Diversity and Society and Diversity in the Meda
The media is an integral part of modern day society, our lives can be
shaped by it, and our views can be a product of the media's influence.
Society is greatly diverse in terms of views, class and ethnicity,
this diversity is reflected in the media.
Pluralism is a sociological theory that acknowledges media diversity.
Pluralists believe that the media offers a wide range of views to
cater for various groups in society, and it is true to say that there
is a great deal of evidence for this. Different newspapers reflect
different political opinions, for example The Daily Mail reflects
right wing conservative views whereas The Guardian is seen as
reflecting more left wing liberal views. The media relfects diversity
in other ways, for example offering services to different ethnic
groups like The BBC Asian Network for the asian community, and
offering coverage of variation of sports. The media relies on its
customers, they have to give them what they want or they simply wont
buy their product or service.
Marxists have a very different outlook on the media to Pluralists.
They believe that the media is used as a method of ideological control
and that it is used to transmit capitalist ideas to us. It has come to
the point where we ourselves do not know any different, brainwashing
by the media has led to us to not know any different. They also see
the media as a creator of false class consciousness, distracting us
form important issues in life so that we don't realise our
exploitation at the hands of capitalism. In Marx's Dominant Ideology
Thesis he writes that the dominant class use the media to convey there
ideas and uphold their position in society, media output reflects
capitalist interests. The media uses direct manipulation to encourage
us to support the system. A test of pluralism and certain validation
of Marxism is the recent case of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch
has controlling interest in many British newspapers such as The Sun
and The Times, and also in the multi-national television company Sky.
He made a bid to buy the football club Manchester United. This move
was widely opposed by other media groups, but all of the papers owned
by Murdoch showed support for the takeover. It is obvious that this
was an attempt by him to win public support for his proposed action.
There are other variations of Marxist theories such as Hegemonic
Marxism, where it is thought that content of the media is not under
direct control of owners and that other institutions such as schools
and the church are also used to manipulate society. Antonio Gransci
was the leading sociologist in support of this theory who thought that
the media was a state of 'physical and mental control' and that it
replaced it had replaced the church as the main...