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

Examine reasons why the mass media may exert only a limited influence over their audience

Extracts from this document...


Examine reasons why the mass media may exert only a limited influence over their audience Media is the way in which large companies are able to diffuse their choice of information to the public via sources such as television, newspapers and radio stations. It is evident that the media in general has become a major function in most people's lives and consequently has been blamed fir crime, abortion and the corruption of morals in society. I will attempt to evaluate to what extent the media exerts influence over their audiences by examining the media models. I believe that this is an important issue to consider as the media continues to centre the lives of many difference social groups as on a daily basis, television; radio and newspapers are widely viewed by all types of people all over the world. There are however other areas of society to consider such as influences created by our experiences, culture, family, friends, education and religion. Evidence suggesting that this type of influence takes place also supports the view that the media exerts only a limited influence as there are other factors equally as powerful. Supporting this view is the 'structured interpretation model' suggesting that people interpret texts according to factors such as their gender, class and experiences. ...read more.


An example of this is the soap Coronation Street; an old person may watch this for companionship as they may feel that they can relate to a particular character. However an older teenager may watch this soap for advice on their own relationship with their parents by viewing the consequences of particular relationships on screen between characters such as 'Sarah-Louise and Gail Platt'. A criticism that is held against this model however is that it fails to examine why exactly people have these different needs and why they choose different interpretations. Contrasting these two models altogether are the 'Hypodermic syringe' model and the 'Cultural Effects' model which both view audience as being passive and inactive. The view by Vance Packard (1957) appeared to demonstrate the mass media to be so powerful to the extent that they could 'inject' any media message they wished to into their audiences. This is known as the 'Hypodermic Syringe' model in which audiences are viewed to be passive (inactive), homogeneous (all the same) and 'blank pages' (ready to be written on). An example of this model would be a TV programme demonstrating crime in London by black youths. The Hypodermic syringe theory would suggest that all views, whatever class, gender, age or experiences would accept the dominant view presented by the media and may believe that all young, black youth from the South are criminals. ...read more.


Due to the strong criticisms aimed at the 'inactive audience approaches', such as the fact that they see audiences as homogeneous and vulnerable, which clearly is a false statement as it can be proven that different people interpret texts differently by David Buckingham (1993) who discovered that the ways in which people interpret media can be based on their independent level of media literacy. I personally believe that models like the Hypodermic Syringe model provide a very narrow, na�ve view towards society and underestimate the levels of diversity amongst all people as it is comprehensible that humans are not robots. However the active model approaches in my opinion, give a very realistic view of how the media can influence others as due to cultural factors, experiences, personalities and peers, we are capable as active choice makers to decide what information to accept and reject and we are fully capable of having our own personal opinions. The evidence supporting the active model approaches is quite recent, Morley 1980 and Blumler and McQuail 1968. Since then there has been no further evidence to suggest that these models portray an incorrect view of society and that actually the inactive models are more realistic. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katie Jackson 12MH 08/12/04 ...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. "Any sociological explanation of the influence of the mass media needs to take into ...

    The Dependency Theory (proposed by Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur in 1976) reinforces the Uses & Gratifications Theory. It says that there is a relationship among audiences, media and the larger social system. Like uses-and-gratifications theory, it assumes that society depends on media information to meet certain needs and achieve certain goals.

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

    Postmodernists stress that the same programme can be interpreted differently by the same audience member in different contexts. Postmodernists adopt views that question the idea of "the audience" as conceived by other approaches. Baudrillard argues that media-saturated societies have produced hyperreality, in which objectivity breaks down and images can be

  1. What Effect Did McCarthyism Have On 1950's Media In The United States?

    The fact that the respectable news media could be controlled by a governmental organization not by direct order, but by threats delivered in the form of two pamphlets is despicable. In the case of the loyalty oaths that CBS and NBC required their employees be subject to, that is an

  2. Assess sociological explanations of the relationship between crime and the mass media.

    Lastly, another example is that the culture consists of largely psychologically stable individuals. The stereotype however, sees the drug taker essentially as an immature, psychologically unstable young person, corrupted by the drug pushers.

  1. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    According to a governmental report on Integration (2002) integration is the process that takes place when refugees are empowered to achieve their full potential as members of British society, to contribute fully to the community, and to become fully able to exercise the rights and responsibilities that they share with other residents.

  2. How Do The Media Influence Understanding Of Nature and Effect of Crime?

    he suggested that certain crimes committed by women tend to go unreported both to the police and by the media unless the crime is severe. It was also suggested by Pollak, that women's predominantly domestic role provided them with the opportunity to commit crimes at home and in the private spheres.

  1. "Does the Mass Media Influence Youth Culture?"

    Therefore, as the media physically reaches more and more people in an increasing variety of guises, so too, inevitably, will its influence over our lives. I believe that the results of my study will reflect this and all my views on the subject.

  2. Assess the effects of mass media on popular culture.

    beliefs, and that the entertainment mainly takes the form of sitcom, reality television, soap operas and celebrity gossip.

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