Impact of Mass Media
Pop Culture and Race, Ethnicity, Sexual Morality, and Gender
Today culture and society are affected by mass media. Different media systems exist in different civilizations, and how the government regulates them impacts those communities’ operations. Media messages are just one of the many ways that communication shapes and organizes society. Additionally, mass media outlets can share information about artistic creations and cultures. Mason and Imobhio (2019) state that still, there are cultural preferences among people regarding media intake.
Media businesses frequently pick which stories to publish and which to promote, particularly when it comes to mass media that is expensive to produce, such as major movie pictures, big video game releases, and worldwide news products. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the paradigms and views of Bell Hooks on the impact of mass media and its role in the promotion of certain images.
Do you agree or disagree with hooks’ views?
After watching Bell Hooks’ “Cultural criticism and transformation” and reading about it, I understood how the media influences our knowledge, beliefs, and interactions. I’m becoming more conscious of how crucial the media is to how we perceive other people. Bell Hooks gave some enlightening insights regarding our culture and the direction it is heading in terms of the creation of unfavorable stereotypes (Biana, 2020). I liked Bell Hooks’ comment that we must become “enlightened witnesses.” In other words, we must raise our level of awareness of the environment we live in. She noted that the films, TV shows, and books we consume were all deliberately made by someone.
Of course, every movie and TV show has a director, producer, and writer, just like there are authors and publishers in literature. But then it dawned on me that these individuals are actively choosing whether or not to perpetuate stereotypes. Some of these individuals actively choosing to uphold and establish stereotypes do not even understand why they are doing it.
I concur with the argument that the media should pick out and highlight key features of stories to support a specific perspective. I firmly believe that this is one of the most controversial ideas of media effects, despite claims to the contrary. According to Bell Hooks, media and media figures perpetuate unchanging beliefs for their audience (Biana, 2020). For instance, the media created the perception that black men are generally aggressive and sexist based on the case of OJ Simpson. I do not think this one incident should govern the behavior of all black guys.
Does the media favor equality by equating racial, ethnic, and gender distinctions, or does it favor inequality by excluding and highlighting differences?
The media has become a vital part of our lives, yet portraying some races, notably the white ones, as superior to other races, encourages inequality. The media’s role in reintegrating women into traditional gender roles after World War II was one of the first things Bell Hooks highlighted (Baptista & de Almeida, 2020). It shows how significant and powerful the media can be in shaping our lives, whether individually or collectively. In this case, it so occurred that women started redefining themselves as more than competent in staying at home. The use of the media as a tool of oppression against women was evident in this instance, as in several other instances, according to Hooks.
The mainstream media portrayed women as being created to cook, clean, and serve men during a period when one of the most effective movements to remind people that women were more than sexual objects was taking place (Baptista & de Almeida, 2020). Moreover, the media frequently portrayed violence and oppression against women in films. As a result, the stereotype that women were helpless and easily vulnerable to violence was reinforced.
A subject that is disrespectful, repulsive, and depressing. Women being portrayed as easily exploitable sexual objects is an erroneous notion (Baptista & de Almeida, 2020). Additionally, Black males have frequently been depicted in the media as unable to perform the majority of tasks performed by white men, which is untrue.
Does mass media allow for the genuine expression of racial, ethnic, and sexual identity, or does it perpetuate the ideas of white, masculine corporate culture? Give instances to back up your claims.
The promotion of particular images relies heavily on the media. Because of how the media has influenced them, many individuals now assume that white culture is more powerful than other cultures. As long as white people are shown as strong and able to exert control over others, the media perpetuates the ideas of the white male corporate culture. (Boomgaarden & Song, 2019).
Hooks brought up the notion that white culture is supposed to be “wonder bread” while black culture is made to be “edgy” and “strange” (Baptista & de Almeida, 2020). Being described as exotic is deemed good, especially in today’s culture, where it’s considered one of the nicest things you can be to appear foreign and exotic. Moreover, movies consistently portray black men as inferior because of how weak their culture is compared to white people.
In a nutshell, the media is significant in all facets of our life. It affects how we relate to, view, and perceive other people. Additionally, it controls how we spend our lives. Even if the media is a vital part of our lives, stereotypes are reinforced, and preconceived notions are encouraged. The media have tremendously aided the reproduction of stereotypical gender, ethnicity, and race portrayals. Even worse, because it has consistently portrayed some communities and cultures as superior to others, the media encourages societal inequality. However, every culture should be respected rather than exploited and valued by everybody.
Boomgaarden, H. G., & Song, H. (2019). Media use and its effects in a cross-national perspective. Kölner Zeitschrift Für Soziologie Und Sozialpsychologie, 71(S1), 545–571. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11577-019-00596-9
Baptista, M. M., & de Almeida, A. R. A. (2020). Gender Performativities in Democracy Under Threat. Estudos de Literatura Brasileira Contemporânea, 50(424).
Biana, H. T. (2020). The Philosophical Heritage of bell hooks’ Radical Feminism and Cultural Criticism. Scientia-sanbeda.org. https://scientia-sanbeda.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/vol-9-no-2-biana.pdf
Mason, J. L., & Imobhio, E. (2019). Media literacy, education, and a global pandemic: Lessons learned in a gender and pop culture classroom. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 8(3).