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

Discuss evidence from at least 2 areas where it has been argued that media affects public belief and / or behaviour.

Extracts from this document...


Sociology Level 1. Question 4b. Discuss evidence from at least 2 areas where it has been argued that media affects public belief and / or behaviour. Student Name: Alexander McCormick. Matriculation No. 0005671. Tutor: Patricia McCafferty. Essay Submitted: March 16th, 2001. Much can be said for the media and it's effects, it is an area, which has received much attention and has been utilised in a variety of forms, for a multitude of reasons, with both positive and negative influences. There can be no doubt that it is a powerful tool, and used for the right reason, it could be a wonderful thing. This essay will look at evidence supporting claims that certain people use the media to propagate pro Capitalist Ideology, manipulating in a very deliberate way the response and content of media. With evidence from a British study by Grover and Soothill, of the press reporting of sexually motivated murders, Australian Stuart Fists article on the suppression of the Tumour potential of GSM cellular phones. American Carl Jensen's 20yrs of censored news which looks at the diabolical record of American Government services and their involvement in suppressing sensational stories, and the content analysis of the British mainstream media reporting by Greg Philo, this essay will attempt to summarise the evidence supporting their claims. From a positive historical perspective, the media served to empower the trade unions and inform the workforce. Radical worker newspaper sales escalated at the turn of the 20th Century, educating and informing the working class of economic and political matters and inequalities, which may have had a bearing on their employment. ...read more.


(4) It has been argued that there is always time and space to give full and proper explanations of the 'official pro-message' in mainstream media, and the most common misrepresentations for Jensen and Philo alike, are Omission. Vital details of a story are left out; whole sentences are taken out of context and adapted with new meanings. The political repression of left-wing governments on their people is widely reported and condemned by the west, such as Castro in Cuba. Yet virtually nothing is reported about oppression and killings in western supported right-wing client states such as Turkey, Indonesia and Guatemala. For Jensen (8) the muting and downplaying of such sensational stories as the 1965, US financed, trained, advised and equipped overthrowing of Indonesian president Achmed Sukarno, eradicating the Indonesian Communist Party in the process, is typical of the suppression of stories reflecting poorly those of western power. He also claims that when Omission proves to be ineffective, the media will resort to outright lies. For example when the CIA involved itself with drug traffickers in Italy, France, Corsica, Indochina, Afghanistan and Central and South America, it became the object of congressional investigations and a matter of public record. However the media did not report it, evidence was ignored and they repeatedly lied about its existence. A British study by Grover and Soothill 1996 (5), on the press reporting of sexually motivated murders, believe the media has the power and ability to condemn and stereotype a lot of people, much in the same way as the term 'underclass' has, by representing a section of the public as deviant. ...read more.


Media representations of Arthur Scargill at that time were not favourable, every attempt was being made to undermine the miners and their cause, and to break the strike, sentences were taken out of context, minor skirmishes reported as violent outbursts. Media representations favoured hugely on the side of the government, avoiding criticism from the Left, exploiting the nature of modern capitalist society drawing on right wing ideology to justify tighter control and more stringent measures. However peoples perception of the events reflected their class or economic position in society, from the same reporting there were two completely opposite reactions to it. The middle and upper classes believed media reports of terrible acts of violence toward the police and authorities, whilst the lower classes were less inclined to believe such reporting as truth. Powerful though the media is, it exists alongside other socialising factors such as, family, peers, schools and work and may have less effect on one person than it has on another and we also all have our own opinions on matters. So despite the pervasive impact of the media, evidence suggests that it cannot be agreed who controls it, the State, the Capitalists or the Audience. The fast growing pace of the internet and digital TV and its access to media that suits the individual viewer places more power than ever before in the hands of the consumer, which would fit with the view of Alvin Toffler in 'Future Shock', who saw increasing options for the individual both as a consumer of media output and as a producer, in the future. ...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. The Media is the most effective agency of socialisation. Discuss.

    School can also teach us the norms and values of society. An example of this is children from different cultures learn the British culture and vice versa. School is effective because the technique of obeying rules stays with you through life e.g.

  2. The mass media have direct and immediate effects on the ideas and behaviour of ...

    McQuail suggests four possible uses: diversion (escapism), personal relationships (feeling part of a soap opera community for example), personal identity (confirming or weakening the sense of who we are by using certain media messages) and surveillance (finding out what is going on).

  1. How is Crime represented in the Media

    Newspaper Amount of times crimes were Reported Number of Articles Percentage of crime in the newspaper The Times 12 19 63% The Sun 6 31 19% The Daily Telegraph 5 36 13% Daily Mail 1 14 7% The Crimes which are Over Reported the most are Violent Crime and Sexual Crimes.

  2. The function of Education is to develop and reinforce social solidarity.

    Furthermore, one person fulfills many different roles at the same time. In one sense an individual can be seen to be a "composition" of the roles in which they inhabit. Certainly today, when asked to describe themselves most people would answer with reference to their roles in society.

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

    of the participants. The children might have been desensitised since they are /already have been exposed to violence/disturbing images which made half of the participants become unfeeling to the child. In this one, Liebert & Baron haven't made an account whether their participants came from a social background where violent images are available.

  2. To what extent do the media effects an individual's self-identity?

    To avoid this, I will conduct a semi-structured and informal interview on a small group of young women aged between 16 and 25. This will ensure that I can collect useful information on how young women feel towards the medias portrayal of 'The Perfect Woman', and look at how they perceive this image.

  1. To what extent can it be argued that violent films cause violence in society?

    Newburn and Hagell (1994) in a study on media consumption and deviance cast doubt on the supposed causal connection between media products such as films and anti-social behaviour including violence. Bandura and Ross's Bobo Doll Experiment has also been criticized for lacking ecological validity due to its lab-based nature, and also for ethical concerns, mainly on the use of children.

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

    have recognized the adverts from seeing them before or they could genuinely have a low self-esteem. However, what the University of Sussex had discovered was that average size models had no negative affect on body image with women.[29] Even though I had done this experiment on boys too, I decided

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