Key sociologists/studies for mass media

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Salma Hussain

Key sociologists – Mass media

Post modernism:

·         Schiller: Researched Brazilian TV and found that they were a ‘spiced up’ version of Western values, cultures and beliefs

·         Cohen and Kennedy: Cultural pessimists underestimate the power of local cultures. People can mix global and local cultures

·         McLuhan: predicted there would be a global village, people are no longer part of communities due to the increase of new media and participating in social medias and created a community tied by technology

·         Baudrillard: Media creates a hyper reality, where individuals can’t distinguish the difference between what’s real and what isn’t in the media

·         Miller: Not everyone has the freedom to construct their own identities e.g. those in poverty can’t afford brands like Gucci.



·         Craig: Homosexual characters are stereotyped as having amusing characteristics e.g. camp, macho and emotional

·         Gerbnes et al: Gays and lesbians are negatively stereotyped or instead not portrayed at all

·         Gill: Homosexual images tend to be sanitised and don’t challenge the heterosexual ideology


·         Atkinti: TV often reflects an inaccurate view of black life and focuses on stereotypical issues such as gun crime

·         Poole: Pre 9/11, Islam has always been distorted by the western media and Muslims have traditionally been portrayed as a threat to western media.

·         Van Dijk: White people are seen as much more newsworthy than non-white people in the media, as this is what the audience prefers. For example, a group of white boys dying in a car crash are likely to receive more media attention than if it were to be black or Asian boys.

·         Gill (2007): Media over emphasises on fair skin and whiteness on the assumption that Anglo-Saxon blondes have the ideal feminine look.


·         Wolf: ‘the beauty ideal’. A woman’s body is seen as a project of constant development.

·         Gaunlett:

-Massive decrease since the 70’s of the proportion of women’s main occupation being a housewife – only 3%

-Magazines now emphasise financial and emotional independence, they promote their own thing to show they can be independent and ****

-Growing expectation that men and women should be treated equally

-Still many magazines aimed at men to sexually objectify women and promote traditional masculine attributes.

·         Turnstall: Media emphasises on women’s domestic and consumer activities more than anything else

·         Easthope: Media transmits masculinity based on strength, violence and competition, seen as ‘goals’ for boys.


·         Newman:

-Media focuses positively on the concerns on the wealthy and over focuses on consumer goods e.g. cars.

-News generalises working class and lower class as problems in society – e.g. welfare cheats.

·         Curran and Seaton: Newspapers like the sun assume working class are not interested in political debates and drown audience in celebrity gossip


·         Heintz-Knowles: Children in TV programmes are rarely seen as coping with societal issues like racism…


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