The Media As A social Problem Essay

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The Media as a Social Problem

     The mass media plays a large role in modern society. Indeed, many have argued that people spend more time in “mass-mediated” interaction than in actual human interaction. The mass media, then, would seemingly be an excellent position to initiate social change, positively affect social problems, and help combat social ills that are considered normal patterns of behavior. Yet, the mass media has largely failed in addressing and helping to solve social problems. As seen through its presentation of the three major variables of race, class, and gender, the mass media has actually served to contribute to the social problems it covers, reinforcing
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As those in minority areas are portrayed and viewed negatively a flight of capital and economic activity develops in conjunction with the stereotypes. Those with capital, typically white, avoid neighborhoods seen as violent or dangerous, and money is not spent or invested in these communities. Once this happens, “the catastrophe of the inner-city increasingly becomes one of economic isolation more than simply of race”. Jobs quickly disappear, and welfare reforms are doomed to failure without hope of potential employment. Once the welfare system fails the “United States will further divide into two societies: one multiracial and reasonably prosperous; the other, disadvantaged and often dark skinned, living in semi-permanent poverty”. As the inner-city minority neighborhoods become increasingly poor vis-à-vis society as a whole, it becomes increasingly likely that the members of the television news media will not come from this area of society and continue to promote the fixed images they have developed of these neighborhoods, perhaps ignoring other methods to present the problems of the inner-city. Thus, the two concepts of race and class are closely related and act to reinforce one another.
     While failing to contribute to a solution to the problems of race and class, the television news media has been much more successful in promoting gender equality. News features often show and expose
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