Sociology- Role of Media

Topics: Mass media, Propaganda, Media influence Pages: 6 (2026 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Role of The Media
By Tess Bugbee

Mass media is the methods of communication, including television, radio, magazines, films, internet and newspapers, that have become some of society’s most important agents of socialization. In this paper I will talk about media and its effects on society today, things such as stereotypes the media portrays, the way media illustrates women and what that does to body images of women. I will also be talking about medias effects on teenagers, and sexualization in the media.

Media has always played a huge role in our society. For a long time media was one of the methods of controlling people and leisure. Nowadays media is one of the main part of our lives and our society, because we use word media, to combine all sources of information. Average man is spending 4 hours a day on watching TV and reading newspapers. There're a lot of different types of information sources, all of them are specific and dedicated for different types of information. Newspapers, Internet, television, radio, and magazines are all media. The media provides information to educate, to inform or simply to entertain its audience. The importance of the media is to publish the message worldwide, so that it can become popular.

Stereotypes have existed since the beginning of time in our everyday life through religion, politics and the media, but what I am going to focus on is their impact on the media and how the media really portrays stereotypes. Stereotyping is a fixed conventional notion or conception of an individual or group of people, held by a number of people. Stereotypes can be basic or complex generalizations which people apply to individuals or groups based on their appearance, behavior and beliefs. Stereotypes are found everywhere. Though our world seems to be improving in many ways it seems almost impossible to let go from stereotypes. Humans have the tendency to use stereotypes in their humor, descriptions of others, and even in their beliefs. Stereotypes, however, aren't always negative, although most of the ones we hear in todays world are. It is also known that media impacts its viewers modifying their judgments based on the information which they receive. Substantial amounts of stereotypes broadcasted through propaganda have similar effects.

Our society consists of consumers that buy into stereotypes and the propaganda that is being fed by the media. Stereotypes steer individual's perceptions of a group of people in a certain way, usually negative, and generalize that opinion to all members of the group. Aware of the influence stereotypes have on people's views, governments use stereotypes already imbedded in society as a propaganda tactic to persuade people's thoughts, opinions and beliefs in order to benefit their cause. The media was used for communication of stereotypes the effect violent music has on teenager's behaviors such as in the shootings at Columbine. After the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government used the media as an outlet to emphasize Muslim stereotypes to influence people to support the invasion of Iraq. Stereotypes and other propaganda techniques such as "name-calling, mechanism, and censorship" are powerful instruments used in propaganda, because it tactfully influences the population to think in the way that the government and media want them to think

The media often uses and misrepresents stereotypes; however, they are significantly accepted by people among society. Media grabs the interests of their audience through comedy, drama, and action which causes the viewers to disregard the immorality behind the content. Hence, the effectiveness of using such stereotypes contributes to the popularity of TV shows. On the other side, the propaganda's use of stereotypes is not necessarily always a negative event. Propaganda's use of stereotypes can sometimes give one the motivation to learn. The media is the largest source of stereotypical misinformation on...

References: "Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth-KidsHealth" KidsHealth. Teen Health, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.
"Teens and the Media." Teens & the Media. Palo Alto Medical Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2012.
Tishler, Henry L. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. N.p.: Cengage Advantage, n.d. Print.
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