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The Mass Media

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Robert Brym

SOC101 Nov. 3 2010 The Mass Media For ex. The movie American Psycho: murderer only remembered what his victims were wearing (effects of mass media), & not their names Realities created by the mass media are the only realities that we know Much of our reality is media generated (what we wear, how we style our hair, etc.) “Mass media are extensions of the human mind & body” –Marshall McLuhan Mass Media: Refers to print, radio, television, & other communication technologies. “Mass” implies that the media reach many people. “Media” signifies that communication does not take place directly through face-to-face interaction. Instead, technology intervenes or mediates in transmitting messages from senders to receivers. Furthermore, communication via the mass media is usually one-way, or at least one-sided. There are few senders (or producers) & many receivers (or audience members). Facebook makes its money because it tells advertisers about you, & thus allows advertisers to entice you to use certain products If you tune out from watching television & having a Facebook page, you will be excluded out from a lot (“cultural misfits,” people are inclined to want to know what is going on in the media) In the interaction btw audiences and media, the media often dominates Why the mass media grew: 1) Religious: Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation promoted literacy. 16 century people relied on the Catholic Church to tell them what was in the Bible 2) Political: (French/American Revolutions; citizens should have the right to choose their rulers) Democratic movements promoted mass involvement. 3) Economic: (modern industries require a literate workforce & rapid growth in means of communication) Capitalist industrialization promoted the search for profit. Theories of Media Effects: 1) Functionalist: Coordination, socialization, social control, & entertainment. Mass media coordinates the parts of society. Socializing agent, families less important in transmitting norms, beliefs, & culture Helps to ensure conformity as a means of social control Re-produce moral order Provides entertainment, give us plea
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