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

Media studies is a social science that studies the nature and affects that mass media has on individuals and society as a whole.

Extracts from this document...


Media studies is a social science that studies the nature and affects that mass media has on individuals and society as a whole. Today, media provides us with information on a nationwide basis and is designed to reach the largest possible audience. Thus, news, entertainment and advertising, produced by different mediums are designed for and reflect society's tastes, lifestyles and views. At its most basic media studies critically analyses what we know and how we came to know it. In the quest to develop information about the media, and their role in everyday life, two general schools of thought have evolved. The North American tradition uses 'content analysis' to describe media messages and measure audience reactions. On the other hand, the European tradition, or the 'critical' approach, examines media texts as complex structures of meaning. It utilises 'semiology' and qualitative analysis in an attempt to understand the meaning of texts. (Sinclair "media and Communications: Theoretical Traditions" 2002). Regardless of which approach is used textual analysis is crucial as media texts form such a big part of our world and has vast effects on all elements of society. Mass media began in the late 18th century with the Industrial Revolution and although it has only been around for a short time, it has progressed, evolved and spread at such a rapid pace. Emerging in the 1900's with the mass circulation of press and the introduction of cinema, media today now spreads as wide as to include as television, internet, magazines and computer games. ...read more.


Agencies such as "educational systems, the labour market the welfare system," influence the ways individuals construct their own social systems. Media studies is about questioning. We are forced to critically analyse what we know and how we came to know it. When analysing a text "we make and educated guess at some of the most likely interpretations that might be made of that text." (McKee, A. "A Beginner's Guide to Textual Analysis" 2001). McKee (2001) contends that there is no single description of reality against which all texts can be measured and judged for their accuracy. Rather, every version of reality can only be accepted as another representation of reality. Accordingly, McKee (2001) suggests that when performing textual analysis in newspaper stories, for example, it is crucial that we relate texts to their surrounding context. In doing so, we hope to attain a more relevant and accurate interpretation of the way the text represents the world around us. The North American tradition, also known as the pragmatic approach believes that society is based on consensus, and thus media content is expected to have direct effects upon its audiences. This theory has adopted 'content analysis' as an empirical form of analysing and describing media messages and a way of measuring audience reactions. This method involves breaking down the components of a media text into units and counting them. Sinclair (2002) ...read more.


Textual analysis assumes that signs structure the way in which the world is seen. Because mass media constitutes so much of our every day life and consequently has a profound influence over it, its study is necessary to help understand the world around us. Media studies involve reflecting on all elements of society. It allows for us to analyse the political and economic dimension of society, as well as providing us with information about our culture and social makeup. In order to make sense of our complex world, there is a need to know how people producing media texts are interpreting the world around them. Two different techniques and traditions have evolved in an attempt to do so. Both content analysis (as stemming from North American tradition) and semiology (stemming from European tradition) provide us with a guideline of analysing and interpreting the media world around us. Reference List: � Bazalgette, C. "Why Media Studies is Worthwhile" in D. Fleming (ed.), Formations. A 21st Century Media Studies Textbook, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2000 pp.5-14 � Sinclair, J. "Media and Communications: Theoretical Traditions" in S. Cunningham and G. Turner (eds). The Media & Communications in Australia, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2002, pp. 23-34. � Thompson, J.B. "Self and Experience in a Mediated World", The Media and Modernity; A Social Theory of the Media, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1995 pp.209-219. � McKee, A. "A Beginner's Guide to Textual Analysis" in Metro Magazine, No.127/128, 2001, pp.138-149. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Narrative 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 GCSE Narrative essays

  1. Discuss the way in which 'Neighbours' by Tim Winton and 'Stolen Car' by Archie ...

    This is portrayed when Johnny experiences the throbbing nightclub. A place that is out of place in his beliefs. Coming to the city was to find him self and yet he only found places of hell, and his only friend, the only thing that was comforting him, had left, the sun.

  2. Language investigation on two magazines, 'Top gear' and 'classic cars'

    of seriousness, 'Engle' noted men regarded their topics as more serious and important and for this fact; the lexis used has a lot of bearing to it, "...as good as any Ferrari and at a whisker..." Men would regard his opinion highly, from what he is trying to put through.

  1. Why should we and How can we Study the Media?

    These sorts of media corporations are the ones with the big resources; they set the framework in which everyone else operates. The Times Newspaper Corporation is a clear example of this. According to David Brinkley, (an American newscaster), 'News is what I say it is.

  2. A close textual analysis of Chapter Eighteen of 'Notes From a Small Island' by ...

    The use of the indefinite pronoun 'everyone' has a rather euphemistic effect upon the text. Following this, Bryson describes the restaurant he dines at as 'some upstairs place'. The use of the determiner 'some' is incredibly derogatory. It is a very flippant comment, which contributes to the tone: 'the d�cor

  1. Discuss The Representation Of Britishness In Two Or Three Media Texts

    'The Sun' tries to make its audience even more emotional by giving a short account of Anila Baig's life and how she experienced racism and also how it felt being treated how she was. Final page of 'The Sun' answers the question that was first asked on the front page

  2. Compare trading places and collateral

    In Trading Places, as soon as Billy-Ray-Valentine is introduced generation of laughter is created by the mise-en-scene of Billy-ray, his red hoodie and greenish tracksuit make him different from the rich characters in the movie, this creates a comical effect as the audience suddenly get alerted by bright colors and ask questions in their mind about this separate character.

  1. applied science fire project

    Automatic fire sprinklers utilizing frangible bulbs follow a standardized colour coding convention indicating their operating temperature. Activation temperatures correspond to the type of hazard against which the sprinkler system protects. Residential occupancies are provided with a special type of fast response sprinkler with the unique goal of life safety.

  2. Compare the social and cultural representations in Wondrous Oblivion(TM) and Grow Your Own.(TM) What ...

    For example at the beginning when the English people are having a committee meeting talking about the immigrants they say "It's disgusting that these 'gypos' are taking our land, we should separate them." A young man interrupts and says "We should welcome them, not get rid of them."

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