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Mass communication - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Media and Culture: An Analysis One of the most interesting facets of our modern lifestyle is the degree of integration the level of symbiosis that exists between the media and our present culture. A host of studies have sought to capture the level of this effect with varying results…
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, the analysis will consider the two pertinent arguments that seek to define the ways in which the media and culture interact with society. For such a purpose, it is necessary to view “the media” as a solitary entity rather than a conglomerate of multi-dimensional pieces. Although such a definition is somewhat simplistic, it is one of the only ways that such a broad topic can be attempted to be researched and answered in such a brief piece. Firstly, many scholars have sought to portray the way in which the media interacts with and defines culture as a mechanism by which one is forcefully shaping the other in a way that exhibits the strength and power of one over the other. This approach has been used by many to draw a level of inference with respect to the ways in which the media has a direct or indirect effect in attempting to mold and direct the shape of a given culture (Salomon 1997, p. 379). As such, this interpretation necessarily takes the view that the media is somehow operating in a type of vacuum and has the strength to both mold and shape the beliefs, attitudes, and norms/mores of society in which it interacts. Although this can to a large extent be realized to be partially true, the fact of the matter is that the media is itself integrally tied to the concept and understanding of culture. In this way, it cannot be fully understood to be a foreign force that is acting upon culture as a means to influence it. However, to the credit of those that espouse such a view of the media, it should be understood that recent changes and direction in the media actually helps to add a degree of credence to such a worldview. Years past, the media itself was a massive conglomeration of different firms and interests that could be divided amongst radio, television, movie industry, newspaper, magazine, entertainers, production entities etc. However, there has been a definite and pronounced trend within the past 30-40 years to have what can only be defined as a more integrated representation of the media within our world. This is not the result of some sinister plot to control the minds and culture of our current society; rather, it is merely the fact that the media industries are like any other business and seek to continually differentiate themselves and seek out new opportunities, reduce competition, and open themselves to new markets and new consumers of their products. As a means to earn more profits and generate a higher degree of market share, mergers have been a trend within the media industries for the better part of the past several decades. As such, the aforementioned groups that make up the media industry within the world have become more and more related; thereby creating a situation in which but a handful of dominant media firms seemingly dictate multiple sectors of the media. This has caused many people to assume that due to the non-penetration of free market players into the industry it necessarily means that the media as such has a powerful and monopolistic effect on interacting with and defining culture (Mallia 2011, p. 33). However, as will be analyzed in the proceeding section, such an approach is somewhat narrow-minded. Due to the fact that each of these media sectors ultimately seeks to operate in the same way that any firm would (i.e. to generate profits), the behavior of the entity is not unpredictable or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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