Responsible Consumption Essay

Responsible Consumption Angela Green, Laytonia Goodman, Ramona Shuman, Robin Boyette SOC/105 Irma J. Davis-Gibson, Ph. D. August 31, 2010 University of Phoenix Responsible Consumption Mass media has been criticized for not practicing high moral and ethical values (Wilson & Wilson, 2001). Electronic media and print media advertise wealth in todays’ society. For example, the media broadcast stories concerning wealthy individuals’ personal lives filled with luxury items. In todays’ society ordinary individuals view wealthy individuals in a different manner because of the mass media.

The relationship between media literacy and the responsible consumption of popular culture is unique, because the relationship separates entertainment from reality (Wilson & Wilson, 2001). Possessing wealth and power is something that brings an individual much respect in the music industry. When an individual have a certain amount of money, others will more likely do what he or she wants the individuals to do. For example, at the 2009 BET Awards Jay-Z allegedly ‘Blackballed’ Chris Brown.

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Jay-Z made a public announcement t that if Chris Brown were allowed to attend the award ceremony then he, Rihanna, nor Beyonce would attend the awards ceremony. Jay-Z also declined to perform at the awards ceremony. As a result of Jay-Z’s request Chris Brown did not attend the awards ceremony; however Jay-z, Rihanna, and Beyonce were in attendance. Another example, is at the 2010 BET Awards Chris Brown was permitted to perform and Jay-Z, Rihanna, nor Beyonce were in attendance at the award ceremony. The two scenarios are two examples of how wealth and power rule the music industry.

Rihanna is Jay-Z’s artist, and Jay-Z has more wealth and power than Chris Brown has. Wealth is the value of everything that a person or a family owns, minus any debts. Wealth is also the abundance of a valuable resource or material possessions or the control of such assets. The distribution of wealth and power within today’s society will usually affect the opportunities for an individual to achieve his or her highest potential and live a normal life with dignity. Possessing money and fame is not it is portrayed to be. Many individuals believe the lives of he musicians are easy because they are wealthy, popular, and happy. Many musicians have normal lives. Musicians have children and most of all musicians pay bills like most individuals in today’s society do. Many individuals in society believe, if he or she is wealthy he or she automatically has the power to do what he or she wants. Many wealthy individuals believe that they are above the law. Wealthy individuals also believe they can buy their way out of anything. Unfortunately, the rich and wealthy are starting to realize that the world does not revolve around them.

They are regular people, and they must function as everyone else in the real-world does. There are many situations of ethical conflict, such as invasion of privacy of wealthy people lives. Movie stars and other celebrities like to keep their lives private. Media, otherwise known as “paparazzi,” seek out any story that exposes the personal lives of celebrities. Celebrities have problems in their life like everyone in the todays’ society. Exploitation of persons’ lives is very demeaning but seems to attract an audience. For example, if regular people were to have an extra marital affair, would it make the news?

For example, Both Jesse James and Tiger Wood’s affair made the news. Ordinary people make the same mistakes as wealthy people do, but the only one’s people discuss is famous people’s mistakes. Why do individuals spend time trying to figure out what a famous person has done or is doing? Todays’ society puts too much energy on what the wealthy and powerful are doing. Not only do individuals invest time and energy into wealthy people’s lives but it is an ethical approach to the consumption of popular culture that can minimize negative consequences.

Wealth has much to do with the role of individual responsibility and accountability in responding to popular culture. In todays’ society if you are wealthy or powerful enough you can get away with anything. For example, if a wealthy individual and an ordinary individual commit the same crime, say Driving Under the Influence. The regular person will go to prison for the crime. The wealthy and powerful individual will be all over the news and Internet but will not receive time in jail. The wealthy individual’s money will allow him or her get away with a fine and maybe some community service.

The same rules do not apply to everyone. Wealth individuals follow different sets of rules in todays’ society. There is a “double standard” of laws in todays’ society (Wilson & Wilson, 2001). Nevertheless to say there are wealthy people rules and there are ordinary people rules. Media literacy assists in organizing what American’s view on television (Wilson ; Wilson, 2001). For example, after the live coverage of Super Bowl 38 where Janet Jackson’s bare breast was revealed, the FCC changed the rule on live media to a 15 second delay. Since then, there have still been accidents caught on camera, but fewer to report.

The Federal Communications Commission is one of the strategies the government uses to regulate what is seen on television and heard on the radio. Censorship has become more effective in the past few decades where it is needed most. Television, movies, and music are the top forms of media. Although the FCC cannot regulate what shows up in the new movies that come out, they regulate what is shown on television in homes. “Cable television system operators generally make their own selection of channels and programs to be distributed to subscribers in response to consumer demands.

The Commission does, however, have rules in some areas that are applicable to programming — called “origination cable casting” that is subject to the editorial control of the system operator. ”(FCC, 2000) The FCC established ratings for programs that are shown at certain times of the day and the ratings are posted for fifteen seconds before each show starts. These ratings let the family know what type of content is shown in the program and whether or not it is suitable for everyone or not. In conclusion, many individuals confuse obtaining wealth as being a social responsibility because of the portrayal mass media has on wealthy individuals.

Media literacy allows individuals to gain knowledge about the relationship between, what individuals in popular culture view or hear through the mass media. Entertainment and reality will be distinguished, whether the mass media is discussion health, fashion, or music due to media literacy. References Federal Communications Commission. (2000). General Cable Television Industry and Regulation Information Fact Sheet. Retrieved from www. fcc. gov/mb/facts/csgen. html Wilson, J. R. , & Wilson, S. R. (2001). Mass media, Mass culture: An introduction (5th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.


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