Mass media and popular American Culture
University of Phoenix
In the last 50 years the mass media has grown exponentially with the advancement of technology. Our society has come a long way since the telegraph and the newspaper. The most used source of media today is the television. In today’s society over 250 billion hours of television is viewed annually by Americans. Children are exposed to more than 40,000 ads a year, and this number is climbing. Americans as a whole are exposed to thousands of images of sex, crime, advertisements, celebrity news, hidden subliminal messages and much more. Today’s society is not aware of the negative influences we expose ourselves and our children to on a daily basis. Surprisingly enough, 95% of the media is owned by only 5 companies, which are, Time Warner, Viacom, Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney, and News Corp. These companies own the major entertainment theme parks, movie studios, radio broadcast networks, and sports entertainment. These superior companies also own integrated telecommunications, wireless phones, video game software, electronic media the music industry and more. In earlier years there was diversity in companies, now there are just a few that have the power to influence the minds of your children. When children constantly watch violence and negative images over and over again it becomes traumatic on their psyche. Television is shaping the way young Americans think. Therefore they grow up thinking they have to look a certain way to fit in today’s society. We need to develop a mind of our own or we will become a culture filled with zombies with low IQ’s. As one examines the relationship between the media and popular culture it is evident that the affects of the media has had a great impact. The popular culture before the media was somewhat simple. The pop culture was primarily dictated by the elite and the religious sector. As time progressed pop culture began to be influenced more by certain types of media. One form that had a great impact on pop culture was movable print. Movable print opened the door to mass communication in 15th century by allowing information to be printed for the emerging middle class. This new age in pop culture gave way to the spread of illiteracy and the emergence of trade in the western civilization. As pictorial printing emerged so did the education of the lower classes. This new form of media was mass produced and allowed the door to be open for the mass movement and change in popular culture. The Reformation, led by Martin Luther was the first form of a mass movement influenced by mass communication. Along with this development was the ability to distribute new religious thoughts and ideas the masses, which in turn allowed people to begin to develop individual ideas on religion. As pop culture became more influenced by mass communication, more people learned to read and write. The Reformation can basically be credited to the start of mobilizing the masses and industrialization. As one examines where we are as a society, one can safely say that pop culture is greatly influenced by all forms of media. This idea will explored throughout this paper and how it relates to enculturation. The relationships among the media, advertising and the formation of normative cultural values are very important in the 20th century. Without putting them together to have the success that comes to many movies, business, and some of the top celebrities would make things a lot harder. The media is a good tool if used properly but can as we have seen make things bad for some people and their businesses. At the start the use of the media was to entertain as well as inform. The base ball games started off on the radio and after sometime TV became black and white. Then the idea came that there are people looking at these shows and the thought of advertising came into play....