Media- topic 5- relationship between the media, their content and presentation and audiences.


Media- topic 5- 1

What are the methodological problems of researching media effects?

  • Difficult to establish wether is is the media or other social factors, that cause the alledged effects.
  • It is impossible to free the effects of the media on audiences of things like violence, stereotypes consumerism, or the influence of the dominant ideology.
  • It is hard to establish with the spread of the new media, which particluar media cause any alleged effects.
  • It is impossible to establish what peoples beliefs, vlaues and behaviour might have been like withhout any media influence.
  • In a media-saturated society, everyone is exposed to some form of the media. 
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Media- topic 5- 2

What is the hypodermic syrige model and what does it suggest?

It is a simple model and suggests that the media acts like a hypodermic syringe injecting media texts into the veis of media audiences. They see audiences as unthinking, passive recievers of media texts, who are unable to reject the messages injected into them. In this view media messaged fill adience with the dominant ideology, sexist and racist images and scenes of violence, which th auudience then immediately acts on. For example, seeing violence on TV and then going out and attacking somone, or viewing *********** and then going on to abuse women, as radical feminists have suggested. It is a simple model which suggests that the media causes immediate changes in peoples behaviour. 

How can the hypodermic syringe model be criticsed?

  • It assumes that all audiences are passive, which is not the case. E.g. after a horror film someone my be scared and others may find in exciting and funny.
  • It ignores the impact of other areas of society, e.g. family violence may make someone violent, rather than violence in the media.
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Media- topic 5- 3

What is the two-step flow model?

This model f media indluence suggests that the media still have quite strong effects on audiences, but they do not simply passively and sirectly react to media content, and wil react in a variety of different ways. The key factor effecting reponses are opinion leaders in the social networks to which media audiences belong. Opinion leaders are those respected members of any social group who get informaiton and form views from the media, who lead opinion and discussion in their social groups. The two-step flow model suggests that opinion leaders select, interpret and filter media texts befoe the reach mass audiences and form their own opinions and interpretations of them. Opinion leaders then selectively pass on these messages, which contant their own opinions and interpretations to others in their social group. Audiences therefore receive and are influenced by alterted mesages recieved from opinion leaders. Members of the groups may then in turn, pass on their opinion to others in a chain reaction leading from one person to another. 

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Media- topic 5- 4

How can the two-step flow model be criticised?

  • Most of our reccomendations do not come from friends or family but from the media itself. E.g. netflix reccomendations.
  • It suggests that people are vulnerable to the influence and manipulation by opinion leaders, it does not recongise that people have view, opinions and experiences of their own on which to base their view of media content. 
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Media- topic 5- 5

What is the cultural effects model- the drip drip effect?

The cultural effects moel recognises that the media are owned and aveing influenced by the dominant and most powerful groups in society, and their interests strongly infleuence te conent od the media. Therefore the conent is in keeping with the dominant ideololgy. However, it accets that audiences interpret the media thy consume and may respond in different ways depending on their social characteristics such as social class. While the majority are likely to support and accept the media content, others might be critical or reject that content for  example women may resiist gender stereotyping. Nonetheless, the cultural effects model syyggests that the media gradually influences audiences over a period of time- a drip drip effect, an ever present process of brrainwashing which gradually shapes peoples taken for grantd common sense ideas and assumptions of their everyday view of the world. Through this process media audiences coe to accpet the dominant ideology as common sense and the only sensible way of seeing the world, therefore cultural-hegemony is establihed and maintained. 

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Media- topic 5- 6

How can the cultural effects model be criticised?

  • Social media allows people to be critical of messages in the media.
  • People may already have views which are reflected in the media rather than the other way around.
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Media- topic 5- 7

What is selective filtering?

Klapper sugests that there are three filters people must applt in their approaches and interpretations of the media:

  • Selective exposure- this filter means people choose what they wish to watch, read or listen to in the media, and they may only choose media messages which fit in with theirexisiting views and interests. 
  • Selective perception- this filter means people will react differently to the same message, and may choose to accept or reject a media message depending on whether or not it fits with their own views and interests.
  • Selective retention- this filter means people will forget materal thhat is not in line with their views and interests nd willt end to remeber onlt those media messahes with which they agree.

How can selective filtering be critcised?

The media may influence peoples views and change their mind.

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Media- topic 5- 8

What is the view of the Glagow media group on the media and media audiences?

Philo accepts that audiences are active an can in some cases be critical of the media. However, he stresses that GMG research over mnay years shows that the media has a great deal of power in forming the way audiences view the world, and that most people accept the domiinant media account unless te have access to other forms of information. The work of the GMG shows that the media play a key role in focusing public interest on particular subjects through agenda setting. Philo points out that it can be difficult to criticise a sominant account if there is little access to alternative sources of information, and in most cases, the medias role in agenda setting means those alternative sources are simply not avaliable to most people.

How can the GMG view be critcised?

  • We now have more of a range of media so we can get a variety of pintd on one issues.
  • People do not believe mainstream news anymore because we are aware of fake news.
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Media- topic 5- 9

What is the uses and gratifications model?

The uses and gratifications model starts with a view that mmedia audiences are thining, active and creative humanbeings, who use the media in a vaetuer if ways for their own pleasures and interests- aka gratifications. The model suggests a variety of uses and gratifications of the media, it may be used for:

  • Diversion- for leisure, entertainment and relaxation, to escape daily rountines.
  • Personal relationships- to keep up  with family and friends, or compasnsions thrpugh identification with media communities such as Eastenders. 
  • Personal identity- to explore and confirm peoples own identiies or to seek out new sources of indentity.
  • Surviellance- to access informayion about things that might affect users,  to find out about the world or to help them do things, accomplish something or make their mind up about issues that may affect them. E.g. keeping up with current affairs or seeking information though facebook.
  • Bsckgrounf wallpaper-  while doing other things. E.g. having facebook open when doing revision.
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Media- topic 5- 10

How can the uses and gratifications model be criticised?

  • Overestimates the power of audiences and their ability to choose media content and influences.

How does violent media occur?

The new media means violent imagery is found everywere and people can access it whenever they want, it is almost impossible to control. Digital technology means media violence is also interactive- people not only consume violent imges, but also take part in that violence as they play computer games or upload violent imagery to youtube and other websites. 

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Media- topic 5- 11

Can media violence create real life violence?

There are often moral panics about the effect of violent media, such as violent video games. Media violence is often blamed for increasing crime and violence in society. For example, in thee case of the Jamie bulger murder, the judge suspected that the exposure to violent films may be part of the reason as to why the 2 10 year old boys murdered Jamie. Newsons report showed how violent media could create violence in real life. Newsons report conculsiveely establishd a link between video violence and reak world violence. Similary, a reviiew by Anderson et al, calimed that research showed that media violence increased the likelihood of agressive and violent behviour both immediately and in the long term. 

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Media- topic 5- 12

What are the competeing claims about the effects of violence in the media?

  • Copycatting- the idea individuals will replicate violence that they have seen throughout the media.
  • Catharsis- media violence reduces violence because people are able to live out their agression through the media rather than in the real world.
  • Desensitization- repeated exposure of media violence will have a drip drip effect on individuals where they gradually get used to the media violence and see it as normal.
  • Sensitization- exposure to the violence in the media can make people more aware of the serious consequences of violent behviour.
  • Media violence causes psychological distrubances- watching media violence can cuase nightmares and anxiety, particulary amongst children.
  • Exaggeration of fear of violence- people who witness a lot of violence inthe media are more likely to believe that this is reality. Therefroe, they are more likely to be cocnerend about the threat of violence in real life whether justified or not. 
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