Media's Effect on Society's Perspectives

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More so than any other aspects of modern life, the mass media determines the public opinions on issues in the United States and around the world. Many different forms of media exist in developed nations along with many assessments about each of these innovations and their respective impacts on society. As with all sociological issues, there exist four major divisions of perspective: the interactionalist, functionalist, feminist, and conflict theorists. Each of these groups shares a few opinion connections with the others but all employ their own unequivocal views which establish them distinctly from one another. From Johannes Gutenberg's printing press ushering in the Renaissance to Timothy Berners-Lee's—the MIT professor often credited with the invention of the Internet—proposal of the World Wide Web bringing about the modern technological age, media's impact remains undeniable; major developments in media tend to set in motion some of the most drastic changes in lifestyles. However, a problem with media technologies arises from an inability to preëmptively recognize their full potential and possible misuse in the future. A major concern to interactionalist theorists derives from the underutilization of these innovations by those who care only to know a minuscule amount of information about specific subjects. This dilemma often leads to the deprivation of one's potential proficiency about a topic despite a belief that they acquired all necessary knowledge. A problem occurs when one's lack of information leads one to become less tolerant of others. Conversely, interactionalists view television optimistically when used as a social networking device, particularly when a group of friends or family converges around the telev... ... middle of paper ... ...dies by Stice et al, and Morry and Staska show that television and magazines—respectively—have an impact on the body types the men and women wish to have. The problem of course comes from men or women take extreme measures in order to achieve a desired look and put themselves at risk. While the body image ideal leading to poor decisions may not perplex many people, the ability of the media to lead one to feel a heightened perception of Adolf Hitler as a human being can surely lead to some surprise. The movie My Fuehrer – The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler, according to a study by Baumert, Hofmann, and Blum, intends to humanize Hitler and lead highly empathetic viewers into feeling an increased perception of the man as a general human being. This changed perspective may make no difference in terms of history but certainly proves the media a powerful entity.
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