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Mass Media - Research Paper Example

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Runnung Head: Social theories and Mass Media Social Theories and Mass Media: A comparison of the impact on Media and Society Name Number Date submitted Introduction Mass media is a social institution, which has an impact on the society in which it functions, while all the same reflecting the attitudes and values of the same society…
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Download file to see previous pages The reach of mass media is so vast that the Internet users who were 40 million in population in 1995 increased their numbers to above 800 million in the year, 2005 (Brym and Lie, 2006, pp.108). From a peripheral view, it can be seen that mass communication, is a one way process but mass media theorists have after deeper introspection, put forward different view points as well, regarding the nature of mass communication. Some theories focus on the top down dissemination of information. Some present mass communication scenario in a totally different light where social conflicts are reinforced and some others stresses the mutuality involved in a mass communication process with the producer and consumer on both ends. Reception of messages, the process of decoding them, giving feedback, and behavioral changes associated with this whole affair have to be taken into consideration while studying mass media. While looking into the various aspects of the social theories and their impact on the mass media as well as on the society as a whole, it can be inferred that only the three major sociology theories (functionalism, conflict, interactionism) in combination can address the complexities involved with the social institution, mass media. ...
ion, social control (and) entertainment” which are the pillars on which a particular order of the society can stay firm (Brym and Lie, 2006, p.546). The four basic premises of this theory are that a) social structures and patterns mould or influence human behavior, b) a particular social structure can develop or destroy the total social stability, c) such social structures are built based on shared concepts and values, and d) it is only a matter of regaining equilibrium so that the society remains stable and peaceful (Brym and Lie, 2006, pp.13). This theory has great scope in assessing the impact of mass media in society, which can be considered as a social structure capable of maintaining and destroying social stability. The information or message that is handed over to the consumer through mass media is viewed here as having a unifying function at conceptual levels of the society. An idea is disseminated, it is discussed, and a consensual position created in the society, which is an outcome of shared values. Similarly, each and every individual who cater to the information disseminated by mass media, is actually going through a socialization process, which enables him/her to function in a society in an acceptable manner. It is the learning process of accepted social behavior that occurs in the mass media space. Before the emergence of mass media, the young people had to depend solely on their family, community and school for socialization but after mass media came into being, it has become the most important socializing space and tool. This is why it is observed that the youth has an inherent tendency to create and maintain their identities by processing the cultural messages that they get from the media, i.e.; they tend to imitate the outward looks as well as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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