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Media's Effect On Society's Perspectives Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

More so than any other aspects of modern life, the mass media determines the public opinions on issues in the United States and around the world. Many different forms of media exist in developed nations along with many assessments about each of these innovations and their respective impacts on society. As with all sociological issues, there exist four major divisions of perspective: the interactionalist, functionalist, feminist, and conflict theorists. Each of these groups shares a few opinion connections with the others but all employ their own unequivocal views which establish them distinctly from one another.
From Johannes Gutenberg's printing press ushering in the Renaissance to ...view middle of the document...

Another positively perceived postulation by interactionalists also starts with the television but for younger viewers; interactionalists consider certain programming for children as possibly doubling in use as a playmate/babysitter.
Despite disagreements between the overall effects of early childhood television viewing, it seems that nearly every expert suggests very limited time allotments for children. Functionalist theorists, especially, worry about the impact violent TV shows and twenty thousand commercials per year have on children at the elementary school age. The twenty thousand commercials seem almost moot when compared to the amount of product placement throughout the history of television and movies.
The media effect that probably most concerns functionalists however, stems from an overabundance of forced news. “Narcotizing Dysfunction” refers to this phenomenon by which one becomes desensitized to certain stories due to copious news coverage. On the surface, desensitization may not sound like a horrible thing but when wholly examined, one can see that narcotizing dysfunction leads to inactivity on the part of someone who could potentially help an issue. The reason for this occurrence comes from a dissonant feeling in one's comprehension of the issue at hand. The information overload, as Alvin Toffler aptly named it, leads to one alleviating the negative feeling unconsciously without having a legitimate cause to do so.
One of these societal issues that may not receive much benefit due to information overload, the digital divide, keeps conflict theorists awake at night, so to speak. The digital divide represents the technological fissure between modernized, first-world nations and poverty-stricken third-world nations. The divide leads to some areas of the world paying exorbitant prices for what many first-world nations consider atrocious provisions.
Another of the worries conflict theorists face, media monitoring, has a penchant for drawing extensive criticism. Media monitoring, the monitoring or even restricting of information output in a nation—especially on the Internet—of course raises human rights questions from liberal nations and conflict theorists. Media monitoring also refers to when an interest group monitors a news outlet putting out biased information against different ethnicities, religions, sexual...

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