Mass Media and Popular Culture: Effects on the Population
Mass Media and Popular Culture
Mass media and popular culture go hand in hand. This paper will discuss the impact of mass media on enculturation, examine the relationships among media, advertising and the formation of normative cultural values, and discuss the impact of the internet on popular culture and the way we communicate today. Real world examples of this impact will be provided to prove our point of view and the overall effect mass media has on popular culture. Enculturation is defined as “the process by which an individual learns the traditional content of a culture and assimilates its practices and values.” (Merriam-Webster, 2007) Mass media is part of our everyday enculturation. The population is bombarded with popular culture by television, radio, advertisement, internet and every other imaginable form to help us determine our views of popular culture. The impact of mass media on enculturation is so pervasive that our country is near information overload. According to Paul A. Herbig “The average American is exposed to 61,556 words from the mass media each day which works out to just under 4,000 words per waking hour, about 60 words per waking minute per person per day.” (Herbig & Kramer, 1994) With the frequency in which we are exposed to mass media it is no wonder mass media has a profound effect on popular culture. MTV is a perfect example of mass media and the affects it has on popular culture. Everyday millions of impressionable teenagers watch a show called Total Request Live. This show has an average of four commercials for every eight minutes of programming it provides to the impressionable teenagers. Advertisements are for everything from acne medication, fast food restaurants, and clothing. It is estimated that MTV generates 21 million dollars a year from advertising revenues. Upon watching these advertisements the teenagers are almost tricked into buying what is hip or the...
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