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

Analyse the extent to which bias, influence and attitude formation are important issues in the sociology of the mass media. Use two contrasting theories and relevant studies in your answer.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

MASS MEDIA Analyse the extent to which bias, influence and attitude formation are important issues in the sociology of the mass media. Use two contrasting theories and relevant studies in your answer. Mass media is a plural term that refers to one or more sources of information. It comprises of outlets such as T.V, D.V.D, newspapers, books, radio and the internet. Although its purpose is to convey a message from one point to the masses traditionally, today's sources are more interactive so may not be so one way. It has played a crucial role in the 20th century and will continue to do so throughout the 21st. The hypodermic syringe model assumes that the media is so powerful that it can "inject" a message into the audience directly. This model also assumes that the audience are weak and passive so it fails to recognise the different social characteristics in society today and can be seen as too simplistic. Another model that tries to explain mass media would be the cultural effects model. This also sees the media as being so powerful but it recognises that the audience is more diverse than the hypodermic syringe model believes. This model states that the media expects an anticipated response; this is known as the "preferred reading". ...read more.

Middle

They do this by for example, news articles that they feel is newsworthy therefore the masses will feel it as newsworthy and important. This position allows us to see the subtlety of the process of capitalist control. Neo Marxist sees the media's message as coded so to help the masses understand the world and link event to make them seem important. As it is capitalists who control the media, they are therefore dictating to the masses what they should see as important through these coded messages, maintaining their power and control. Marxist view is a strong analysis of the mass media as a source of inequality within society and helps explain bias in the media. It is also a good at explaining the power of the media through concentration of ownership. For example, only 5 co operations own all of America's media which gives them huge power and control. Marxist theory can be criticised as it underestimates the fact that the masses have the ability to make their own mind up over what they see/hear/read. It assumes the masses will believe everything the ruling class project to them and cannot reject it. As mass media is so interactive now, it is possible for capitalist ideology to be challenged by the masses. ...read more.

Conclusion

They argue that if the media is bias then this is merely a reflection of what people want and think. The pluralist approach is strong in recognising the range and diversity within mass media. It is a more likely theory to explain mass media in today's more interactive society. The recent phone hacking scandal suggests that employees at News International newspapers have been prepared to break the law in order to secure information which has infringed individual privacy. However you might also argue that the fact that this story has come to light in the mass media illustrates its investigative qualities which also provides some support for the pluralist approach to the study of the mass media and that if Rupert Murdoch's plans to take full ownership of BSkyB are blocked this will help to restrict the extent of monopoly ownership and control within the mass media therefore restricting bias opinion projected in the mass media. The pluralist approach can be critised for not recognising the clear evidence of bias. Although the pluralist approach may be seen as a more modern view of the mass media and does recognise consumer choice, it is evident that the mass media are clearly bias and our views may be distort our views of the world as we see it through "their" eyes and a neutral view is very rarely shown in mediums such as newspapers and 24hour news channels. ?? ?? ?? ?? Elizabeth Hamilton ...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 Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A strong piece of work examining the role of the media in relation to bias and attitude formation. The writer shows a good understanding of the theories discussed, particularly Marxist theory. All the key points I would expect to see in answer to the essay question are presented, just remember to explain briefly key terminology to evidence your understanding (see annotations).
Please check punctuation, spelling and grammar carefully as there are a few errors that affect the readability of the work. 4/5

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 09/08/2013

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 Sociology essays

  1. Compare and Contrast Marx and Weber's view on Stratification

    A class in itself is simply a social group whose members share the same relationship to the means of production. Marx argued that a social group only becomes a class when it becomes a class for itself. At this juncture, its members have class consciousness (full awareness of the true situation)

  2. The City in Anthem has numerous rules and controls. Why do these exist? What ...

    In this society people were not allowed to use the unspeakable word "I," which in the twentieth century is used in almost every single sentence. "I" basically means "ego" according to Ayn Rand. She also said that "I, did not mean a symbol of the self - but specifically and actually Man's Self."

  1. Introduction to Sociology - questions and answers

    Another example would be that of a Teacher, a teachers role and what is expected of them would be for the teacher to be professional, have the knowledge required to teach, respectful but at the same time authoritative. D) Socialisation this is the social process we all learn and pick

  2. Compare and contrast the Marxist and Functionalist explanations of the role of religion in ...

    Religion also makes people believe the suffering endured by oppression is a virtue. People believe they are rewarded for their pain and those that are rich and live luxurious lives are less likely to get into heaven. Religion offers hope that supernatural powers will intervene to solve problems, the anticipation makes life more bearable.

  1. Is sociology a science?

    They believe that social facts and the behaviour of humans like the behaviour of matter can be objectively observed, expressed as a quantity and measured. These measurements are vital to explain human behaviour. Positivists also believe that based on objective measurements, observations of behaviour will allow statements of effect and cause to be made.

  2. The role of religion in society.

    When religion fails to perform this action, new religions form. Durkheim claimed Nationalism and Communism were the new religions of the industrial society. They took over from Christianity but performed the same functions. Functionalists do not say that Religion doesn't change.

  1. Machiavelli's Theory Of The State.

    Vitelli who called off the attack the Florentines called Vitelli a traitor and he was executed and as a result Machiavelli believed that mercenary troops should not be trusted and that all states should be self sufficient and protected by their own army.

  2. How the film "Outsourced" shows the effects of culture shock on an American in ...

    Then, being invited by surrounding cab drivers, he asked a cab driver from the distance to get out the complex surrounding. However, the man took Todd?s luggage to a dirty and old Rickshaw next to the taxi, not the taxi he asked.

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