard of being sex objects however suppressed in society and seen as the “second” sex. Women nowadays are objectified by society and seen as sexual objects in the eyes of men Culture and the commercial world play a significant role in the media world.
Culture is denoted as a way of life for society. It consists of beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a social group. A valuable aspect of culture is communication as it is its central activity. Without communication there would be no society or groups as such. Communication is the core of every society and culture in the world. It can take on many forms from verbal to sign language to symbols. All these arranged in a proper manner deliver a message and contain meaning. This approach is often described as a structuralism approach, where the focus is on the analysis of the production of meaning.
The term structuralism is a used to emphasize influence of society as a whole. As stated above culture and communication go hand in hand. When we compare the language used in the 19th and 20th century we see vast difference in the language and dialect. According to researchers the internet has changed our dialect, not to mention our way of typing. The internet has introduced short forms for various words and symbols to represent certain characteristics, as time passes by these characteristics are known to change the way we think. This type of change has affected our cognition.
Literature has been restricted and we are made to expresses our selves in a matter of words, twitter for example restricts the amount of words being used to expresses one’s emotions and feelings. This type of change has taught society how to expresses them selves in a matter of a few powerful words. Another aspect of language is how the media has allowed people to express them selves and grow as individuals. However there is a big drawback to this, as society has started to connect to the world over the World Wide Web, there tends to be less face-to-face communication.
Individuals connect over the internet thus, disrupting the socialization process. People tend to become more anti-social and keep to them selves. Youth cultures and sub-cultures are a reflection of the media; today we see many youth cultures forming sub cultures within them selves. Many of them differ in various aspects; these subcultures are formed in order to rebel against the adult culture and their way of life. When adolescents form these sub cultures they find comfort and a sense of belonging. As the media is the predominate cause of youth sub-cultures, they portray what they want to see in the current generation.
The hypodermic syringe theory states that the media feeds society what they want and society accepts it without any questioning, it is a medium of message which can causes changes within a time p of a few minutes. The results can be drastic and cause massive changes in society. Not to mention, as adolescents may apply these norms and values in their adult lives. Mass media is fast growing field, the commercial world has experiences massive amounts of development in this sector due to the rapid increasing demand. As we can see, there are many highly regarded media jobs in the commercial world today.
These jobs are important to the media sector as the skills and requirements are very different in comparison to traditional jobs. Many of the core media jobs are personal relations, journalism, publishing, broadcasting, film and many more. When we look at these topics we see a significant co-relation. As the World Wide Web has rapidly increased in the recent years and has gained significance, many individuals have taken up jobs which require constant internet co-relation. Blogging is an example of an internet related job. It requires regular entries of comments, descriptions of events, or interactive media such as images or video.
Blogging has brought much recognition as written experiences and articles are posted in order to guide and share information with the world around us. As we move into the commercial world there is a strong relationship between the government and mass media. Their main aim is to educate society and make sure that information about the world’s events reaches the masses. We see very little government contribution in regard to the media, as it is a privately owned source. For example when we look at the American media and how it is controlled by the government, there is very little interaction between the government and the media associates.
Due to the fact that the media is controlled by a predominate part of the private industry. This means that the government cannot put their views across to manipulate society in anyway to their advantage. The media is also known to create illusions/perceptions about particular situations or events. However when an individual experiences it for them selves they will see how different it is compared to how the media portrays it. For example, when someone see’s how television broadcasting takes place in reality, they realize that the media may exaggerate the event, in order to create emphasis on the situation.
This is only one example of the many events or situations that are exaggerated. Furthermore the media dispelling the illusions may be one of the most important responsibilities of modern education. As media may not portray the data in the way it was, disparities about validity are created. When we look at democratic situations in society, we see a vast gap in the voting percentage and the actual population. Political campaigns spend large amounts of money on promoting their campaigns for a very small population of voters.
This creates big advantages to the political campaigns, as they spent large amounts of money on promoting them selves in the media, they will eventually receive a majority of the votes. This shows us that political success increasingly depend on fundraising, usually from well-financed special interest groups, to pay for media advertising. In the age of mass media, Americans have been made to think that democracy means having lots of consumers choices in the marketplace of products, rather than alternative choices in ideology, issues or political leadership in the marketplace of ideas.
The pattern of ownership has changed in the media, thus affecting the amount of information portrayed on the television. We see that today generally businesses are no longer family businesses. However nowadays they would acquire special people to handle such delicate affairs. Not to mention specialized magazines and book publishing operations have been launched across the country and these usually have been feasible economic ventures due to the fact that they do not require huge investments in equipment required to produce a daily newspaper. When talking about the media and the commercial world there are various different aspects to it.
As the media has suddenly become big in the past few decades we can say that the media and its dynamics have drastically changed. This is due to the sudden enhancement in technology; this has helped us advance out world. For example, the film industry has advanced to an immaculate level, where production has changed along with the mode of production. The theorist has various views on the mass media and their effects on society. Each sociological theorist has a view which they embrace. Functionalist believes that each part of society has a certain function they are to perform in rder for society to function to its fullest potential. They believe that there are particular functions society has to their maximum capacity. Functionalists believe that the mass media helps co-ordinate and correlate between various parts of society by gathering and dismissing valuable information. Our society conforms to a lot that they see in the media. This means that they enforce laws and regulations which keep order and control in society. We believe that there is a certain extent of social control which is enforced. When talking about the mass media, functionalist strongly enforce social control over society.
Conformity is reinforces the norms and values of society. This taught the new generation how to fit into a society. The media enforced and teaches society the rules and regulations, not to mention they provide social situations of individuals disobeying the laws and regulations. This acts as a reinforcement to conform to society’s rules. For example, cop shows provide an example of social situations where individuals of our society act out and the punishments they receive. This enforces rules and conformity in society. Another aspect is how they are an agent of socialization.
As mentioned before children of todays are exposed to vast amounts of the mass media at very young ages, they learn their norms and values form theses sources thus acting as sources of socialization. The media plays a big role in cognitive child development and re-socialization as they provide individuals with the knowledge that they learn and use in the future to come. Finally the last and most predominate role the media provides according to functionalist is entertainment. Besides all the social control and socialization factors, in the end the media is our predominate form of entertainment.
This is a source of relaxation and a momentary escape from the hectic world that we live in. Conflict theorist was founded by Karl Marx. He believes that there are two dominate classes in society. One being the Bourgeoisie, they we’re the ruling class that controlled all the assets and controlled the modes of production, they owned most of the properly and land. The second class was The Proletariats, they we’re considered the lower working class. This class had no power at all and worked hard labor jobs which consisted of a lot of manual labor.
Conflict theorist states that functionalist have not paid attention to the social inequality that the mass media portrays, that the mass media benefits some more then others. According to conflict theorists the mass media is controlled by only a number of highly influential people. This leads to a very important factor which is media bias. Media bias can incur to massive levels, which can affect society. As the media is controlled by very few highly qualified people, they can deliver their views to the media and create false assumptions about particular opinions.
Ownership of the media is in the hands of very few, creating profitability to them as producers and various different industries are interested in putting across messages to the world approach these particular media industry individuals. As seen in Canada the recent trends of the media are starting to change. Fewer people are starting to control larger amounts of the media and what is broadcasted. This is a big disadvantage to society as only their views will be focused on creating large amounts of bias media. When the media is controlled by a small population controlled by few there tends to be less diversity.
Deprivation of independent sources of information with non-biased opinions stated. Society is forced to accept what is provided to them. Propaganda will flood the media due to smaller amounts of individuals controlling it For example in Canada, Rogers Communication Inc owns the Toronto Blue Jays, creates sports and entertainment, broadcasts on television, carries the signal to viewers homes via cable stations and finally they sell at Rogers Video stores. The government controls what is presented in the media to a great extent.
There are various cases where the government has punished certain journalist for publishing articles criticizing the government and their policies. What happened to freedom of speech is a question many are asking in today’s modern world. The main biased mechanisms are flak, advertising and sourcing. Flak occurs when big corporations frequently attack journalist who write and state controversial articles in the media. This is due to government control and how they do not want negative views about them being distributed in the public. The other biased mechanism is advertising.
Most of the revenue earned by the mass media is thru advertising over the internet, television, magazines, newspapers, radio and various other different predominant forms of media. Large corporations pay great sum’s of money to advertise their messages over popular modes of media. This brings in a large sum of the media’s income. Last but not least is sourcing. This method of gathering news is heavily used by news agencies for press releases, news conferences, and interviews organized by large corporations or the government. These sources usually have traces of preferences towards certain policies and regulations.
Unofficial statistics are usually not are preferred as official documents due to the fact that they only provide reactions and minority viewpoints that are secondary to that official story. As seen in the data provided about the biased media and how influential it can be, we see that the conflict theorist in summary believe that economic inequality is reinforced due. Further to that, the core value of society is stratified as the media is controlled by a small amount of people creating diversity and portraying socially acceptable and government approved opinions.
Interpretive approaches are micro sociology that believes the socialization of individuals’ shapes how society will form and function. According to them each individual’s personality carries an imprint to his unique experience along with the socially transmitted world view. These types of sociologist look into each individual and the reason for each individual’s results along with the factors affecting them. Society is not judged as a whole. They believe that the mass media influences a passive public in common.
Symbolic functionalist state that although conflict theorist and functionalist reinforce the fact that the mass media is mainly beneficial to the rich and powerful, not to mention that the mass media is a great reinforcement of core values follow by society. They do not enforce much on the extent to which audience members interpret media’s messages in different ways. Interactionalist state that, the entailments of mass media does not simply change individuals behavior, there are various steps that are used to change societies mind.
Consider this question: How much influence does the mass media actually exert over audiences? Great controversy surrounds this question The subject of what influences the mass media involves the link between persuasive media messages and indirect actual behavior. The process of ‘ two-step flow of communication’ must take place. This process involves the communication between the mass media and the audience members. The first process involves respected individuals of society to evaluate media messages. These individuals tend to be highly educated or politically powerful in that community.
As their status contains power and authority they usually conduct independent judgment. The second step involves the leaders influence on attitudes and behavior of others around them. This way media’s opinions are filtered by the leaders. This two step process limits the amount of influence on society. If individuals in a society are influenced to perform a certain action is it less predominant within their minds as it has been influenced by the leader. The media influences society to perform a certain action; however the leaders influence will determine whether society will perform that action or not.
Symbolic interactionalist represents media through cultural studies. In-depth interviewing and participant observation is used to study how people in a society truly interpret media messages. Cultural studies does not only concentrate on the cultural meaning producers try to transmit, but on the way audiences filter and interpret mass media messages in the context of their own interest, experiences, and values. Sociologist, Stuart Halls states that, audience members take an active part in consuming the products of the mass media.
However they filter and interpret the messages in the context of their own interest. In conclusion, the audience will only take in and interpret what they want to. Every individual has a different way of thinking. This implicates that the media does not fully influence individuals. Hall asserts, society takes in the mass media’s information in the context of their own experiences, interests and values. Thus, any in-depth analysis of the mass media must take into the production and consumption of the data. In the initial stages the meaning intended by producers must be studied.
Further to that, we also need to study how the audience consumes or evaluates media products. Audience members may interpret media messages in ways other than those intended by the producer. The critical attitude of the individuals exposed to the media reduces the ability to identify strongly with many characters, personalities, and storylines. Age also affects how we relate to the television or various different forms of media. For instance, the senior viewers tend to be selective and focused on their television viewing. In comparison to individuals who grew up with TV cable and a remote control.
Individuals in that vein often sift through channels, engage in conversation and do a multitude of things that detract attention to the supposed object of focus. The media does not impact these modes of viewing. This is an example of the media’s effect on society and the extent to which it affects certain individuals. Conflict theorists’ and functionalists’ exaggerate the extent to which the media affects the society. All in all, internationalist filters, interpret, resist and sometimes reject messages that are often presented by the mass media.
Feminists are another group of sociologists who believe that women are treated unfairly in society and are discriminated against in various types of male dominated theories. In co-relation to the media, feminists have strong views about how they created gender roles and stereotypes. Women are mostly seen as sexual objects and prizes rather then humans. In addition, women in the media are said to create a stereotype which is affective to many of the adolescents as they create artificial looks and body structures. The media’s power as a predominant socializing agent adversely influences women into these modes of thinking.
The media creates stereotypes which portray women as, “dumb and silly”. This pushes women down the stratification scale in the world as a whole; this is one of the reasons why the glass ceiling was created. The glass ceiling is an expression which states that women can see the top position; however due to gender discrimination, they cannot reach it. It is worth noting that, the media also creates a gender role for women from a very young age. For example, girls are shown on television shows playing with kitchen sets and boys are shown playing football.
This demonstrates to children that they have certain roles to play and with this, these roles are embraced at a young age. Not only is there gender discrimination, many women experience racial gender discrimination. This occurs when women in the ethnic minorities are discriminated against due to their gender and ethnic background. Although there have been countless efforts to combat this type of discrimination, women in today’s society are facing large amounts of discrimination, not to mention are being denied the top positions and discriminated in terms of wages.
As we have analyzed the various aspects from society to the commercial world, we can say that media has created a distinct change in society. We can conclude by saying that, the mass media is a tool which can cause great change and impact on society largely. When the mass media is related to society as a whole, the media has affected adolescents and children more then any other group. We see that society’s children and adolescents have changed their ways of life in an immaculate level. Researchers say that there has never been such a large amount of change in such a short p of time.
Media is to blame for such a large change in society. Although the mass media has afforded society negative instances, there are various high points we can take away from the mere existence of the media. If it weren’t for the media society wouldn’t bee informed about world events and the situations taking place in it. Many individuals criticize the media for it’s over exaggeration and creation of false delusions. However, many forget to give the media credit for the intense and immediate broadcasting around the world.
On a whole the media has created many advantages for society and has created a whole new generation and way of life, however on the other hand the media has corrupted the minds of children and adolescents. Not to mention its role in the massive loss of culture and tradition that dates back thousands of years ago. In the end has the media benefited society or corrupted it?

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