Mass media | Society and Culture | MCAT | Khan Academy

Mass media | Society and Culture | MCAT | Khan Academy


– [Voiceover] What exactly
are we talking about when we talk about mass media? Well, we’re talking about the
dissemination of information, or how information is
transmitted within a culture. And this can include print media, like books, newspapers, and magazines, as well as digital media, like TV, movies, radio, and the internet. Exactly how this media is consumed changes across cultures and age groups. For example, my grandmother
gets a lot of her information about current events
through TV and newspapers, but I primarily get
this information online. And when we look at mass media, we can look at the role
it plays in our society through different
sociological perspectives. So according to the functionalist view, one of the most important
functions of mass media is to provide entertainment. So it’s meant to occupy our leisure time. But the functionalist view
also says that mass media can also act as an agent of socialization and an enforcer of social norms. It presents a standardized view of society and provides a collective experience for members of that society. Think about the shared experience of watching the Olympics on television, or being with a group of people to see a movie on opening night. Mass media also functions
to bring people together. And there are entire
internet-based communities that are focused on things like LGBT rights or childcare, or fans of music groups that
sing songs about Harry Potter. But mass media can also tell us about what society expects of us through what it rewards and punishes. So when we hear something about criminal behavior from mass media, it is often talked about in terms of bringing criminals to justice. Which reinforces the idea
that criminal behaviors are bad and should be avoided. However, the media can
sometimes also glorify behaviors that society as a whole
would deem to be wrong. Things like intense physical violence. Mass media also functions as a promoter of consumer culture. At the turn of the century,
the average U.S. child saw 20,000 commercials a year on TV. And that doesn’t include ads on the radio or billboards or signs in front of stores announcing 50% off sales. And it’s only increased from there. And it’s not necessarily
clear what kind of an impact this might have on the next generation. The conflict view focuses on how the media reflects and portrays, and may even exacerbate, divisions that exist within our society. Like divisions based on
race, ethnicity, gender, or social class. Conflict theory uses the term gatekeeping to describe the process by which a small number of people and corporations control what material is
being presented on the media. It describes how information, so things that appear in our newspapers, the stories that are made into movies, what TV shows are turned into pilots, it describes how these things
move through a series of gates before they can reach the public. In some countries, this
might be controlled primarily by the government. But for others, it’s decided primarily by large media corporations. Gatekeeping can also
have more of an effect on some media than others. For example, a lot of control is put on what big-budget movies are made, but there is very little overhead control of what gets posted online. The conflict theory also describes how mass media often reflects
the dominant ideology. Giving time and space, or privileging, certain social, economical,
and political interests, while sometimes actively
limiting other views. The people who make the choices about what media is produced, the gatekeepers, are predominantly white,
male, and wealthy. And as a result, stories
representing the views of racial minority groups,
women, LGBT individuals, and working class people are
typically underrepresented. And because of this divide,
portrayals of minority groups can often be stereotyped, or guided by unrealistic generalizations about a certain group of people. And while some corporations
have taken the steps to try to improve this, they sometimes take it
in the wrong direction, which results in tokenism
instead of actual diversity. Or cases where a single minority member is added to a TV show or movie as a stand-in for that entire group. Feminist theory’s
understanding of mass media is similar to what we would
see in conflict theory in that it also holds that
mass media stereotypes and misrepresents society
towards the dominant ideology. Specifically, it focuses
on the way that messages about men and women are
represented in the media. It notes that women are often underrepresented in media content, that men are often considered normal while women are considered to be other. Think about ads for products. We have razors and razors for women. Pens and pens for her. Depictions of men and women are often highly stereotyped, enforcing strict gender roles and emphasizing traditional sex roles. So women are more often
portrayed as victims and men as aggressors. And women are much more
likely to be depicted as shallow or being obsessed with looks, which also makes it more likely that they’ll be sexualized
and objectified. The interactionist perspective looks at mass media on the micro level to see how it shapes day to day behavior. It looks at how mass media blurs the line between solitary and group activities. So think of the act of seeing a movie. You may be watching it with other people, but because of societal
norms or even theater rules, you are actually forbidden
from talking about the movie with the people you’re with. It also looks at the fact that how we connect with
other people using media tends to change over time. So whereas before I might have called my grandparents to keep
in touch with them, now I can talk with them via email, or even text message. The rate at which people
meet romantic partners online has also increased, which is something that
probably would have seemed very confusing to just a
few generations before ours.

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    Mr.Sergay

    I liked this video
    until it got to feminism andddd eeggghhh

    mass media now is made for consumerism, most of the audience are straight white people because there's just that many of us aorund the globe, it makes sense from their perspective to just give something to the aducience that they can relate v:
    though of course they should diverse mass media in some ways so it doesn't become stale but not forcefully
    forcing diversity on mass media killed so many shows, games etc

    overall this is a good video
    but last minute is just….meh
    and the example of cinema is weird, they just want to watch movie in silence, they can talk about it afte the movie ended V:

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    Paul Dang

    at the 3:44 mark…yeah it was getting good until you need to bring up white males and so forth. Why do you need to bring up race? oh yeah it's because it's "cool" now and trending. Stop judging the color of someone's skin and look at their character.

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    CrankyGames Howell

    Pens and pens for her? That doesn't even make sense. It's called having different colored pens!!
    And razors for men and women are different because women shave a larger area, including sensitive areas, which need a gentler and more flexible razor to do the job.

    As for women being portrayed as shallow, obsessed with looks, and sexualized, have you ever seen most female Twitch streamers and Instagram models? Seriously, look up Neice Waidhofer for Christ's sake. In almost all of her pictures she has her boobs out. And I'm not saying men aren't shallow. Instagram has a lot of guy douche bags too. Just don't pretend that men aren't objectified as well.

    Also, fuck you, I like pink. Let me have a pink razor for the love of God.

    Wait, sorry. I meant all hail our leftist female overlords.

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    Nicholas VanGaasbeek

    “Typically underrepresented” 3:45 ?? The last I checked rap was the most popular genre of music in America and I think it’s a horrible thing. It glorifies violence and dehumanizes certain classes of citizens, sure there is exceptions but not a majority. Aside from that look at Netflix originals, half of what they put out portray is female dominance over men, especially in an intellectual aspect (I.e. Disenchantment, Black Mirror, Dear White People, I Am Mother [which also has a primarily Anti-religious aspect], The Umbrella Academy just to name a few) so underrepresented? Unlikely, and to top that, it continues to separate people by color and culture and sex and feeds the minds of those are already racist or sexist as well as the minds of those who think racism and sexism is still as widespread as ever before. Just my 2 cents.

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