Mass Media and Popular Culture

Mass Media and Popular Culture March, 2009 Let us face the facts, mass media and popular culture need each other to coexist. Furthermore, in today’s society the mass media serves the interest of popular culture. Moreover, it is the vehicle of free speech in a diverse, multicultural society. In addition, mass media refers to communication via radio, televisions, movie theaters, television, newspapers, magazines, and, etc; thereby, reaching out to the larger audience.
On the contrary, popular culture can refer broadly to common aesthetic or life practices, in both the statistical and qualitative senses. However, therapists have used the term more precisely to designate a particular form of common culture that arises only in the modern period. Therefore, popular culture in this account is distinct from both folk culture and high culture: unlike the former, it is mass-produced; unlike the latter, it is mass consumed. As a result, both have played a vital role in the development of Popular American Culture.
In this paper, Learning Team D will examine the relationships among the media; address the impact of the mass media on advertising, and enculturation, as well as the impact of the Internet and globalization on popular culture, and the interpersonal communication and formation of normative cultural values. The description of the definition of mass media on 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, 2009).

The media is part of our day to day lives enculturation. In which the population is used to the culture of TV, radio, Internet and any other forms that we use in viewing of the popular media of our culture. The mass media can have a great impact on the enculturation in which 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). As also data changes so mass media can keep changing he way the population views the different culture and change things on their own. Media and advertising work together because of their interdependent relationship. Popular culture bombards society by billboards, television, advertisements, radio, Internet, and any other imaginable form. Advertisements drawl a large amount of attention because of the persuasive nature of the context. Advertising serves as a way to interact with the audience, but more specifically targets people who are preoccupied with the values of consumerism. These people purchase commodity goods in large amounts.
The advertisements may be shown on television (Home Shopping Network, info-ads, or commercials), heard on the radio, or published in an ad in the newspaper, a magazine, newsletter, or another form of publication. Advertising fabricates cultural values and downgrade the normative cultural values. The formation of normative cultural values influence the way people think, act, and live their lives upon. The relationship between the media, advertising, and formation of normative cultural values is how advertisements affect the media, the media affects society, and society affects the market.
This relationship works in a circle, and also cause and effect. Each has an influence on one another. Television has probably the biggest influence because society can see what is being advertised, what celebrities are wearing, what the seasons fashion trends are, and then hear everything. For instance, Paris Hilton’s saying “that’s hot. ” That saying was everywhere because Paris Hilton said “that’s hot” on her reality TV show The Simple Life. Society mimics what is seen and heard through the media. (Rigel) The tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man… it constitutes the powerful obstacle to culture” Sigmund Freud. American popular culture is largely impacted by mass media in every sense. Popular culture in American is influenced by the internet and globalized because of the various was to communicate quickly around the world. American popular culture is what each person makes of it in their own terms based on the perception of the information received through mass media.
The many forms of relaying the mass media information such as television, radio and Internet to name a few have sculpted the way Americans feel, believe, act and react to various situations. A person cannot avoid mass media unless he or she had no form of electronics nor did he or she walk outside or read the newspaper. Therefore, each decision and thought created in the minds of Americans is somehow affected by American popular culture. The decisions do not always follow the crowd but move against it, either way a person can make the decision to follow or drift alone.
These decisions, methods of thinking, actions and reactions have all developed into cultural values of the American people. Cultural values revolve around popular culture because they create the ideals that people live by. For example, the way a family dresses the children of the family or allows the teenagers to dress in a family is determined by the reactions of popular culture. Additionally, religion is another area of culture that can be dominated by popular culture. “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people” Mohandas Gandhi.
References Herbig, P. A. , & Kramer, H. (1994). The effect of information overload on the innovation choice process. Journal of Consumer marketing, 11(2), 45. 54. Retrieved February 19, 2010, from http://web. ebscohost. com/ehost/detail? vid=4&hid=112&sid=63a6ab34-57d5-423b-956c-e5543b814d08%40sessionmgr108. Merriam-Webster. (2009). Retrieved February 19, 2010, from http://www. search. eb. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com/dictionary? va=enculturation&query=enculturation.

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