Discuss The Role Of Media Studies In Making Sense Of The Political, Economic, And Cultural Meaning Of Everyday Life

1250 words - 5 pages

The term 'media' is defined by the Australian Oxford Dictionary as 'mass communications, especially newspapers and broadcasting, regarded collectively.' More specifically, the media is made up of the mass circulation press, the cinema, radio, television and recently, the Internet. The media constantly exposes us, as the audience, to an enormous quantity of ideas about elements of everyday life. Among other things, we are exposed to ideas about politics, culture, and economics, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and we are challenged to make sense of what exactly they mean to us as individuals, and members of society.It is through previously established theoretical traditions and research ...view middle of the document...

Cunningham and Turner describe briefly the way in which media shapes our way of thinking and allows us to further our ideas and opinions on particular issues. "We learn about world politics from our newspapers, radio news broadcasts and TV; while we may be aware that the views we receive are necessarily brief and partial, they play an important part in our conception of the world." (The Media and Communications in Australia, 2002)It is difficult to determine exactly how he media affects its audience, as the results are different between individuals. For example, drug use in a movie may deter someone from wanting to use drugs, whilst tempting another to try them. This shows how vital it is to study the media and the particular ways in which it affects its audience.It is essential that we continue to try and make sense of exactly how the media influences our society in order to prevent negative effects. When doing this, we should look into theoretical traditions of media is history such as the American 'empirical traditions and Western 'Marxism'J.B Thompson states his ideas about the important role media plays in self-formation, "individuals are able to gain access to new forms of knowledge which are no longer transmitted face-to-face. "Individuals' horizons of understanding are broadened... shaped increasingly by the expanding networks of mediated communication." (The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media, 1995). This proves the importance of media in everyday life in our society. We are assisting in shaping our own ideas and opinions through the media, in much the same way that we are influenced by people around us.When speaking of such influences, we must examine further the specific elements of everyday life and the way in which theoretical traditions have influenced how we think of the media to this day. Politics are all around us. Political issues can exist in the workplace and at home, as well as in our local, state and federal governments. The general public relies on the media to communicate political messages that could possibly effect how society is run. Unfortunately, the concept of politics controls a lot of what see in the media, and often it is difficult to determine what political content may have been manipulated in order to influence the audience's views.Political economy "one of the strongest and longest traditions in media studies." (Cunningham and Turner, The Media & Communications in Australia 2002)The economic meaning of everyday life relates to the production, development, and management of material wealth, as of a country,...

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