Mass Media and Popular Culture Paper Essay

Mass Media and Popular Culture Paper There is definitely an impact of the mass media on enculturation, a process by which one learns about the culture surrounding them and then accepts it as a norm. In other words a person brought up in a certain part of town in which is dominated by a certain culture and in order to fit in whether you deliberately or unintentionally start acting, talking, dressing and accepting it as normal for you would be enculturation. The mass media influences targeted cultures by television, radio, music, advertising, etc. Our children pick up everything around them.

As a young person, they pick up on what their parents and siblings do and when they get into school, they will pick up culture from their peers. For instance, back in the 70’s, society was still predominately segregated. If you lived in a predominately white area and you were of a different culture or ethnicity and grew up with this culture, you ended up acting and growing up learning that culture and thinking it as being the norm. Of course, when you came into a big city , it was surprising to still see so much segregation and being made fun of for being different.

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Now days, because there is so much diversity and the mass media, all races end up listening to the same songs, watching the same movies and seeing the same movie stars. One is clearly socialized into popular culture through the media, films, fashion, dance, etc. Socialization makes up a big part of enculturation. As generation change so does the mass media in forming our children. They do listen to the media whether we believe it or not. Whether, it is a teacher, news, friends, etc. , children listen to media and probably have more access than we as adults.

Since the beginning of mass marketing on television, it has started to slowly influence the normative culture values of today. Television has been considered to be the best way to reach the mass audiences by trying to reach out to each individual and their particular personality. There is an interdependent relationship between advertising and media. However advertising has not “created” these values it only influences them. In the late 1980s ABC, CBS, and NBC mostly reached out to the widest (whitest) audience to bring in the most money (Wilson, 2001).

The younger networks such as Fox, WB, and UPN’s ratings were driven by the ethnic minorities which in time would develop an urban niche. The minority watched these shows because they could relate to the programs which they feel accurately portray their culture. This began a new trend in television shows and it may have helped change the future for the minority. For example, before President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the idea of having a black president was only depicted in movies, novels, and television. Various celebrities, actors, and comedians have portrayed a black president on screen.

Comedians developed parodies about a black president because of the growing popularity, and it was used to explore the cultural gap. In 1983, Eddie Murphy did a stand-up routine in “Eddie Murphy Delirious” he enacted a parody of a black president (Carter, 2009). Also in 2009 Gilbert Arenas portrayed a black president in an ad marketing an Adidas sneaker he designed and named it the “Black President. ” The depictions of these various fictional black presidents may have accustomed Americans to accept a black man as president.

Terms such as Americanization, Westernization and even globalization are only a few of many that have been employed to label the phenomenon of America’s growing cultural dominance in the world (Pells, 2000). With the development of microprocessors, the Internet is perhaps the most significant technological innovation of our time, playing a considerable role in the growth of globalization. The internet and globalization has really improved interpersonal communications in the sense of expediency and efficiency, the internet or perhaps the technology that internet brings forth has placed limits on any type of relationships.

The Internet provides a cheaper, faster and easier method of communication, an alternative that has created a “global audience”, as mentioned by Renato Ruggiero, director general of the World Trade Organization. The down side to this technological edge is, instead of having personal relationships that run deep through experience together there is are missing links to interpersonally communicating. Following, you may find that with the fast pace of technology, you only have time to chat, text or send an e-mail and the interpersonal relationships are lost there in.

People today use the internet as a measurement of avoidance instead of confronting the issue head on. For example, many American’s break off relationships and engagements via text, or by using a social networking sites over the internet. Although this is a common part of American culture today it turns off a sense of reality of hurting someone or resolving long term bonds. Reference Wilson, J. R. & Wilson, S. R. (2001). Mass media, mass culture: An introduction (5th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Retrieved on August 10, 2010 from the University of Phoenix course-material. Pells, Richard (2000) “American Popular culture and its impact on the world. ” Retrieved on August 25, 2010 ; Database used: Internet Explorer Ruggiero, Ranato (2000) “ Global Audiences: Director of the world trade organization” Retrieved on: August 26, 2010; Database used: Internet Explorer Carter, M. (2009, January 19). Online guide to the inauguration. Retrieved August 28, 2010, from thestar. com: http://www. thestar. com/entertainment/article/571818


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