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Media Use And Consumption: Inside And Outside The Home

1537 words - 6 pages

For a long time, the domestic household has been dominated by women whereas men would have dominated the life and work outside of the home. In this essay I will discuss how media use and consumption in the home can be different to those in any other context. The role that gender can play in the living-room, and how difference in programs on the television can effect the difference in audiences, all while taking time and era into consideration as a factor.

During the 1920s “other companies struggled to compete in the new radio market, and the basic characteristics of broadcasting industry emerged” (Spigel 1992 P: 29) before the arrival of television in the home environment, the radio used to like the “fire place” of the home, or public, audience received news about the war via radio broadcast the fastest. Radio also broadcast poplar programs like west end musicals, political discussions and series like “war of the worlds” these were all the thing that families sat around and enjoyed together, and people were able to make contact with stations to review shows, and nowadays some of the ways to interact with the radio broadcast is to request for songs or enter competitions or the “call in for advice” type radio programs. Before the rise of home entertainment, audiences receives forms of media by going to theatre or cinema, where the whole area is gathered with massive amount of people, these people can respond together or even have discussion after the viewing, it brought people together. We are now becoming more aware of the notion that consumption of media is becoming more and more privatised.

Since the invention entertainment media in the domestic household, such as the TV and radio, meanings of “family time” has changed significantly. Television is used as the main source of entertainment within modern society and households around the globe. Before it, family members entertained each other by participating in “family activities” such as board games like monopoly, scrabble and cluedo. Families would also go on day trips to places such as the beach, countryside and amusement parks. However television has become an activity that everybody can enjoy or "chill out" to without the hassle of using ones mental or physical abilities. The term “couch potato” has been widely popular within recent times, the term mainly describes the “American’s ambivalent attitude toward media” (Hoover, Clark and Alters. 2004. P: 145). The meaning of it suggests the concept of a waste of precious time, procrastination and the perception slowly dying in the head and their awareness falls to a minimum. All of these imply the mass consumption of the television and its effect, television has the potential to "dumb down" its audience, rendering them incapable of using their own creativity, it also renders them unable to move freely.

Consumption of media in the home is seen as not much of a family exercise post mid 90’s, television became more a purpose of private...

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