Culture and the Mass Media

Impact of Mass Media on Enculturation The mass media and culture go hand and hand in today’s society. The American culture thrives on the Mass media and this has become American culture today. “Mass media is any medium used to transmit mass communication. Until recently mass media was clearly defined and was comprised of the eight mass media industries; books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television and the Internet (Lane, 2007). ” The mas media is no longer simple to define the.

The constant creating of new digital communication technology is so abundant that it may expand the current definition beyond the eight mass media industries. In this paper the writer will examine the relationships among popular culture and the mass media. The mass media has a tremendous impact on enculturation. According to Random House Unabridged Dictionary (1997), enculturation is a process where individuals learn their groups culture by experience, observation, and instruction. Mass media does impact enculturation, this may not necessarily be a good thing.

Yes, as a society people are advancing into new technology and this may seem very exciting and futuristic, but with our new mass communication devices people are sending the wrong message to our culture and especially our children. The big thing in today’s media is sex. Sex is no longer a delicate issue on television. According to CommonSenseMedia. com, Sexual messages flood our society. Images are seen on billboards and in magazines and are graphically acted out on the screen. Many of these messages make dressing sexy, discussing sex, or casual sexual encounters seem like the norm.

In fact, girls with a heavy sexual media diet are more likely to have a sexual dating experience. Society can find sex in everyday commercials for beverages, foods, clothing, and perfumes. Two-thirds of all programing broadcast in prime time contain sexual content. Sex can sell almost anything in today’s society. What kind of example are people truly setting for our children? Where do our attitudes about sex truly come from? According to the U. S. Teen Pregnancy Statistics (2006), approximately 750,000 U. S. Teen become pregnant a year, and 50% or more of teenage pregnancies end in abortion. This was especially high in such states as New

Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Television programs most popular to adolescents have been found to have the most sexual content. Television show such as Family Guy, Sex in the City, and Entourage. Most popular teenage movies such as American Pie, Superbad, and Disturbing Behavior are sending a very sexual message to our teens. Sex is one of many examples of how the mass media impacts enculturation. Relationships among the media , advertising, and normal values Media such as TV, Radio, Magazines, Billboards etc. are the primary source of impact on our society today.

They use a process of saturation, almost a brain washing technique by endless repetition and high volume. Oprah, for example, having a large audience and is a truly iconic celebrity, has proven time and again that whatever she advertises will succeed. Her book club selections have made best sellers out of anything she advocates. Celebrities are paid to hawk products and suggest, or outright tell their listening audience, that the products in question are for their personal use. The listener who is enamored of the celebrity and wishes to be like them will then purchase whatever they are selling.

Advertising has helped many companies become successful. The longer a person advertises his or her business and how they advertise the business, usually determines their rate of success.. The result is still the success of the given product, and when very successful it can at times become the latest trend in pop culture. An example is the flooring business which has become successful within the last few years. Many flooring companies have excelled due to the creation of certain new products such as laminates. According to the Laminate flooringsite. om, “ Laminate flooring is the hottest trend to hit the residential flooring industry since the early days of linoleum! As the younger generation of homeowners look to modernize the look and feel of their decor, laminate flooring has slowly become one of the hottest consumer products on the house and home market. ” The relationship between mass media and advertising has become very important and part of everyday normal values. Impact of the Internet on Popular Culture . The Internet can impact many aspects in every day life such as the impact on popular culture and even interpersonal relationships. Jeffrey McQuillen tated, “The Internet has become almost synonymous with popular culture” in his article on technology and interpersonal relationships (McQuillen, 2003). Many people use the Internet on a daily basis. The technology from the Internet has made it possible for popular culture to be accessed from around the world and not just located in a particular country or continent as it used to be. People can send an email, chat, and instant message one another in the matter of seconds. The Internet has virtually become its own culture. Through the Internet people can access the news, music, and even watch television.

A good example is being able to watch a television program that has only aired before in a certain country for years, but can now be accessed across the world by viewers in different countries. Many websites today are made with the purpose of social networking for example, Myspace. com is a website that was designed for the soul purpose of networking. In the article The Influence of Technology stated the distance between cultures was shrinking, but the distance between interpersonal relationships has been expanding due to the technology of today (McQuillen, 2003).

An example of this is online relationships. Many people use email, chat rooms, and bulletin boards to develop relationships with other online users. Many online relationships are said to develop in the same way that a face-to-face relationship would. In an article listed in the New York Times stated that many people are missing out on interpersonal relationships. Many people do not have a person or persons with whom they could share very important subjects about theirs lives except for family members. The Internet will not cure the lack of interpersonal relationships, but does show optimism.

The Internet can help expand social networks and the technology has helped maintain ties between family members who do not live close by (Fountain, 2006). In conclusion mass media, advertising, and the Internet all have a tremendous impact on culture. Media is the primary source that society listens to each day. The Internet has a huge impact on culture and is primarily one of the ways that interpersonal relationships are developed in today’s society. As previously stated the changes and growth of our vailable communication methods have impacted the social mores of our children and the basic structure of the American family. Extended families are now a thing of the past and the nuclear family is here to stay. Economically lifestyles in both this country and the civilized western world have also seen radical changes. Change is the one thing that is undeniable and something people can always be assured of. Every generation will have it’s own pop culture just like every generation before us have had their own. References Lane, B. (2007, July). Suite101. com. What is the mass media?

Retrieved September 2008 from the http://medialiteracy. suite101. com/article. cfm/what_is_mass_media1s_ database. Random House Unabridged Dictionary, (1997). Enculturation. Fact Monster. Retrieved September 1, 2008 from the http://dictionary. factmonster. com/enculturation database. CommonSenseMedia. Sex and Dating. Retrieved September 1, 2008 from http://www. commonsensemedia. org/resources/sex_and_dating. php database. U. S. Teen Pregnancy Statistics (2006). Retrieved September 1, 2008 from the http://www. guttmacher. org/pubs/2006/09/12/USTPstats. pdf database.

The Laminate Flooring site. Retrieved September 1, 2008 from http://www. thelaminateflooringsite. com database. Fountain, H (2006, July 2). The lonely American just got a bit lonelier. New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2008 from http://www. nytimes. com/2006/07/02/weekinreview/02fountain. html? n=Top%2FReference%2FTimes%20Topics%2FPeople%2FF%2FFountain%2C%20Henry database. McQuillen, J (2003). The influence of technology on the initiation of interpersonal relationships1. Education. 123(3), 616-623. Retrieved August 31, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 340595951).

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