* * * * * * * * * * 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).
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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.
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