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Dental Fluorosis

By alexcfs Oct 09, 2012 1995 Words
The media today has learned that the use of current cultural ideas and beliefs is a strong way to get the consumers attention as well as get their point across. Marketing firms, networks, and production companies have learned that if they culturally relate their product or story to the public, then that would attract more viewers and attention, which in return is money for them. There are many different examples of how marketing firms do this, but is there a movie, show, ad, or song that is just for entertainment only. It is very hard to find a part of the media that is "Entertainment Only" and not trying to portray a part of our cultural beliefs. The media has a way of portraying what they believe is a problem or their side of an issue. This procedure can sometimes cause the wrong impression or idea within a person's mind. This is not just in the news media; this is also in music, movies, or books. There are many different types of media. The media can range from music, movies, television, books, newspapers, etc. The area that I believe shows the least amount of issues is the music industry, and more specifically the country music industry. Cultural imperialism is defined as the cultural aspects of imperialism. Imperialism, here, is referring to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations favoring the more powerful civilization. Many scholars employ the term, especially those in the fields of history, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory. The term is usually used in a pejorative sense, often in conjunction with a call to reject such influence. Cultural imperialism can take various forms, such as an attitude, a formal policy, military action, so long as it reinforces cultural hegemony. The term emerged in the 1960s.and has been a focus of research since at least the 1970s. Terms such as "media imperialism", "structural imperialism", "cultural dependency and domination", "cultural synchronization", "electronic colonialism", "ideological imperialism", and "economic imperialism" have all been used to describe the same basic notion of cultural imperialism.

Various academics give various definitions of the term. American media critic Herbert Schiller wrote: "The concept of cultural imperialism today [1975] best describes the sum of the processes by which a society is brought into the modern world system and how its dominating stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even promote, the values and structures of the dominating centre of the system. The public media are the foremost example of operating enterprises that are used in the penetrative process. For penetration on a significant scale the media themselves must be captured by the dominating/penetrating power. This occurs largely through the commercialization of broadcasting." Tom McPhail defined "Electronic colonialism as the dependency relationship established by the importation of communication hardware, foreign-produced software, along with engineers, technicians, and related information protocols,that vicariously establish a set of foreign norms, values, and expectations which, in varying degrees, may alter the domestic cultures and socialization processes." Sui-Nam Lee observed that "communication imperialism can be defined as the process in which the ownership and control over the hardware and software of mass media as well as other major forms of communication in one country are singly or together subjugated to the domination of another country with deleterious effects on the indigenous values, norms and culture." Ogan saw "media imperialism often described as a process whereby the United States and Western Europe produce most of the media products, make the first profits from domestic sales, and then market the products in Third World countries at costs considerably lower than those the countries would have to bear to produce similar products at home. Downing and Sreberny-Mohammadi state: "Imperialism is the conquest and control of one country by a more powerful one. Cultural imperialism signifies the dimensions of the process that go beyond economic exploitation or military force. In the history of colonialism, (i.e., the form of imperialism in which the government of the colony is run directly by foreigners), the educational and media systems of many Third World countries have been set up as replicas of those in Britain, France, or the United States and carry their values. Western advertising has made further in roads, as have architectural and fashion styles. Subtly but powerfully, the message has often been insinuated that Western cultures are superior to the cultures of the Third World."

Cultural Imperialism
Culture is not static; it grows out of a systematically encouraged reverence for selected customs and habits. Indeed, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines culture as the “total pattern of human behavior and its products embodied in speech, action, and artifacts and dependent upon mans capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations”. There is today a heightened sense of connectedness and familiarity with people, events and cultural ways of living in distant places due to the capabilities brought about by the advancements in information and communication technologies. The television in particular global media, have not only made it possible but also fairly easy the interaction with other cultures through the availability of global communicative networks and social structures. These media organisations not only support but make it possible to bring distant images and content from one part of the globe to another within seconds. These immediate mediated experiences have led to the reduction in distance between individuals, society and nation states in terms of both time and space.

Inadvertently, this process plays a significant role in cultural globalization by providing an extensive transnational supply of cultural media products from an international media culture and presents a challenge to existing local and national cultures. The proponents of cultural imperialism and media imperialism have long argued that global media with their continuous supply of western-based cultural content and their extensive structure promote a restructuring of cultural and social communities in developing countries. As such, global media is purported as having a crucial role in cultural globalization with their tendency toward homogenizing communities. Nevertheless, to assume cultural globalization as replacing the local ways of living is to presuppose the lack of resilience and creativity on the part of local cultures and also to overstate the role of the media technologies in shaping societies. It cannot be denied that of late there is an ever-growing increase and tendencies toward the consumption of transnational economic and cultural products. It is inevitable that the future years will see a greater struggle between the tensions toward globalization and the attempts to maintain and consolidate national communities.

Media may have either a temporal or spatial bias, either making communication more durable over time or expanding the space across which communication may take place. The scope of such a bias can shape social, political and cultural relations as well as institutions. The development of communication technologies in the past few decades shows a tendency for spatial bias, resulting in greater ease in reaching remote parts of the world and crossing visible and invisible barriers. As a result, new communication technologies have proven effective in closing gaps in communication by ignoring national or communal boundaries as well as social differences. The consequence of adopting a new communication technology often goes beyond its basic function as a communication tool. Quite often, controversy arises over the impact of new technologies, which have been described as tools both to strengthen and weaken democratization, and both to liberalize and control the information flow. Excessive generalizations about the impact of media technologies, such as techno-positivism, techno-neutralism and techno-negativism, often fail to take into account various differences in social environments in which the technologies operate.

The issue of cultural imperialism emerged largely from communication studies. However, cultural imperialism has been used as a framework by scholars to explain phenomena in the areas of international relations, anthropology, education, science, history, literature, and sports. Censorship is a growing issue in Malaysia as it attempts to adapt to a modern knowledge-based economy. Malaysia has one of the world's strictest forms of media censorship, with nearly a hundred movies banned in this decade alone on the pretext of upholding morality. The Internet however remains unfettered in line with upholding civil liberties and maintaining democratic spaces. In 2010, Malaysia was ranked 141st in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders. It was also given a "Partly Free" status on the Freedom in the World report by Freedom House in 2008. On the Freedom in the World index, graded on a scale of one to seven, with one being the most free and seven being the least, Malaysia obtained four points for both political rights and civil liberties. Unlicensed use or possession of a printing press is illegal under the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984. Journalists are frequently given guidelines by the Prime Minister's Office when reporting 'sensitive' issues, and media self-censorship is encouraged. The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia is the government agency responsible for granting licenses to the films for viewing. Malaysia's censorship guidelines started out relatively lax. The guidelines were tightened in 2003 amid rising Islamic conservatism: kissing scenes and cleavages were censored, nudity and sex scenes were cut, and many movies were banned altogether. Censorship guidelines for local movie productions were subsequently eased in March 2010. After the negative reactions towards the censoring of an article concerning the 2011 Bersih 2.0 rally, in mid-August 2011, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stated that media censorship "is no longer effective" and that the government will review its current censorship laws. In today’s digital society, the increasing use of the internet had penetrated into many aspects of the civil society worldwide. One of the usages that are of concern is the emergence of social media in public discourse. The social media provides citizens with a medium that is relatively easy to access and free from government control. As such it becomes a space for public opinion expression, sharing of information, criticizing the status quo and voicing concerns on matters of personal and public interest. This study is interested in describing the potential role of the social media in breaking the hegemonic dominance of the mass media in Malaysia. Malaysians ability to communicate in real time in a borderless world with the aid of communication technology had redefined space and time where immediacy and transparency in global connections is heightened (Palmer, 2007).

Access to information benefits the citizenry, as it would enable them to obtain as much information as possible to make appropriate decisions on matters of importance to them. Access to information also means access to sources in the Internet that may be placed by normal citizens who have their own views on current issues. Participation here means the rights of citizens to air their views, their grievances and placing their stand on issues. Social media also encourage active discussions of issues.


The social media in a way functions like that of a normal mass media, containing information that is newsworthy to citizens. It enables the flow of information that is freer, more diversified and more immediate. This is said to be the equilibrium function of social media as it enables active citizens that are denied access of information to set up their own medium such as blogs and thus enabling others to have access to the information contained in them.

Access to citizen information is the participative function of the social media. Citizens, through their ability to form information centers, to transmit information, and to share information, will feel a sense of participation in society particularly in the political discourse. If they have an opinion toward a certain issue they would get others to sympathize with them in efforts to win them to their side. It is also a forum for citizens who share the same perspectives to “gather” and interact without actually meeting face-to-face.

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