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Mass Media and Popular Culture: Effects on the Population

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Mass Media and Popular Culture: Effects on the Population

Mass Media and Popular Culture: Effects on the Population

Mass Media and Popular Culture

Mass media and popular culture go hand in hand. This paper will discuss the impact of mass media on enculturation, examine the relationships among media, advertising and the formation of normative cultural values, and discuss the impact of the internet on popular culture and the way we communicate today. Real world examples of this impact will be provided to prove our point of view and the overall effect mass media has on popular culture.

Enculturation is defined as “the process by which an individual learns the traditional content of a culture and assimilates its practices and values.” (Merriam-Webster, 2007) Mass media is part of our everyday enculturation. The population is bombarded with popular culture by television, radio, advertisement, internet and every other imaginable form to help us determine our views of popular culture.

The impact of mass media on enculturation is so pervasive that our country is near information overload. According to Paul A. Herbig “The average American is exposed to 61,556 words from the mass media each day which works out to just under 4,000 words per waking hour, about 60 words per waking minute per person per day.” (Herbig & Kramer, 1994) With the frequency in which we are exposed to mass media it is no wonder mass media has a profound effect on popular culture.

MTV is a perfect example of mass media and the affects it has on popular culture. Everyday millions of impressionable teenagers watch a show called Total Request Live. This show has an average of four commercials for every eight minutes of programming it provides to the impressionable teenagers. Advertisements are for everything from acne medication, fast food restaurants, and clothing. It is estimated that MTV generates 21 million dollars a year from advertising revenues. Upon watching these advertisements the teenagers are almost tricked into buying what is hip or the new fad to become part of popular American culture.

Mass Media refers to the means of public communication reaching a large audience. Types of drama in numerous cultures were probably the first mass media, going back into the Ancient World. The 1st book printed was the “Diamond Sutra”, printed in China in 868 AD .Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book on a printing press with movable type in 1453. Newspapers developed around from 1605, with the first example in English in 1620, but they took until the nineteenth century to reach a mass-audience directly. Mass Media has a significant impact on Enculturation. But to truly find out that impact we must what Enculturation means which is when culture teaches an individual by repetition the right and the wrongs and also values, so he or she can become an accepted member of society. For example how we talk and act around people. We all tend talk or act certain way which is determined by what we watch on television and even what topics we talk about. Which are topics that we see on the news that falls under the category of mass media. What is going on in the world we live in, we even tend to seek approval on what we drive and how we dress which we base on what we see on television commercials, TV. Shows and even the radio which is another type of Mass Media. Media relates to advertising in some way, for example how they advertise Tobacco on television. The ads we see or even read about how Tobacco is bad and how smoking can give u cancer. The media plays a role on how they advertise Tobacco giving a negative thing to do make people think twice before picking up a cigarette. But even with all that and new media forms, the mass media have seen a huge declines in audience and consumers are much harder to reach using old marketing strategies.

The relationships between media, advertising, and cultural values are basically for business and cultural concerns. This can include broadcasting, films, internet, and publishing. Audio recording is the electrical or mechanical recreation of music and sounds. Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video signals. Television and radio programs are usually distributed through broadcasting and cable. Film is a term that comes from film stock which is created by recording people and objects with cameras or by using animation or special effects. Books are also a form of media. A book is usually a collection of sheets of paper and a book produced in electronic form is known as an e-book.

The Internet also known as the Net or Web is “a network of networks”. Many people use the internet to browse and shop or to actually compile important information for work and/or school. Personally I do a lot of my shopping through the internet. I shop for clothes and shoes through the internet.

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