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Media Influences On Adolescent: Social Norms And Identity

1056 words - 5 pages

Adolescence is a time where an individual’s sense of identity starts to emerge and a majority of their social norms are perceived. In this day and age, adolescents live in a world heavily submerged around media, which plays an important and habitual part of an adolescents' life. In a national survey conducted in 2009, adolescents on average spend more than 7.5 hours using some sort of media a day (Rideout, Foehr, Roberts, 2010). With this unprecedented access to the world, individuals are learning and connecting with many different people and ideas through the media (Brown & Bobkowsi, 2011). With different forms of media playing an influential part in an adolescents’ life, their perceived social norms may be seriously influenced. “Adolescents are influenced by the content they are exposed, with respect to their knowledge about the world, their attitudes and values, and their behavior” (Steinberg, 2012). Media could lead to negative perceived social norms for individuals, since adolescence is an important time because a sense of identity is emerging. Those assumed norms might have an affect or dictate an individual’s identity. These false norms can be possibly prevented through education and awareness therefore the youth should be taught the fallacies of the media through MLE (Media Literacy Education).
Social norms are beliefs or rules set in place by society to define what is considered to be appropriate behaviors or cues. With our modern society, everyone is expected to conform to the same set of rules especially adolescents. Media can alter or structure an adolescent interests, motivations and views about the world. Also researchers have argued that descriptive norms are the most significant indicators risk behaviors (Beal, Ausiello, & Perrin, 2001; D’Amico & McCarthy, 2006). With media playing such a significant role in an adolescents life, their perceived norms can be greatly influenced by the media. Research has shown that the media may contribute to negative perceived norms regarding drinking and tobacco use, drug use and also false ideas of relationships including early sexual behaviors (Brown and Bobkowski, 2011).
Research has greatly indicated and proven that media exposure has an impact on the normative perceptions of substance use and relationship behaviors among adolescents. Studies have shown that media content and patterns of usage are considerably related to adolescent perception of gender roles, romantic relationships, and sexual behavior. Repeated contact or subjection to sexualize subject matter on television or different forms of media has been related to individuals perceived normative gender roles (Herrett- Skjellum & Allen, 1996). Negative and socially impaired beliefs about relationships, for example such as ‘‘fate brings soul-mates together, disagreement is destructive to a relationship, partners should be able to sense each other’s thoughts and feelings’’ (Holmes, 2007). Also with persistent disclosure to sexually...

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