Mass Media

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  • Mass Society Debate: View from the right:
  • Strengths:
  • Illustrates the fact that media influences the way we act in modern society.
  • Points out that there is less of a gap between the higher levels and lower levels of society
  • Criticisms:
  • Presumes that life in the past was more innocent, pure and stable. But this impression may be cause due to less media coverage and keeping of private matters, to reduce the risk of labeling.
  • Macdonald, 1957:
  • Folk culture grew from below.
  • It was a spontaneous expression of people, shared by themselves to suit their own needs
  • Mass culture is imposed from above.
  • It is fabricated by technicians hired by business men; it's audiences are passive consumers , their participation limited to the choice between buying and not buying.
  • It is a debased, trivial culture that voids both the deep realities and also make the simple, spontaneous pleasure.
  • Nietzche/ T.S Eliot :
  • Argues that culture is inevitably stratified, with each social class, in society making distinctive cultural contributions.
  •  F.R/ Q.D Leavis:
  • Only a small and educated cultural elite, was capable of understanding and profiting from the description of the human experience contained in the great works of art and culture.
  • The products of mass culture: popular fiction, detective series, cinema and modern pop music, all debased or coarsened the human experience and destabilized the social order.
  • Folk songs and dances, the customs and traditions associated with the rural past, helped to cement social bonds and maintain social integration.
  • Pre-industrial times:
  • Pre-industrial times, the latter had a genuine, of somewhat rough, sort of culture of their own.
  • Capitalism soon polluted this culture and replaced it with a plastic commodity culture- mass culture.
  • Big businesses and the state began to replace the family as the source of culture.
  • The working man and woman become passive recipients of culture, not active participants in it.
  • Advertising has given them the constant desire for things they cannot have.
  • The mass media's role is to transmit and propagate mass culture
  • Working class are no longer content with their condition in life
  • Handlin, 1964:
  • A diffusion amongst the audience of a sense of apathy,
  • The intense involvement of the masses with their culture at the the turn of the century has given way to passive acquiescence.
  • Micheal Medved:  
  • Evidence of restlessness and turbulence is everywhere in society largely as a result of the entertainment industry's contemptuous attitude toward authority, the family and religion. 
  • Media and Violence:
  • Hypodermic Syringe Model: 
  • Is a model of communications also referred to as the 'magic bullet' perspective, or the transmission-belt model.Essentially, this model holds that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver.
  • Case Study:
  • Jamie Bulger:
  • 2 years old  
  • Murdered by two 10 year old's (Jon Venables and Robert Thompson) 
  • 10 year old's apparently watched 'Child's Play 3" before murdering Jamie Bulger.
  • This demonstrates that there could be a link or correlation between TV Violence and real-life aggression and violence.
  • Bandura, Ross and Ross:
  • Albert Bandura:
  • Showed a…


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