Culture and the Mass Media

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Impact of Mass Media on Enculturation

The mass media and culture go hand and hand in today's society. The American culture thrives on the Mass media and this has become American culture today. “Mass media is any medium used to transmit mass communication. Until recently mass media was clearly defined and was comprised of the eight mass media industries; books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television and the Internet (Lane, 2007).” The mas media is no longer simple to define the. The constant creating of new digital communication technology is so abundant that it may expand the current definition beyond the eight mass media industries. In this paper the writer will examine the relationships among popular culture and the mass media.

The mass media has a tremendous impact on enculturation. According to Random House Unabridged Dictionary (1997), enculturation is a process where individuals learn their groups culture by experience, observation, and instruction. Mass media does impact enculturation, this may not necessarily be a good thing. Yes, as a society people are advancing into new technology and this may seem very exciting and futuristic, but with our new mass communication devices people are sending the wrong message to our culture and especially our children. The big thing in today's media is sex. Sex is no longer a delicate issue on television. According to, Sexual messages flood our society. Images are seen on billboards and in magazines and are graphically acted out on the screen. Many of these messages make dressing sexy, discussing sex, or casual sexual encounters seem like the norm. In fact, girls with a heavy sexual media diet are more likely to have a sexual dating experience. Society can find sex in everyday commercials for beverages, foods, clothing, and perfumes. Two-thirds of all programing broadcast in prime time contain sexual content. Sex can sell almost anything in today's society. What kind of example are people truly setting for our children? Where do our attitudes about sex truly come from?

According to the U.S. Teen Pregnancy Statistics (2006), approximately 750,000 U.S. Teen become pregnant a year, and 50% or more of teenage pregnancies end in abortion. This was especially high in such states as New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Television programs most popular to adolescents have been found to have the most sexual content. Television show such as Family Guy, Sex in the City, and Entourage. Most popular teenage movies such as American Pie, Superbad, and Disturbing Behavior are sending a very sexual message to our teens. Sex is one of many examples of how the mass media impacts enculturation. Relationships among the media , advertising, and normal values

Media such as TV, Radio, Magazines, Billboards etc. are the primary source of impact on our society today. They use a process of saturation, almost a brain washing technique by endless repetition and high volume. Oprah, for example, having a large audience and is a truly iconic celebrity, has proven time and again that whatever she advertises will succeed. Her book club selections have made best sellers out of anything she advocates. Celebrities are paid to hawk products and suggest, or outright tell their listening audience, that the products in question are for their personal use. The listener who is enamored of the celebrity and wishes to be like them will then purchase whatever they are selling. Advertising has helped many companies become successful. The longer a person advertises his or her business and how they advertise the business, usually determines their rate of success.. The result is still the success of the given product, and when very successful it can at times become the latest trend in pop culture. An example is the flooring business which has become successful within the last few years. Many flooring companies have excelled due to the...
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