Functionalist, Conflict, and Interaction Perspectives on Mass Media

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Topics: Sociology
Functionalist, Conflict, and Interaction Perspectives on Mass Media
Sammie Sims
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology
Instructor: Michael Emmart
09/22/2014

It is hard to imagine that just one theoretical view can make clear the many ways that individuals relate with media and technology. Technology covers a wide range from simplistic to complicate. Media is everywhere we look and on every gadget we own. This paper will take a look at mass media from the functionalist, conflict, and interaction perspectives. You can look at a variety of theories and you will find studies and scholars that agree and those who disagree. A sociological approach in functionalism is the reflection of the relationship among the functions of less significant parts and the functions of the total. From the functionalist perspective there has been a problem from the start. The problem is the failure to identify and come up with a definition for the actual function of mass media. Also it has been problematic to define what role the mass media plays in various cultures and sub cultures (Mendelshon, H. (1974). From the start a functionalist breakdown comes with a profound handicap. According to the functionalist perspective the media is a marketing product and entertaining, it is socializing individuals, teaching norms, morals, and philosophies to future groups. Media also keeps individuals in touch with cultural standards in the time if happenings of nationwide importance. The functionalist perspective sees the media as teaching what is virtuous and appropriate (Gamson, Croteau, Hoynes, and Sasson (1992). The media has four essential functions for society: surveying the environment to give reports and information; relaying replies to this information; amusing; and transmitting traditions to upcoming generations. Advertisements are always shown before movies; it also appears on public transportation and on highway billboards. There is virtual gaming that allows one to



References: Croteau, David; Hoynes, William, Media society: industries, images, audiences, 2003 Fine, G., & Kleinman, S. (1979). Rethinking Subculture: An Interactionist Analysis. American Journal of Sociology, (1). 1. Gamson, William A.; Croteau, David; Hoynes, William; Sasson, Theodore. In: Annual Review of Sociology, 1/1/1992, Vol. 18, p. 373-393; Library.queensu.ca, Retrieved from: http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/surveillance-and-society/about/editorialPolicies Mendelsohn, H. (1974). BEHAVIORISM, FUNCTIONALISM, AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS POLICY. Public Opinion Quarterly, 38(3), 379. Reuben, R. C. (2009). MEDIA AND CONFLICT THEORY: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY OVERVIEW: THE IMPACT OF NEWS COVERAGE ON CONFLICT: TOWARD GREATER UNDERSTANDING. Marquette Law Review, 9345. Vissing, Y. (2011) Introduction to Sociology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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