Media Artefacts Affect Our Conception Of Reality Media

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Television, film, radio, and other media products provide materials, which we can use to determine the sense of selfhood, sense of class, and our identities. It also includes our sense of nationality, sexuality, class, and race and ethnicity. Media helps us in shaping our deepest values as well as how we view the world. The deepest values include; what we consider positive or negative, and good or bad. Media spectacles also, demonstrate people who are allowed to practice force and violence, and those who are not. We are placed in a consumer society and media, which brings in the importance of learning how to interpret, understand, and criticizing its messages and meanings. They participate in contributing to educate us on what we feel, fear, think, desire, and how to behave. They also show us how to consume, look, dress, avoid failure, and be successful/ popular Verbeek & Slob (2006).

Media gives us directions on ways to avoid failure, and conforming to various dominant systems of values, institutions, norms, and practices. It is important to gain critical media literacy as a resource for citizens and individuals when learning to cope with a cultural environment. It is important to learn how to criticise, and read, socio-cultural manipulation to help in empowering in relation to the dominant culture and forms of media. It enhances sovereignty of individual as well as media culture by giving people power in cultural environment. The essay will feature most on contributions of cultural perspective to media literacy and critique.

Recently, cultural studies have emerged as the best approach to study of society and culture. A project study was conducted in the University of Birmingham, which is the centre for cultural studies Bishop (2005). This led to the development of various critical methods for the interpretation, criticism, and analysis of cultural methods. In 1960s and 1970s, there were internal debates and respondents to social movements and struggles. The group focused on interplay of ideologies and representations of gender, ethnicity, class, nationality, and race in cultural texts, which include media culture.

This group was among those who studied the effects of television, radio, film, newspaper and other cultural forms on audiences. The group also focused on the use of media culture and interpretation differently by various audiences. They analysed on the factors, which made audiences respond to various media texts in contrasting ways. It is demonstrated by British cultural studies on how culture constituted distinct forms of the group and identity membership through the study of youth subcultures.

Materials, which are used to construct views of identities, world, and behaviour, are provided by media culture for cultural studies. Those who follow the dictates of cultural media uncritically will mainstream themselves and thereby conforming to the dominant behaviour, values and fashion. Cultural studies are interested in the way sub-cultural individuals and groups can resist dominant forms of identity and culture leading to creation of their own identities and style. Those who obey fashion codes and ruling dress, political ideologies and behaviour produced their identities in the main group, as members of some certain social groupings Dijkstra (1997).

Persons identified with sub-cultures like Black Nationalist or punk culture look and act in different ways from those in the main group leading to creation of oppositional identities when defining themselves. Cultural studies insisted that culture should be studied in systems and social relations in which culture is produced. Because of this, the study of economics, politics, and society binds up culture. Cultural studies show how cultural media is articulating social developments, political ideologies, novelties, and dominant values of the past.

It conceives of society and United States culture as a contested position with various ideologies and groups, which are struggling for dominance. Television, music, media, and many other cultural forms are often conservative or liberal, or expresses oppositional or radical vies. Cultural studies is valuable in such a manner that it provides tools which enables one read, understand, and interpret some one’s culture. In addition, it subverts some distinctions between low and high culture by considering a range of cultural artefacts ranging from televisions to novels and by refusing to put up any specific kind of cultural canons or hierarchies Verbeek & Slob (2006).

In previous approaches to culture, it showed culture to be elitist and primarily literal, thereby dismissing media culture as trashy, not worthy, and banal of serious attention. Cultural studies project avoids sharing the field of cultural media into popular or low and high against elites. Cultural studies gives us room to critically scrutinize and examine a range of cultural media without prior prejudices towards one or even other sort of cultural practice, institution, and text. Cultural studies opens away towards differentiating anaesthetic rather than political valuations of cultural artefacts when attempting to distinguish oppositional and critical from conservative and conformist moments in a cultural artefact. In 1960s, the study of Hollywood film shows that these films promoted the views of counter culture and radicals and how the film was a battleground between conservative and liberal positions in late 1970s. Conservative position worn the battle and helped in the election of Ronald Reagan as president. British cultural studies analyzed in an historical context of its societal effects and origins.

It placed culture within the theory of social production and reproduction, therefore specifying ways in which cultural forms served. Studying the codes of film, television, and other popular music is more enhanced by studying conventions and formulas of production. The cultural forms are structured in a set of well-defined conventions and rules and therefore studying the production of culture helps in elucidating the actual codes in the play. It is because of higher demands of music television or radio that most popular songs are allocated three to five minutes to fit the format of distribution system. All texts in media culture are subject to different readings, which depend on the subject and perspectives positions of the viewer.

Members of different nations, classes, regions, political ideologies, races, gender, and sexual preferences are reading texts differently. This makes the cultural studies to give reasons why viewers interpret texts in different and even conflicting ways. Everything in our lives takes place in media, and our participation as audiences in media contributes to chances of survival. This kind of life is coming into terms with the use of media machines and messages in bars, shopping malls, households, workplaces, restaurants, and any other places in today’s world.

It is shown by the research conducted in United States, Finland, Netherlands, South Korea, and Brazil that we spend most of our time using media and how media has been a regular activity of everyday life Seel (2012).

The consumption of media takes regularly alongside with its production. It is considered that the fusion of using activities and media making have taken place in the context of socio-cultural convergence. This is where human activity and aliveness converged in continuous and concurrent exposure to immersion and use in media. It should be clear that media is not a chunk of content and type technology occupying the world around us. This is a view, which considers media as external agents affecting us in many ways. Today, appropriation and uses of media are seen as fused with everyone people aspire to be, everything people do, and everywhere people are staying. Media life perspective is seen as part of a rich tradition in examining the relationship between society, nature, and technology as less or more symbiotic, recombinant, and integrated.

Media in previous generations referred to magazines, books, and newspaper but today’s media includes an explosion of global networking and online systems as well as music culture that has moved beyond to including selling and marketing of culture, products and lifestyle. Many movies are released not simply as movies but rather carefully orchestrated campaigns of television promotions, clothing lines, soundtracks, online, and print. What individuals are doing when practicing their lives in media is illustrated by a tendency to keep people separate from what they do with media. This challenge has brought the media theory back to the study of media studies.

When the concept of globalisation ascended to most fashionable buzzwords of contemporary academic and political debate, it began to stimulate effects in art field. The media construct and provide access to social problems for many audiences in the world and in turn, it has been a social problem in view of their complex and multiple effects where many are negative. Many critics and theorists for the promotion of homophobia, racism, violence, sexism, and other social phenomena blame media Bishop (2005). Problems related to media also involve advertising manipulation, promotion of excessive materialism and consumerism, and harmful media influence on youth and children. Research shows that media effects in these areas has been highly contested and mixed.

It has also been proved by researchers that media has social effects and helps in reproduction of number of social problems while other studies show claims of trying to escape the negative effects or confirming that there are positive effect on media. Mass media occupy a large portion of leisure time, people spend most of their time watching television, and they can find some time for cinema, newspapers, magazines and radio. Children spend almost the same time they spend in school or even with family and friends. Home, friends, and school are considered major socializing influences on children. There are huge debates surrounding the possible findings and effects of mass media both against and those in favour. The question of effects is raised with an urgency derived from the public rather than academic agenda, this with simplicity which is inappropriate to the complexity of this issue.

The possibility of the effects is seen as challenging to individual autonomy and respect. Cultural studies promotes media pedagogy and a multiculturalist politics which aims at making people sensitive on how relations off domain and power are encoded in cultural texts like those in films and television. It can also specify how audiences resist the dominant meanings encoded and produce in their own alternative and critical thinking. Media culture shows how cultural media indoctrinate and manipulates us, and therefore empowers people to resisting the dominant meanings in cultural media and producing their own meanings. It can point to moments of criticism and resistance in cultural media and therefore helping in promoting developments of more critical consciousness Zurbrugg (1997).

Critical cultural studies presented in some articles analyses and develop concepts, which enable readers to analytically separate the artefacts of the contemporary cultural media. This enables them acquire power in their cultural environment. New media bring analytical challenges and reinforcing the old challenges. The distinct characteristics of the new media are; many-to-many communication, globalization, interactivity, and digital convergence. Face to face, communication does not need a mouse because it is interactive and simultaneous. New media technologies should be tested in their novelty not against the old but in both the past and present. The power exercised in global capitalism cannot be simply ignored after entering the new media age and venture into cyberspace. This is because knowledge is still grounded in experience. The new media offers choices and later create dilemmas to theorists as well as users.

Technological change is not separated from ideologies and ideology because it disguises and masks remain of material interest even in the innocence of the internet. The social impacts of mass media was evident in 1920s, when the motion pictures were charged by the critics as having negative influence on children. In 1928, Motion Picture Research Council sponsored a series of studies on movies influence on children. They had a support from Payne Fund Organization, a philanthropic organization. After examining attitude change, information gain, film content, and influence in behaviour, they concluded that movies were important sources of behaviour, attitude, and information for children. Furthermore, children learned many things, which had antisocial overtones. Joseph Klapper 1960 summarized all that was known after a study on social impacts of mass media and communication.

In contrast to what other researchers had pointed out, Klapper downplayed the critical effects of the media. He later concluded that individual existing predispositions and attitudes were mostly reinforced. In 1960s, the antisocial impact on media was shifted to television. Today the audience are being bombarded with the information they receive from movies, television, magazine, newspaper, internet, and radio. This shows that there is so much information we receive that it is difficult to differentiate the right from the wrong one Bennett (1995).

The youth are affected mostly by television and movies because they are visual media and everyone is accessed to them and provides highest level of stimulation. As they are very stimulating, it can be derived that movies and televisions have different kinds of effects on the viewers. What the viewers watch on the movies and television would contribute in shaping and determining their attitudes on what they hold and what they are against.

These programs will determine our attitudes towards different issues in life. For example, after watching different professionals participating in their duties, we can change our careers and adapt the ones we watch. In addition, when children wearing different make-ups and fashionable clothes are shown on television programs, children watching them will automatically start to accept and believe in these ideas too. Television and movies contributes in creation of many stereotypes, which will stick to our minds because we are viewing them everywhere we go. These images influence people to form certain attitudes, notions, ideas, and even stereotypes towards the events and people who are around them.

This is done by presenting what their controllers want them to see and what might be even not necessarily true. Television, movies, and films provide necessary materials out of which viewers use them to form their identities. This has created a sense of what we mean as viewers to ourselves. For example, how we feel being female or male, which class, race or ethnicity we belong, and our sexuality. The most important thing people can derive from the media is that from other cultures which cause them to misinterpret and form false assumptions about people from different cultures. Media is where we get to know how we can think, behave, believe, feel, and fear people from other cultures. For instance, most action movies show women in trouble and men go to rescue and save them. This will show a picture where we believe women are of weaker sex and depend on men to deliver and save their life.

From the media and its artefacts, we learn how to react or respond to people from different cultures and social groups. In many television shows and movies, African Americans are depicted as being best in sports. This is the reason why we believe that the black people are better than white when watching different games. In addition, on the televisions shows we watch Speedy Gonzales, which portray Mexicans as being lazy Lamberti (2005). This will automatically affect us and we assume that all the Mexicans are lazy due to how they are depicted in movies and on television. From this experience, it is very important to consider how to portray different groups of people on the media because it will be their identity in the eyes of the public. This will not lead us in concluding that movies and televisions shows cannot be used to display good things. Many movies and television shows are working for the sole purpose of spreading and providing information to the audience.

These include channels like National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and documentary films about events of various issues in our lives. This represents the positive side of the media where it is used in a responsible, factual, and focus manner. Most of the times televisions are watched is when giving news and not views. All the information that is contained in movies and knowledge-based televisions are mostly facts. This means the public are given facts that they have the option of evaluating themselves. This is very important unlike popular media, which works to instil views and opinions into the heads of the viewers.

Movies and television shows also instil different ideas into the viewers and shape their opinions and attitudes towards various issues and events at hand. When news are not transmitted responsibly on the television, they can cause many problems. For example, the trial of King Rodney in 1990s where police officers were filmed beating Rodney and the film was spread all over the media. This caused many problems in United States as riot erupted all over the country. This is where the responsibility of the televisions shows should be regulated before broadcasting.

Some images can cause serious problems if they are not discreet. Popular culture and media reproduce the existing relations between subordinate and dominant groups Mitchell & Hansen (2010). This proves that culture produced for mass consumption is seeking to eliminate and end the difference and make certain classist, colonial representation, racist, and sexist to seem natural.

Authors try to make ideas about gender, race, and class to be fixed and authoritative because culture representation is natural and normal. Authors use various media types like toys, movies, music videos, and cartoons to challenge racist representation and gender stereotypes.

Movies and television shows have various effects in the society and specifically our lives. Therefore, we should be in a position to understand that what we see on movies and televisions are there in order for us to change our minds on certain opinions and views. This is the personal social control which we should practice everyday life. In the recent research conducted by Weaver (1998), shows that people spend more time on the internet than the time, they spend watching movies and televisions Brauchler & Postill (2010). Television viewing suffers mostly because internet usage is evening when most people are watching televisions.

The Stanford study indicated that among the respondents, interviewed 65% of them spend little time watching television but they spend more than 10hours per week on the internet. The times spend on the newspaper and magazines were negative compared to the internet usage. Radio listening is not affected mostly by the internet because radio listening is done mainly in cars. Internet is growing in an alarming rate as the most reliable and affordable source of media all over the world. Currently we must be in a position to understand different factors, which lead to the production of movies and televisions and their implications on different sections of the society and cultures Cherubini & Huang (2009).

Media culture today tends to undermine the interest of the minority in order for the satisfaction of capitalist values. It also shows different efforts existing between different classes, races, social groups and gender. We must fully comprehend and understand the effects and nature of the production techniques of media artefacts and their impacts on different groups of people. We must look in to lines and understand the working of media culture to change our lives, preferences and attitudes leading to social control at the hands of the media.

Article name: Media Artefacts Affect Our Conception Of Reality Media essay, research paper, dissertation