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How does the media influence young people in today’s society?

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Introduction

How does the media influence young people in today's society? Our society still seems confused about what to think about children and young people. It seems to be gripped with a fear of children, blaming them for much of society's ills: crime, vandalism, drugs, drink, sex, teenage pregnancy. The list goes on. But if these theories are true, where do these rebellious attitudes stem from? The obvious answer would be from the upbringing of children, but in my opinion the media also plays a substantial role in the attitudes, behaviour and physical aspects of youth today, in particularly that of young women. We are constantly being bombarded with advertising, opinions, images and stories which appear to be forcing us to conform to a specific image of how we are supposed to be, whether it be thinner, more intelligent or prettier, and no matter how much we try to persuade ourselves that we are in no way affected by such marketing ploys and television programmes, everyone is in some way influenced by the media. ...read more.

Middle

(B.Marsh, Daily Mail, June 02) 'Girls can be whatever they want to be as long as they are beautiful when they grow up' This is the message the popular 'Barbie' doll has been pushing on to youth since 1959. When Barbie first hit the market, the creator, Ruth Handler, stated that she wanted to make the perfect role model for her children, Barbie and Ken. Parents everywhere ripped open their wallets and stampeded into shops, eating up the concept. Today although the general idea behind Barbie dolls has changed, the influence still remains. Barbie was unleashed to the world in a revealing swimming costume, wearing make up and fully accessorized. With her ruby red lips, plucked eyebrows and pretty ponytail, she became the icon to many young girls. It is a proven fact that her proportions could never be humanly possible to achieve. If she were the actually life size, she would stand an incredible seven feet tall, with body measurements of a 37inch bust, 20inch waist, and 25inch hips. ...read more.

Conclusion

When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television. This is certainly a startling example of how television can affect a child's mind. In yet another piece of research, children who watch a lot of violent television were compared to children who don't. The results were that the children who watched more violent television were more likely to agree that it's acceptable to hit someone if you're mad at them for a good reason. The other group learned that problems can be solved passively, through discussion. Fixing these problems is not easy. There are many factors that have to be considered and people convinced. These problem will, no doubt, never go away and continue to get worse as the years go by. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the children from ever being exposed to such things. After all, what will the world be like when today's youth is running the world? ...read more.

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This essay addresses very important issues about the influence of media on young people. There is very little psychological content here however and there is a need for theory and research to improve the standard as well as taking into account the suggestions made by the marker. 3*

Marked by teacher Stephanie Duckworth 10/06/2013

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