Sociology 1020-002 Set Two
Media increases social cohesion (strong agent of socialization) – its an enforcer of social norms and makes an
example of those who deviate from said norms. Media promotes consumption, which supports the economy -
advertising underwrites the cost of the media.
Narcotizing Effect: media provides massive amounts of coverage and information and people get numb from
it, therefore they fail to act on the information they are receiving (media overwhelms and paralyzes them).
Symbolic Interactionists tell us the media is a daily social activity (attached to it)
• Primary groups are more personal, intimate and informed
• Secondary groups are business and more formal
• Media falls under the primary group
o Source of friendship and network
o Symbols convey social reality to us
When Feminists look at media, they say that media allows gender roles to continue to be imposed.
• Women are underrepresented, unless they’re being represented as a sexual object
• Emphasize traditional gender roles and depicts violence against women as okay
Conflict Theorists say that media is a gate-keeping institution, that controls what the mass media gets
• a very small number of people control what gets to the public
• Desire to maximize profits
• Dominant ideology: cultural ideas of the dominant group, in terms of how we should behave
Political Economy of Media
• Conflict theorists argue this
• Basic concern – the relationship between mass media and the distribution of power in society
• General Finding: media functions to preserve the interest of privileged groups in society
Media Alert: Female Rape Victims
• Rohypnol – roofies
• GHB – easy lay
• Ketamine – Kit Kat
• According to the internet and stories, the use of date rape is very common. But, according to Glassner
(sociologist) all you ever find is stories, and never statistics. So, he went out in search of research that showed
statistics, and found one study which was done in a hospital. They took urine samples from 1033 people who said
they were date raped. Two thirds of the urine samples showed just (mainly) alcohol, one third showed
nothing and ½ of 1% showed Rohypnol (roofies).
We’re faced with a problem! Why does the press – in reporting on rape – devote so much attention to a form of rape that
is so rare?
Glassner says that stories of date rape seem to address a problem, but really it diverts us to think about patterns of superior
issues in our society. Focusing on date rape is a way to divert our attention.
• Myth: women raped by strangers who are psychological misfits
• Reality: majority of women raped by known assailant who is ‘normal’
• 15% of women are raped by a stranger
Studies • Studies of male rapists consistently fail to find personality differences between rapists and ‘normal’ men.
• Studies also show that 60% of college aged males would commit sexual assault if they were certain that they
could get away with it.
• Cross national study: severely assaulted partner in the past year? Greece replied yes with 28% (worst) and