The Media And The Socialization Process: How You Are Impacted By The Media. Credible Sources, Good Quotes, Great Content!!

1418 words - 6 pages

In order to be susceptible to the media, as individuals, we must have an understanding of not only ourselves, but also the world around us. It helps to guide us in making decisions about our everyday lives including: activities, relationships, etc. The media has an immense impact on Socialization, which is a process through which culturally valued norms of behavior are passed on from one generation to the other (Henslin, 2007). The mass media, as defined by Henslin (2007) is "forms of communication, such as radio newspapers, and television that are directed to mass audiences" (Henslin, 2007, p. 77), is a powerful tool and a vital element among the social institutions. The concept of the mass media and the impact it has on the socialization process may be looked at from a variety of different angels with respect to the different sociological theories that exist. From the functionalist view, I intend on explaining the impact of the mass media on the socialization process.Society shapes the individual because we are all products of our upbringings and learn through socialization, what our beliefs are, what we agree on personally, shared beliefs, and the understanding of the "norm." Through our primary interaction with others beginning at home and continuing onto school, college, and work, our beliefs are not always set in stone and can change through time, growth and the interaction with others once outside the family. It seems to me that I would be a Functionalist who views the society as a whole unit that is composed of various parts.As defined by the textbook, "functional analysis is a theoretical framework in which society is viewed as composed of various parts, each with a function that, when fulfilled, contributes to society's equilibrium" (Henslin, 2007, p. 24). It focuses on the structures that emerge in society and the functions that these structures perform in the operation of society as a whole. Functionalists see shared norms and values as being fundamental to society. They focus on social order based on understood agreements and view social change as occurring in a slow and orderly fashion (Reese, 2004).Emile Durkheim was a functionalist who "viewed society as being composed of many parts, each with its own function. When all the parts of society fulfill their functions, society is in a "normal" state" (Henslin, 2007, p. 24). Functionalism assumes that society is a system whose various sections work together to encourage balance. It assumes that all aspects of society have a certain function. Although, if a part of this mechanism fails, it is not necessary that the whole society will fail. "To understand society, functionalists say that we need to look at both structure (how the parts of a society fit together to make the whole) and function (what each part does, how it contributes to society)" (Henslin, 2007, p. 24). According to Henslin (2007), another Functionalist known as Robert Merton claimed that there are functions, known as...

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