Media and Sociology

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The media has a great influence on the lives of everyone. To get a better understanding of these effects is to view the media from a sociological perspective. The two perspectives that I choose are the conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. Both of these perspectives have a different approach to how the media affects our society. Conflict theory looks more at how society, as a whole, is affected, whereas symbolic interactionists look more at the smaller groups of the society.

Conflict theorists believe that society is generated by conflict. They believe that in our society inequalities do exist, like how there is discrimination against people due to their skin colour, gender, age or intelligence, just to name a few. Another belief of conflict theorists is that power, though unequally divided, is the heart of social relationships and the people who do posses this power use it to endorse their own interests. This part of the conflict theory is what makes it good for studying the media. Only a selected very wealthy few run the media and control or censor what is shown to the air to the public. These companies have their own interests in mind first and the consumers second.

This is a perfect example of the rich and powerful enforcing their beliefs on and control the people. However, they do it in such a way that allows them to give the illusion that people are making these decisions on there own and have a “freewill”. The dominant class intentionally crates the social environment it wants by exposing the people, through the media, to positive and negative labels. You can pick up on this just by watching your local news.

For example, in your local daily news Caucasians receive more positive labels than any other race, in fact all other races are given negative labels. When young Caucasian people are shown in the news it usually for something positive like helping the elderly. Whereas most times when say a young African male makes the evening news it is...
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