Television And Movies Essay

1920 words - 8 pages


“Televisions and movies, moreover, were suspected of being able to undermine the very fabric of society, deforming young minds and debasing cultural heritage” (Leah & Sonia 2006: 55-56). The viewpoint postulated by Leah & Sonia here can be related to the claim we would like to elaborate below: do media undermine communities? Whereas we should notice the verb “suspect” in their claim, it implicates that they are not sure about whether the undermining effects are underway or not. Thus this paper is going to assess the reliability of this undermining process. Before we start, we would like to mention two notions, media and community. Actually, both media and community are ambiguous concepts. Meyrowitz mentions that “Media scholars have a rather limited shared vocabulary to describe exactly what it is they are studying about media or about a particular medium” (Meyrowitz 1993: 55). This is the reason why we choose televisions and movies as a branch of media to analyze, we want to make the analyses specifically. As to community; “There were ninety-four discrete definitions of the term by the mid-1950s” (Hillery 1955: 111). Here we quote a definition of community from Wikipedia, “A group of interacting people living in a common location. The word can also refer to the national community or global community”. Considering it would be too ambitious to discuss all the aspects of community; we only choose the cultural heritage and identification of national community as our objects to assess. To make it more concrete and operable, we select China as a study case.

The fading of national community

During the speech of Colorado College's 125th Anniversary Symposium, Huntington points out: “The twenty-first century is at least beginning as the century of culture, with the differences, interactions, and conflicts among cultures taking center stage” (Huntington 1999). Huntingdon is right. States use media as a vehicle to represent their cultures and identities; thus media are posited to have an effect on establishing an identification to impact the national community of other states; the flow of culture towards other states can be considered as another type of “cultural intervention beyond nation-building” (Utz 2005: 638). The national community are exposed under various media logics based on different ideologies, it is difficult for national community to maintain their own identification without distracting by the other cultures embedded in their daily life. “Individuals have ceased to be themselves and are now merely centres where the general tendencies meet, mass culture discloses the fictitious character of the individual” (Adorno & Max 1993:42).

In any case, national community are more likely to be threatened under the cultural waves, especially the young generation who are going to inherit the cultural heritage; they have not built an specific value about culture and identification, the over-exposure under the cultural waves may...

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