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The Influence of Media on Society

Essay by review  •  November 23, 2010  •  Essay  •  518 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,646 Views

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In this essay I will be exploring and analyzing Various theories relating to how the Media effects fans and society. For the purpose of this essay I will focus on the media text, Soap Operas. Soap operas can easily influence the society due to the amount of media coverage given from the Main-stream press. An example of this is the infamous "Free Deirdre" campaign that was supported , primarily, by the Sun newspaper. This invoked a large majority of the county's population displaying posters and protesting outside ITV offices. I will analyse and explore three of the most prominent media effects theories. I will write about the Hypodermic model, the two step flow model and the uses and gratification theories.

Firstly the Hypodermic model, the name comes from the imagery of thoughts and ways of thinking being injected into the minds of an audience similar to the machinery of a hypodermic syringe. The earliest known example of this derive from the early 20th century, cinema was new and growing form of entertainment and many theorists believed that the increase in violence was a direct result of violet images being shown in cinema. One such theorist stated that the new found media was manipulating the mainstream masses and deliberately causing crime and violence for financial gain. Although this argument has been cast aside man times it always returns in modern society when there is a severe outbreak of violence on TV.

My second example is the "Two step Flow Model" This came about in the mid 20th century between 1940 and 1960. At a time where he second world war had ended and the cold war between communism and capitalism had began. Katz and Lazarsfeld were two theorists specialising in media effects and wanting to expand on the already well known Hypodermic model. They believed that the mainstream media was being put to the use of influencing public opinion regarding politics and general opinion of their leaders. Potentially being able to swing an election by use of the media.

The third and final theory that I will discuss is the uses and gratifications theory, this came about in the 1970s when James Lull compiled a list of audience uses and gratifications, this list included such issues as companionship, communication and problem solving. The theory essentially describe the audience as passive and dull, requiring media and who will accept whatever they are told by the media. Three

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