The Sociological Aspects Of The Media And Popular Culture Essay

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The media influences how people experience social life. Media such as newspaper, television and film, are important sources of information, education and entertainment. It can be used to learn more about the world and the people in it. In this regard it can be said that the media represent, interpret and endorse aspects of social experience (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 2005). The media are also implicated in social regulation, or in other terms, the government of society. The media are implicated in government and politics in an obvious way because modern systems of democracy are conducted through the media. But the media have a bigger role to play in government by structuring how society is controlled and maintained.

In addition, while
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Innovations such as FaceBook and MySpace combine images, text, and messaging to create new possibilities for social interaction. Websites such as YouTube combine broadcast media with the self-directed properties of the internet. SMS texting has revolutionised the social lives of many people. All these media allow people to sustain relationships across time and space in ways that have never before been possible. Some are concerned however, that over-reliance on such forms of communication reduces the importance of face-to-face social experience. Others argue that such media present new ways of defining our identities and establishing new kinds of social interaction (Castells, 2000).

Since its introduction on a public scale in the 1990s, the internet has been associated with many changes in social experience. Many aspects of social life such as education, work, commerce and even personal relationships have changed through the internet. However, researchers have found that, at least in the early years, access to the internet is shaped according to gender, class, ethnicity and education. During the 1990s the typical information technology user was a white, male, professional with a background in IT. This bias in internet access was named the ‘digital divide’ to point out the implied social inequalities. It was said that the internet was
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