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McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 1 SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer The Mass Media 7.

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Presentation on theme: "McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 1 SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer The Mass Media 7."— Presentation transcript:

1 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 1 SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer The Mass Media 7

2 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 2 7. The Mass Media Sociological Perspectives of the Media The Audience The Media Industry Social Policy and Mass Media

3 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 3 Sociological Perspectives of the Media –The media: Socialize us Enforce social norms Confer status Promote consumption Keep us informed about our environment May act as a narcotic Functionalist View

4 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 4 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Media increases social cohesion by presenting common view of culture –Provide collective experience for members of a society –Socializing effects can promote religious as well as patriotic exchanges, uniting believers around the world –Socializing effect of media means programming can easily become controversial Functionalist View –Agent of Socialization

5 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 5 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Media reaffirm proper behavior by showing what happens to people who violate societal expectations –Conferral of Status Singles out one from thousands of other similarly placed issues or people to become significant Functionalist View –Enforcer of Social Norms

6 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 6 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Media advertising –Supports economy –Provides information –Underwrites cost of media Functionalist View –Promotion of Consumption

7 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 7 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Figure 7-1. Number of Hours per Week Spent with Media, (projected) Source: Veronis Suhler Stevenson LLC 2003: for 1997; 2004: for all other data

8 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 8 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Table 7-1. Status Conferred by Magazines

9 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 9 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Surveillance Function: collection and distribution of information concerning events in the social environment –Dysfunction: The Narcotizing Effect Narcotizing Dysfunction: phenomenon in which the media provide such massive amounts of information that audience becomes numb and fails to act on the information Functionalist View –Surveillance of the Social Environment

10 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 10 Sociological Perspectives of the Media –Gatekeeping: how material must travel through a series of checkpoints before reaching the public Conflict View Ethnicity Social class –Conflict theorists emphasize that the media reflect and even exacerbate many of the divisions of our society and world, including: Gender Race

11 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 11 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Dominant Ideology: set of cultural beliefs and practices that help to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests Mass media serve to maintain the privileges of certain groups Stereotypes: unreliable generalization about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within the group Conflict View –Dominant Ideology: Constructing Reality

12 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 12 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Globalization projects the dominating reach of the U.S. media into the rest of the world Media cultural exports undermine the distinctive traditions and art forms of other societies and encourage their cultural and economic dependence on the U.S. Conflict View –Dominant Ideology: Whose Culture? Nations that feel a loss of identity may try to defend against the cultural invasion

13 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 13 Sociological Perspectives of the Media –Feminists share conflict theorists view that the mass media stereotype and misrepresent social reality Women underrepresented Perpetuate stereotypical views of gender Emphasize traditional sex roles and normalize violence against women Feminist View

14 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 14 Sociological Perspectives of the Media –Interactionists especially interested in shared understandings of everyday behavior –Examine media on micro level to see how they shape day-to-day social behavior –Scholars increasingly point to mass media as source of major daily activity Interactionist View

15 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 15 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Figure 7-2. The Internet Explosion Source: National Geographic 2005:21

16 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 16 Sociological Perspectives of the Media Table 7-2. Sociological Perspectives on the Mass Media

17 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 17 The Audience –Mass media distinguished from other social institutions by necessary presence of audience –Identifiable, finite group or a much larger, undefined group Who Is In the Audience?

18 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 18 The Audience –Increasingly, media market themselves to a particular audience –The role of audience members as opinion leaders intrigues social researchers The Segmented Audience Opinion leader: someone who, through day- to-day personal contacts and communication, influences opinions and decisions of others

19 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 19 The Audience –Response often influenced by social characteristics: Occupation Race Education Income Audience Behavior

20 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 20 The Media Industry –Handful of multi-national corporations dominate publishing, broadcasting, and film industries The Medias Global Reach –Mass media have begun to create global village in terms of communication –Internet key to creating truly global network Media Concentration

21 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 21 The Media Industry Figure 7-3. Media Penetration in Selected Countries Source: Bureau of the Census 2004a:870

22 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 22 Social Policy and Mass Media What effect does movie and TV violence have on audiences? Does violence in the media lead people, especially youth, to become more violent? Media Violence –The Issue

23 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 23 Social Policy and Mass Media We spend great deal of time with the media Does watching hours of mass media with violent images cause one to behave differently? –Some studies linked exposure to media violence to subsequent aggressive behavior Media Violence –The Setting It is important to recognize that other factors besides the media are also related to aggressive behavior.

24 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 24 Social Policy and Mass Media If function of media is to entertain, socialize, and enforce social norms, can violence be part of that message? Even if viewer does not necessarily become more violent from watching violent images, there could be desensitization Media Violence –Sociological Insights

25 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 25 Social Policy and Mass Media Conflict and feminist theorists are troubled that victims depicted in violent imagery are often: –Women –Children –Poor –Racial minorities –Citizens of foreign countries –Physically disabled Media Violence –Sociological Insights

26 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 26 Social Policy and Mass Media Interactionists especially interested in finding out if violence in media may then become script for real-life behavior Media Violence –Sociological Insights

27 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 27 Reluctance to pass laws regarded as censorship Social Policy and Mass Media Policymakers responded to links between violence depicted in media and real life aggression: –Public statements of support for family-oriented, less-violent media content Media Violence –Policy Initiatives

28 McGraw-Hill © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 28 Social Policy and Mass Media Figure 7-4. Violence on Prime-Time Television, Source: Parents Television Council 2003


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