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Chapter 9
Ecology of the Mass Media
Do media shape culture, reflect it, or
transform it?
• What messages are being received via
curious media and what are their effects on
• Do media stimulate critical thinking or inhibit
• Is media access to information a cultural
equalizer or a cultural divider (segregating the
information-rich and the information-poor)?
Fig. 9-1, p. 351
Understanding the mass media
• “Media”: the plural of medium refers to a type
of communication.
• Mass media: shapers and spreaders of
Chronosystem influences on the mass
• Even though media technology has changed,
concerns regarding its influences on children
remain the same
Macrosystem influences on mass
• The mass communication system in the U.S.
is characterized by private ownership and the
drive for cooperate profits
• As long as the broadcast media in the U.S.
are designed to attract audiences to whom to
sell products, they will convey messages that
are likely to influence attitudes and behavior
Screen media:
• Concerns about television and movies
– How have TV and movies affected our lives
– Effects on social and physical activities
• Family rituals and interactions
• Physical activity
– Effects on the perception of reality
– Effects on imagination
Screen media:
– Effects on the prevalence of violence
• Observational learning
• Attitudes
• Arousal
– Effects of advertising
• Gullibility
Screen media:
– Perpetuation of values
• Behavior
• Sexuality
• Stereotypes
Screen media:
– Effects on children’s cognitive development
• Reading and communication skills
• Information processing
• Academic achievement
Fig. 9-2, p. 372
Screen media:
• Mediating influences on socialization
– Selective attention
– Adult involvement
Mesosystem influences
• Community-media linkages
– The Public Broadcasting System (PBS)
– Cable and Satellite television
– Recording devices
– Public Interest Groups
Mesosystem influences
• School-media linkages
• Peer-media linkages
• Family-media linkages
Print Media:
• How do print media influence children’s
– Cognitive development
– Language and reading development
– Cognitive development
– Psychosocial development
Books, socialization, and development
levels of children
• Pre-operational stage (about age 2 to 7)
• Concrete operational stage (about age 7 to 11
or 15)
• Formal operational stage (about age 11 to 15)
Audio media: popular music
• Today’s popular music vs television and
books: expression of the youth culture and
also that it alienates many adults.
• Popular music often illustrates social values
of that time.
• The question that remains is whether the
songs reflect the values of a particular
generation or whether they influence that
generation’s values
Interactive and multimedia
• Computers and the Internet
• Computerized video/CD games