Media and culture

Media and culture

“Media and Culture” The Encarta Dictionary defines media as “The various means of mass communication thought of as a whole, including television, radio, magazines, and newspapers, together with the people involved in their production.” Almost everything we watch or read is controlled by the media. The way certain groups of people are portrayed by the media has a profound impact on our culture. For years homosexuality in the media has been a taboo subject. There were many homosexual actors and actresses but if they were to go public with their sexual orientation they surely would have been fired. It wasn’t until the last few years that we saw a shift in the media status quo. Groundbreaking television shows like “Ellen”, “Will and Grace”, and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” have helped many people come to grips with their sexuality and embrace it. The media does not always have a positive effect on culture, sometimes in the case of minorities for example, it can be just the opposite. Minorities have been treated badly by the media for decades. This ill treatment has led to many stereotypes that many people believe to be true. The media’s depictions of minorities have severely impacted race relations in a negative way. The media would have us believe that most Mexicans are illegal aliens or that most African Americans belong to gangs or are on welfare, or that most Asian people are geniuses. Many minorities see these stereotypes broadcast by a media that is dominated by white people. This creates the perception that all white people think this way and has a detrimental effect on race relations. The media has also affected our standards for measuring beauty. When ever you look in a magazine or turn on the television you are immediately bombarded with images of gorgeous men and women. The media tells us that this is what beauty is. Many people believe if they don’t look like that they are ugly. These people s…


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