Mass Media and Popular Culture
* * * * * * * * * * Mass Media and Popular Culture Paper SOC/105 * * * * In today’s society mass media has a huge impact on enculturation. Enculturation is a process where individuals learn a specific culture by instruction, experience and observation (wordnet princeton, 2010). Mass media can be described as the means by which the media is used to reach a large audience. Some of the most common examples of mass media are books, magazines, recordings, radio, newspapers, movies, television, and the Internet (Lane, 2007). Through this medium, messages, ideas, news, and trends are delivered daily.
Society thrives on mass media and not only has this influenced individual’s culture it has now become part of the American culture (Thompson, 1990). Mass media can have both a positive and negative impact in society and enculturation. Becoming knowledgeable of technologically may positively influence our lives; by keeping us communicated and competitive in the workforce. Other messages sent by the mass media specifically to our children may not have such positive outcome. One of the topics found in every artifact of mass media is sex. Sex is no longer a delicate topic explained by parents or adults in a responsible anner. It has now become a common topic that plagues society. Sexual messages are delivered through mass media as marketing strategies daily. Sexual images are depicted in magazines, billboards, or even television shows and cartoons. Society as a whole has become more receptive to any product that is sold using this type of marketing. Dressing sexy, sexual encounters and even talking about sex has become acceptable and normal to most people. This has been possible due to the overexposure of sex and sexual content delivered through mass media (Thompson, 1990).
Media, advertising, and the formation of normative cultural values have an important relationship. Media and advertising form a vital relationship because the media has the ability to improve the effectiveness of many advertisements. The media does this by portraying a specific brand or product as more popular or of better quality than others, by giving indirect but swaying instructions on where to purchase the product. The media and advertisements are used to sort social categories that offer an idea of what consumers need in the individuals daily life.
For instance, the media shows an individual what clothes is popular to wear depending on an individual’s social category, such as boots and Levis for cowboys or ranchers. The media also provides exciting activities, food preferences, and how individuals should look. Then companies research popular trends and manufacture those types of products and advertise through television, internet, radio, billboards, magazines, and newsletters (Craig, March 22, 1997). As stated previously the media and advertising is used to get individuals attention and generate a need for items that individuals never thought were needed.
For instance, the images depicted in the media may create a feeling of discontent of an individual’s way of living, assets, and appearance. Then advertisements show model images that promise if used the advertised product will assist in moving an individual closer to a desired state. Most individuals have a desire to delay the aging process and will buy any product that shows any form of proof the product works. The media assists advertising by sending the advertisements message to millions of individuals across the world depending on the product being sold (Craig, March 22, 1997).
The media and advertising can form normative culture values. Normative cultural values are defined as behaviors and attitudes valued by a cultural group and reflect in relationships. This begins with societies youngest consumers. Children under the age of 10 are bombarded with witty advertisements of new toys, video games, and new technology. An example of media, advertising, and normative culture is Disney (Vincent, 2001). Disney has been around for many years and continues to grow in popularity with children and adults.
Countless animated movies, programs, toys, games, and amusement parks have generated billions of dollars in revenue. Many individuals from all over the world particularly those with children, have the desire to visit a Disney theme park. Disney theme parks are known to be the most magical places on earth with the most exciting rides and entertainment. In many families visiting a Disney theme park together has become a tradition. Another example is Music Television (MTV), this example consists of entertainment programming. MTV has been huge part of American culture since 1991.
MTV is a significant media outlet advertising music, clothing and accessory lines, and other various marketing tactics. Many individuals view MTV daily and are influenced by individuals in videos and shows on how to dress and what type of hair style to have. Society can access music videos and other programs on MTV through the internet at any time of the day (Vincent, 2001). The Internet has had a large impact on popular culture in many ways. Social sites such as MySpace and Face book have become increasingly popular in the last several years.
The Internet is meant to keep people connected with old friends, assist in meeting new ones, and help stay connected with family. Individuals between the ages of 12 and 55 have a profile with at least one of these sites. Many individuals in society were hesitant to begin the use of computers in both the home and office. Some individuals were used to the way things were done such as filling papers in an office or doing research in a library. Now most individuals enjoy the capabilities of a computer and enjoy using the internet for numerous reasons (Wharton, May 3, 2006).
Another popular site is eharmony. com; this site matches pairs and guarantees successful relationships. This site has about 10,000 to 15,000 new users a day (EHarmony, 2008). Individuals all over the world can connect using these sites. Using the Internet for instant messaging and e-mail has also become a faster way of communication. Popular cultures always want to be up to speed with the latest information in news, technology, trends, and the entertainment world. Having the Internet allows a connection between individuals and companies all over the world.
For instance, some designers can send visuals through email of a clothing line to an individual in Europe and can discuss the line via the Internet (EHarmony, 2008). The Internet has a significant impact on interpersonal communication. This service provides many options to outsource companies. For example, a company based in Mexico can conduct a meeting with other company branches located in other countries. This can be done via the Internet through web cam. This should be the last resort for the company because it does take away from face-to-face interaction.
Specifically when conducting a business meeting all participants should be in close proximity to each other. This will allow immediate and clear feedback whereas using web cam can be somewhat complex (Borchers, 1999). Most individuals receiving a job review or raise would prefer to be informed face to face because many believe this way is more meaningful. Employees receiving praise through an instant message or email may feel the manager does not respect the individual. Interpersonal communication helps form relationships between family, friends, and coworkers.
With many individuals communicating via the Internet, potential bonds are less likely to occur than with face to face communication. The individuals fixated on popular culture state the Internet is faster and saves time, but ultimately takes away from the valuable aspects of interpersonal communication (Borchers, 1999). Reference Borchers, T. (1999) Interpersonal Communication Retrieved August 31, 2010 http://www. abacon. com/commstudies/interpersonal/indefinition. html Craig, T. (March 22, 1997) Why media matter: Toward a richer understanding on consumers' relationships with advertising and mass media.
Retrieved August 30, 2010 from http://www. allbusiness. com/marketing-advertising/public-relations-media/620854-1. html EHarmony (2008) Online dating magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2010 from http://www. onlinedatingmagazine. com/history/eharmonyhistory. html Thompson, J. B (1990). Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical social theory of mass Communication. Retrieved September 1, 2010 from http://eprints. lse. ac. uk//On_the_continuing_problems_of_media_effects_resear. pdf Vincent, R. (March16, 2001) Transnational Media and the Survival of