"Discuss the role of Media Studies in making sense of the political, economic and cultural meaning of everyday life".

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“Discuss the role of Media Studies in making sense of the political, economic and cultural meaning of everyday life”

        “Do violent video’s cause crime?  Should large numbers of television channels and newspapers be owned by one corporation?  Should European governments subsidise their film industries to protect their culture and language from American imperialism?” (Bazalgette, 2000; p.6)  These are just some of the questions that are constantly provoking endless arguments within the media and wider society.  Media Studies is controversial for many reasons, one being that it is still new, as well as the point that it generates challenging and threatening questions about the information we receive through the media.  Sure, majority of people know that we are constantly emerged in a society largely dominated by the media world, but does it actually have an effect on the political, economical and cultural meanings created in society?  Through media studies, we can gain a stronger understanding of these effects, and therefore use it to make sense of our everyday lives.

For many people in developed countries, the media has become so much a part of everyday life that it is often taken for granted.  Individuals could easily partake in as little as five different forms of media within the first hour of waking up.  Many individuals wake up to advertisements or the news on their radio, watch television or read the newspaper during breakfast, pass by billboards on the way to work or school, walk past posters on buildings and signposts, and even have advertising such as brands on their clothing.  The media now has such an influence on individuals lives, that it now seems to go unnoticed, as most people don’t know any other lifestyle.   Generally, prior to becoming involved in media studies, many people think it simply involves analysing how the media can manipulate and delude others, simply to gain ratings and profit, however there is much more involved.  By looking at media influences at the macro rather than just the micro level, we gain a stronger understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural conditions within which the media operate.  “Newspapers, film, radio, television and, increasingly, computer software and communications networks… are consequently blamed for all kinds of social ills, political problems and cultural degeneracy.  Each of these media has also, in its time, been seen as the harbinger of apocalyptic change – for better as well as for worse” (Bazalgette, 2000; p5)

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As each new medium of media is created, so are questions and theories about the effect it will have.  When cinema was first created in the 1900’s, it also aroused many thoughts and critical ideas.  These involved political theories such as if cinema could be used to persuade a whole class or nation to respond in a pre-determined way, economical questions regarding how much demand there would be for it, and what was the most profitable way of supplying it, and philosophical and cultural theories by questioning the experience viewers are undertaking.  (Bazalgette, 2000)  Through analysing a medium such ...

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