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ALL OF SECOND HALF

ALL OF SECOND HALF - Functions of Mass Media What needs do...

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Functions of Mass Media 16/04/2008 01:32:00 What needs do they serve? Individuals and society Content vs. Medium Functions Content functions o Where the specific content of the medium is key o Ex: newspapers Guide voting around election time So:  vote-guiding function of newspapers = content o Ex: weather news on TV guiding how you dress Specific content guides clothing choice Medium functions o Tied to general nature of the medium or conditions of that medium’s  use o Ex: mating function of movies Place for a date Provide basis of convo on date Theater – become “friendly” Content largely irrelevant -> medium function Nature of theater and experience that is central o Ex: 1930’s – radio Brought families together at the end of the day Content not important Manifest vs. Latent functions Manifest function
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o Obvious function Latent function o Hidden function Ex: couple listening to news on radio o Manifest function: find out what’s happening in the world o Latent function: couple listens to the radio in the morning so they don’t  have to talk to each other Ex: Advertisement for a car in a mag o Manifest: get people to buy car o Latent: used by people who already own the car to remove second  doubts about buying the car People doubt buying the car But see ad and it reinforces their choice Societal functions (6) 1. Status conferral o It gives status, legitimizes status to people, ideas, social movements  (tells us what’s important in the world) Ex: talks about Taliban in Afghanistan, Monica Lewinski Ex: cover of Time = pay attention to this 2. Passing on societal norms, values, and traditions o Teaches us about right and wrong, what it means to be American o Both fiction and nonfiction o Enforcement Also can enforce these norms, values, and traditions Exposes people who deviated from the norms and how  they were punished Sometimes, mass media gives the punishment itself Tabloids
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Generally upholds status quo norms and values Exceptions: deviant behaviors not criticized sometimes Ex: Jerry Springer Ex: Rap Glorifies thug behavior, drug use, etc. Therefore, criticized for it o Unifies values across the country too (homogenizing effect) 3. Narcotizing Function o Like narcotics o Blunts and distorts the senses o Creates a sense of apathy Flooded with info so they don’t have any time to do anything  about it o Dopes us up on sports and stupid sitcoms o Rots our brains o Focus on superficiality -> passive and apathetic o Doesn’t support critical thinking o
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