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Entertainment function

An obvious manifest function of media is its entertainment value. Most people, when asked why they watch television or go to the movies, would answer that they enjoy it. And the numbers certainly illustrate that. While 2012 Nielsen research shows a slight reduction of U.S. homes with televisions, the reach of television is still vast. And the amount of time spent watching is equally large. Clearly, enjoyment is paramount. On the technology side, as well, there is a clear entertainment factor to the use of new innovations. From online gaming to chatting with friends on Facebook, technology offers new and more exciting ways for people to entertain themselves.

Social norm functions

Even while the media is selling us goods and entertaining us, it also serves to socialize us, helping us pass along norms, values, and beliefs to the next generation. In fact, we are socialized and resocialized by media throughout our whole lives. All forms of media teach us what is good and desirable, how we should speak, how we should behave, and how we should react to events. Media also provide us with cultural touchstones during events of national significance. How many of your older relatives can recall watching the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger on television? How many of those reading this textbook followed the events of September 11 or Hurricane Katrina on television or the Internet?

Just as in Anderson and Bushman's (2011) evidence in the Violence in Media and Video Games: Does It Matter? feature, debate still exists over the extent and impact of media socialization. One recent study (Krahe et al. 2011) demonstrated that violent media content does have a desensitizing affect and is correlated with aggressive thoughts. Another group of scholars (Gentile, Mathieson, and Crick 2011) found that among children exposure to media violence led to an increase in both physical and relational aggression. Yet, a meta-analysis study covering four decades of research (Savage 2003) could not establish a definitive link between viewing violence and committing criminal violence.

It is clear from watching people emulate the styles of dress and talk that appear in media that media has a socializing influence. What is not clear, despite nearly fifty years of empirical research, is how much socializing influence the media has when compared to other agents of socialization, which include any social institution that passes along norms, values, and beliefs (such as peers, family, religious institutions, and the like).

Life-changing functions

Like media, many forms of technology do indeed entertain us, provide a venue for commercialization, and socialize us. For example, some studies suggest the rising obesity rate is correlated with the decrease in physical activity caused by an increase in use of some forms of technology, a latent function of the prevalence of media in society (Kautiainen et al. 2011). Without a doubt, a manifest function of technology is to change our lives, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Think of how the digital age has improved the ways we communicate. Have you ever used Skype or another webcast to talk to a friend or family member far away? Or maybe you have organized a fund drive, raising thousands of dollars, all from your desk chair.

Questions & Answers

what are the uses and application of sociology as a discipline
Nnenna Reply
for people to view themselves. as ahaving a place in the world in different groups by way of there interests and priorities in life
howard
do you have antropology books we badly need for our class discussion. Our topic is all about Variation in gender hierarchy.
Andrea Reply
no..
Khushboo
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Tariq
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Tariq
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Shahzad
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Altaf
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MJ
hi
Altaf
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Munni
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Munni
hii
Rima
yes
Jamuna
what is social change?
Sandra Reply
the nature of social change
Sandra
what is the nature of social change?
Gizzie
Social change is way human interactions and relationships transform cultural and social institutions over time .
example of social group ?
Maria
pressure group
Ann
sooner or later the course rural sociology be out of place
Bulama Reply
what are the effects of isolation to the development of social self?
Richard Reply
demonstrate the relevance of the knowledge of culture socialization to the nursing practice?
Richard
what are the key concept of socialization?
Richard Reply
gender roles
Onias
according to haralambus textbook of sociology, sociologist identified; high culture, folk culture, mass culture, popular culture, subculture and global culture as the types of culture. How legit is this?
Ojewande Reply
challenges elderly face
Ifeanyi Reply
Meaning?
Hamisu
what is the type of sociology
Haider Reply
Norms
Good
please how can you know someone behavior through sociology
ernest Reply
what's the meaning of paradigm
ernest
It means that perspectives of sociology..
Qamar
A new perspective given by sociology which can give you broader outlook regarding society.
Ayushman
Our personal ideology and our personal experience accordingly based on sociology..
Qamar
on how sociology socilize a society
Good Reply
Using public sociology, by showing people the features of society to bring reforms in their structures.
Ayushman
Interaction nd good ideology ..
Qamar
what is the contribution of August comte in sociology
Wikireh Reply
What's sociology?
Hamisu Reply
is the scientific field of studying human social life, groups,and society
Mashudu
Agents of socialization
Good
is the science study of human social life,groups and society
Samkelo
would to know urban sociology in deatail plz help me
just Reply
Examples of sociology
Talatu Reply
Traditional culture of the people
Good

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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