Sociology of Mass Media
Mass media simply entails communication. This communication can be spoken, written or broadcasted. This simply means that the mass media is a hugely valuable attribute and force in the modern times and modern culture. In this way, sociology mediates and reflects the culture in the media in order to reach millions of people. This essay seeks to discuss the transformation of culture and the difference between media and culture in a social life dimension.
It is clear that mass media is a tremendously significant force in the whole world today especially in the modern world. This is because it promotes attitudes, moods, products, celebrities, fashion and trends amongst many others. However, this media saturation has not always existed yet attitudes, exposure and communication still existed. In this case, the key question is “what role does sociology of mass media fair play?”.
Communications in Relation to Sociology of Mass Media
It is fascinating to note that the mass media has a hugely valuable part of the way many people view the world. In this case, the media are a primary source of information that helps most people top alter and gain knowledge from direct experience. However, this view may be distorted in many ways. This simply means that the dissertation of ramifications of the media knowledge can have serious influences and impacts in the world. In this case, dissertation in the media can affect the lives, images, and people in a community in a direct way (Giles 2003). It is necessary to note that communication of information does not only instruct the world. It also creates and constructs the world in a way that ensures freedom of information of every person and community. In this case, communication is the key to change in every community. However, this does not mean the information from the media should be accepted and received as it is. On the contrary, it means that the information should be assessed, questioned and skillfully developed in order to form an essential and valuable education process.
Transformation of Culture into Media Culture
The world has witnessed diverse changed and transformation of culture into media culture. For example in the older times, Victorian women were at ease with dressing in restrictive corsets and laces in order to achieve an ideal form. However, the corsets developed into other types of attire as the years progressed. There were many other dramatic cultural shifts from the historic times to the modern times. These shifts transformed the old, historic culture into a modern media culture.
This simply means that the media culture has deep roots and origin from the classic culture. It is fascinating to note that, during the historic times, culture referred to the individual ideals and the pursuit of perfection. This simply means that the cultural attributes of the historic times believed in only the ideals and matters that concerned them most. In this case, the cultural activities were associated with literature, classical music and arts amongst many other attributes. Culture has evolved throughout the years.
According to Ginsberg, society and social development is a reflection of culture that appeared after the Second World War. In this case, a new, exciting era was developed from rich promises, which created an experimental era. Improvement and development of social welfare led to the growth of most industries in the world (Grossberg 2006). The media behavior is a theory that conceptualizes the difference between the economy and communicative power. This is in relation to the function of the media in a certain or contemporary society. The sociology intellectual field from the historic times has directly affected and affected the understanding of the society and media from the historic times to date. The intellectual field within which the theoretical concerns are relevant is related to sociology discipline. This simply means that the sociology of mass media from the historic times to date has evolved from competitive perspectives, which share a common aim. The common aim shared by the competitive perspectives from the historic times to date is a social phenomenon that is related to truth and knowledge in the social world.
It is intriguing to note that, since the Second World War, diffusion and marginalization of communication has developed into relevant sociology disciplines in the modern times. The central hypothesis of the same has helped to introduce and review the nature in relation to the limitations and strengths of the different perspectives and the corresponding evidence which can be understood from the evolution patterns. The social organization conception confronts ideologies and interrelations which help to develop the media behavior from market imperatives and other broader institutions. In this way, the media culture in the modern times is supported advanced predictions of the culture witnessed during the Second World War. This framework is, however, questionable in regards to interrelations and power from the same. It reflects a critical, sociological approach that is associated with a structural conflict which dominates in areas related to social inequality.
It is necessary to note that the existence of social classes is a feature that has been witnessed since the Second World War to date. In this case, it has evolved into a media discourse that involves a popular culture, social communication and cultural politics that profoundly influences the media culture (Rozell 2003). The media culture is a general populace symbol which functions to entertain amuse, inculcate and inform individuals on codes of behavior, believes and values that should be integrated into the society. This hypothesis reflects the media trend in relation to the intellectual media culture. This simply means that the media and society have witnessed many transformations since the Second World War to the modern times which have helped to create and develop the modern media culture.
Mass media in the historic times consisted of media industries such recordings, movies, books, magazines and newspapers. The 20th and 21st century developed digital communication technology that involved websites, internet, blogging, televisions amongst many others. In this way, the mass media in the modern times has become more classified and prominent in relation to digital communication technology.
Tactic Understanding of Media
It is appealing to note that media can be compared to a curriculum design. This simply means that the initial learning is the most effective way of transferring and improving performance in a learning experience. In this case, media elements are extremely beneficial in differentiating between the constructional methods and delivery systems in a learning approach. Therefore, media culture is a blend of instructional strategies, activities and tactics that help in the learning experience. According to Ginsberg, the images shown in the media have a direct impact on body, image, self worth and society’s perspective of beauty. This is because the media has the power to create an opinion and give individuals the ideas that make them who they are. However, this is a psychological depiction that influences and individuals image of being “real and sophisticated” other that understanding the media tactics (Morris 2001).
To fully understand the media tactics, it is essential to understand individuals self image. This is because the media can have considerable influence on the same if it is not checked. This simply means that the media has dominance and cultural imperialism that can affect and influence a predominant culture in a given community. In this case, many people define beauty from the media perspective and thus look up to the media to define who they truly are. This leads to problematic cultural values which are predominantly developed within a particular culture. Other features such as skin color and hair color are also used to misrepresent a certain culture. However, it is vital to note that these images are only digitally enhanced and thus are not real. In other words, individuals tend to look for something else that is not real or achievable in real life. This is not only unattainable but also unrealistic.
The media have used these tactics to create a narcissistic attitude in the society which has encouraged plastic surgeries, developed insecurities, led to development of eating disorders and increased levels of suicides in some communities. The media evolution has caused social implications on the cultural views and beliefs which have been transformed into media cultures. According to Ginsberg, the modern media have extensive visions that have the power and ability to change and renovate the daily lives of individuals forever. If, this potential is correctly utilized it can positively influence the lives of individuals all over the world (Baran 2009). However, Ginsberg also suggests that media can also be used as “a vast conspiracy to impose and exterminate human sentience.”” This simply means that media can influence people in a positive or negative way. However, every individual needs to understand the tactics of media and avoid falling prey into the same.
Relationship between Media and Culture
According to Ginsberg, whoever controls the media, controls culture? This simply means that media and culture cannot be studied as two separate domains. This is because media has its origin from culture and in the modern times culture has its branches and attributes from the media. It is also beneficial to note that the media serves and tries to satisfy public interests. In this case, communication activities or the media affects the way people view themselves and how they live. Contemporary media have an effect and relation to the society and culture. In this case, the media have become extremely significant part of the modern world today. The crucial question is whether the media provides reliable or questionable information. However, the media have the power and ability to transform the society and community with different and diverse information (Wood 2010). Media resources help individuals to capture and receive information and messages from all over the world. It is, however, necessary to understand the content of the information and assess the information to determine whether it is useful information or damaging information. Therefore, the role of the media is to capture public opinion in relation to their culture. This information may be accurate or inaccurate depending on the media sources. In this case, people’s culture is extremely beneficial because it helps to relate the behavior to the language or action.
Other analysts have suggested that mass culture is responsible for the production of mass public techniques which are expressed in the media. This suggests that the way information is dug out as well as conveyed to people depends on mass culture. Therefore, culture has a vital role to play in general media activities. Other factors determine media techniques. These include the availability of resources, government policies among others. However, mass culture is the greatest of them all since it evolves as the media techniques change. This shows that a study of people’s culture would amount to the study of media in the same region. For example, the music that is used in the media largely depends on the culture. This is because the media has to be relevant to the people that it is reaching (Kretzmer 2000). This can only be done by using techniques that are in accordance with the culture of the people. The same is also seen in clothing as well as architecture that is applied in media.
People’s culture is integration of a long range of aspects. This includes how they wear, how they behave in different situations, how they speak as well as their different beliefs on various matters. Therefore, culture is largely susceptible to change. People change their cultural ways when they are attracted to other cultures, which seem to be more luring. This is where the role of the media comes. It is through the media that different cultural views from a region to all the other parts of the world. This is what influences the cultural changes among the people. It is, therefore, evident that the cultural values that people posses are significantly determined by the media.
The media play another vital role in the determination of a people’s culture. This is done by the strengthening of the cultural values using different ways. The media broadcasts the cultural values of a given society such that it reaches people from other parts of the world. This attracts other people to the culture who find the diversification to be interesting. In this way, people become proud of their cultures and are able to uphold their beliefs and ways of life. It also helps in spreading the people’s culture to other parts of the world making it more spread up to other areas. This is how radical changes in the beliefs of people are changed within a short span of time. It is, however, noteworthy that people realize the importance of evaluating any new cultural beliefs before deciding to make them their own (Curran 2011). The society might end up with people who do not have ethical values. These values would have otherwise been upheld if the people used their initial cultural beliefs.
There are practices in the society that are not favorable for mankind. This brings about the role of media in regulation of such malpractices, for example, some traditional cultures of certain societies support female circumcision programs. In the modern world, this despicable act should not even occur in people’s thoughts. The media seek to identify such practices and broadcast them to other people. This makes the practices open to critics as well as advocates for the human rights. Education is provided to the involved people through the media and through this people abandon these malpractices. This shows that significant changes in the cultures of people are largely influenced by the media.
The media may also go to extremes sometimes. There may be temptations to incorporate acts and beliefs in their broadcasts, which may not be ethical. This is where culture comes in to regulate these activities. The cultural beliefs of different regions in the world differ considerably. This means that some acts could be acceptable in a certain society but unacceptable in another. Therefore, as broadcasting occurs, the corporations decide on which items to air as well as which ones not to. This ensures that the cultural beliefs and values of people are not corrupted. It is, therefore, evident that culture regulates the practices of the media while the media equally influences the changes in the cultural beliefs of the people (Couldry 2012).
Ginsberg points out that culture is mainly changed through communication. When people have their own sets of beliefs, they tend to think that all other cultural beliefs are negative. For example, if a native of the traditional societies that are rich in culture is taken to a different part of the world, they would not fit. This is because they would find the behaviors of the people there to be exceedingly strange. Therefore, for people to change their cultural beliefs and perceptions, communication is essential.
Communication should be used to convey a message to the people. The ultimate tool for this is the media. It is used to show the people that there are other cultural practices upheld by other societies, which could be more advantageous than their own. This would serve a terrific deal in the hanging of perception of the people on the cultures of other people. It can also help them acquire new cultural beliefs which could alter their beliefs for the good.
According to Ginsberg, culture is invisible. It is hidden in a way that only those in it can understand it best. For example, when one observes a couple kissing, this creates a lot of notions in mind especially if the couple is from a different culture. One could think it a romantic act, a sign to thank someone or even just a mere greeting. This is the same when one observes that a certain community does not take beef. One may interpret it by thinking that beef is considered unclean while, in the real sense, it is considered sacred. Culture largely needs communication in order to be modified as well as conveyed to other people from different societies due to this invisibility. This way, people are able to understand the culture of others better than if there were no media sources to do the job for them.
There are those people in the society who firmly hold on to their cultural beliefs. The media help them to understand where their cultural differences with other societies came in as well as the communication process. It also explains the process that people undergo when adapting and putting up with new groups, societies and cultures (Berger 2004). It then highlights the importance of communication as a bridge between the different cultures. Communication enhanced by media is the main force in cultural change.
Despite the fact that culture defines a certain group of people, it is subject to change. As time goes by, the cultural beliefs of a society keep on evolving according to the activities carried out around it. With this, the media techniques as well as activities broadcasted by the media change. This is because, as culture changes, the activities carried out by the people change as well. When this happens, the media will have different activities to present to the public. These activities will display a totally different set of cultural beliefs in that particular society. This shows that cultural changes move hand in hand with changes in the media techniques.
From the above text, it is clear that media controls and influences culture. Therefore, the people who influence the change in culture are those who deal with the media. Thus, it is not possible to study media and culture separately without contradicting oneself. This is due to the fact that the two go hand in hand. It is clear that even as culture evolves, the different techniques in the media change along. It is, therefore, extremely valuable to evaluate what is brought about in the media as it directly influences the culture. If negative, it could erode valuable cultural beliefs among the people which would lead to a corrupt society. It thus follows that criticism of media and culture should be done together and with equal seriousness.