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Subject : Media - Essay Example

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Since the introduction of color and cartoons, and even before that, the media has demonstrated an ability to sway public opinion on a variety of…
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Subject : Media
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Download file to see previous pages the invention of television, covering worldwide and local news, educational programs, travel, sports and pure comedy of various types, encouraging more and more people to tune in and tune out. Busy parents have found the TV a useful playmate for children during dinner preparation and other activities, while children are most likely to find an enjoyable program somewhere on the dial at any time of the day or night. The power of the cinema exists in the way it speaks to our senses, involving themes we hold dear, helps define our society including what makes us laugh, what makes us cry and what frightens us. Through the careful construction of scene, character, costume, sound and structure, the cinema can transport us to other worlds, other times, other lands and other cultures. Social scientists have long identified the media as one of either bringing about social change by pointing out the social problems that are contributing to a declining society or of bolstering existing ideologies and social structures (Viswanath & Demers 1999). A critical understanding of how cultural representations of identity are conveyed through the media therefore depends, in part, upon a complete understanding of binary oppositions including how they are expressed, the value they provide and the limitations they impose.
It is through the philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure that we have the term ‘binary oppositions,’ which became a major component of the Structuralist movement. According to Saussure, we define each unit or idea not necessarily by what it is, but instead in terms of what it is not. “Essentially, the concept of the binary opposition is engendered by the Western propensity to organize everything into a hierarchical structure; terms and concepts are related to positives or negatives, with no apparent latitude for deviation” (Fogarty, 2005). In addition to allowing no middle ground between terms, binary oppositions tend to elevate one term over the other, such ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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