Popular Culture Media Representation and the Construction of Social Reality - Essay Example

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The author of the essay examines media and social consensus and concludes that societal consensus can be achieved in the media in various ways. However, each medium has its limitations and is open to only select groups of the society, and varies considerably from each other…
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Popular Culture Media Representation and the Construction of Social Reality
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R.Preeti 27/11/2007 MEDIA Media is not only an amalgamation of various forms of communication, but also a great tool for bringing about unity in terms of social opinions, activities and ideas. The media often not only tells the society what is expected of them, but also acts as a representation of the ideas, views and standard wavelength of the society, in general. Therefore, the media also acts as a representation of the society's views that are often brought to a consensus in the media.

As we know, the media comes in varied forms and types. The media is broadly divided into three types, Print Media, Broadcast Media and the New Media Technology. Under this, again, we have sub-categories as well. Therefore, media diverges into various streams that operate under different conditions and specifications. And very evidently, each of them has a varied mode of consensus containment.

The print media, which comes in the form of magazines, newspapers, journals and the like, operates on a more manual mode of obtaining consensus. They attempt to perhaps, try and attach importance to each individual's opinion, by resolving differences that might arise. For instance, they rely on public polls and even letters to the editor. The public can w rite in opinions and the media does try to present a consensus of the majority opinion, if not that of the entire masses. However, one major disadvantage of this media is the fact that in achieving consensus, it does omit those who have no access to reading material and the illiterate or uneducated.

The broadcast media, consisting of television and radio, is more open to anyone who can voice their opinions. It need not have to be restricted to only the educated. There are call-in shows on both, television and radio, besides interviews and public opinion garnering, that reflect the popular consensus. However, here again, only the lower and upper middle-classes and the higher classes have access to this media, which is a sort of luxury for those below the poverty line whose opinions are as important!

The New Media Technology, which consists of the internet and allied services, possesses a greater level of participation. In fact, individuals can simply log on to the net and take opinion polls or reflect their ideas and take on various issues through various modes. However, this again is limited to only the educated, tech-savvy and those who can afford the luxury of getting in touch with the net. Thus, the community of operation of this media is rather largely limited, in spite of being extremely participative in the areas of society where it is operative.

Therefore, we see that societal consensus can be achieved in the media, through various ways. However, each medium has its limitations and is open to only select groups of the society, and varies considerably from each other.


Kunczik, Michael, 'Communication and Social Change', Friedrich-Ebert-Shiftung, 1984. Read More
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