Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Theories of How Media Impacts Culture

Over the years, several theories have come to light concerning the relationship between media and culture. How does media and culture interact? Have we created a media culture where the two have merged and become indistinguishable from each other? I am convinced that media currently is more an originator of culture than merely a reflector of culture.

Media is an Originator of Culture

Media drives and creates culture by directly and indirectly impacting individuals’ attitudes, values, and behaviors as well as our institutions and collective, shared consciousness.

Media Functions as an Amplifier of Culture

Media searches for new cultural shifts, concepts, and trends, which are incorporated and reflected within the media and, in turn, the media acts as an amplifier to increase their strength and influence. The message then is communicated to the culture, which is accepted in greater numbers, which again is picked up by the media. And the process continues to repeat itself.

Media Identifies and Directs the Culture to Consider What is Important

Media does not tell us how to think but what to think about. When certain events or topics are incorporated into current media, they are elevated to an important status. By deciding not to cover certain events or by omitting or ignoring topics, media therefore conveys the idea that they are not important and are not worthy of our consideration or discussion.

Media is a Reflector of the Culture

Media has no direct impact on the culture, but merely reflects current views and opinions of our society. Media serves as a messenger and, therefore, is not responsible for its content.

The Medium is the Message

The medium or the media is an extension of our ideas, senses and thought processes. The extension will always bring about some form of change within the culture. This change is often unnoticed, misunderstood and not necessarily linked to the medium or the extension. We tend to focus on the content of the message but overlook the character of the medium or the process of change which ultimately occurs within our culture.

No comments:

Post a Comment