• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the effects of mass media on popular culture.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the effect of mass media on popular culture Popular culture is defined as social and cultural products that are there as a form of entertainment and for use by the mass culture, and are commonly short lived and acknowledged to hold little artistic value, such as movies or pop music. Alternatively, high culture is something that is considered unique, and different to everyday life. It is usually aimed at the upper and middle class, and is commonly approved of by the intellectual elite. Furthermore it usually takes place in environments that are significant in high class culture, such as the theatre. There are several different arguments as to how the mass media has affected popular culture, for example Marxists argue that popular culture is the bourgeoisie's way of dumbing down the proletariat, and thus controlling them. By promoting the false ideologies that popular culture bases itself off, such as owning an iPod, the proletariat are distracted from the poor working conditions and the exploitation that they are facing. Furthermore, Marxists also argue that the working class experience "false class consciousness", meaning that they have come to believe that the capitalist system is a fair one that can benefits everyone equally, because the lower class are also able to obtain these false needs. ...read more.

Middle

However, postmodernists argue that the distinction between high culture and popular culture has now become blurred, due to the effects of globalisation, which they argue is beneficial due to it being primarily responsible for the diffusing of different lifestyles and cultures around the world, which in turn has created global hybrid styles un fashion, music etc. They argue that due to the advancement in technologies such as social networking, any culture is now available to anyone. People no longer need to visit special places to access high culture, for example people can now download classic books for free, or purchase Arthouse films on DVD. It is debated that in the postmodernist global world pluralism and cultural diversity will eventually become the global norm. This shows that the mass media is in fact creating hybrid cultures, so it can be argued that in the near future pure popular culture may not even exist, instead it may form a hybrid with high culture, which more people will be able to relate to. Additionally, postmodernists also argue that the global media culture has increased consumer choice. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kellner (1999) claims that the global media culture is all about sameness, and the individuality of some cultures is erased in the process. However, post modernists disagree with this approach, they claim that the global media if s benefit for both developed and undeveloped societies because it offers wide range of choices and opportunities. They also argue that smaller cultures are not swallowed up by the global media, rather they adapt to it. For example Bollywood films are produced by local film industry that is organised around both Hollywood and Indian entertainment values. This suggests that the global media culture does not change cultures for the worst, but instead they adapt to modern techniques so that they may express their values using modern technologies. In conclusion, it is clear that the mass media does have an effect on popular cultures; however it can be argued that they are not changed for the better. Instead local cultures are engulfed by Western (American) values, and in turn, eventually forget their own. Alfie West 10th September 2011 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. Explain and briefly evaluate why high culture is seen as superior to low culture.

    For example, British and American pop music is everywhere. American and Indian films are popular internationally. Thus, there is no "high culture" or "low culture". This is because Popular Culture theorists emphasise that the Audience is Active "Mass" and "Low" culture are both concepts that are based on the idea of a passive audience.

  2. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    David Morley, in The Nationwide Audience, studied the responses of different groups of people to a popular BBC 6 o'clock 'magazine' show that appeared in the 1970s. He found that the different groups approached the material presented in the programme in different ways, reflecting the particular background and values they held.

  1. Who Controls the mass media?

    Topic Three: - How do the media affect people? Topic Four: - Is There Too Much Violence In The Media 1) In your own words explain what is meant by de-sensitisation With repeated exposure to media violence people become used to it and it no longer affects them in the

  2. How does the media represent female bodies?

    Fashion plays a role within this widespread body dissatisfaction, as clothes form the covering for the body underneath. Women are constantly presented with images of 'beauty' presented by the super model and spend a large part of their income trying to find the perfect outfit.

  1. Why do the mass media in a capitalist society allow no genuine diversity and ...

    Many researches stated that men are still the major characters and the women are cast as glamorous objects (Anderson, 1997), and women in traditional role as housekeeper far outnumbered nontraditional portrayals and they are twice as likely as men to appear in television commercials as spouses or parents with no other occupations (Metzger, 1992; cited by Renzetti & Curran, 1995).

  2. "Any sociological explanation of the influence of the mass media needs to take into ...

    It takes into account the social position of the members of the audience. For instance, Black people may interpret news differently from middle-class White business people. The Pluralist theory would say that media content is a reflection of the wants of the public.

  1. How Media, Advertising and Celebrity Culture Affects Female Body Image

    survey were 50% more likely to describe themselves as ''too big or fat'' and 30% more likely to diet than girls who watched television less frequently. Strong cultural identity is thought to be protective against eating disorders; there was only one case of anorexia nervosa reported on the island prior

  2. To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception ...

    Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa are most common in white people in western societies.[37] This shows a direct link to how our society looks at behaviours and expectations of the public compared to eating disorders. Not only in the Western hemisphere is there a link towards the ethnicity of people with

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work