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Of course, the downside to this ongoing information flow is the near impossibility of disconnecting from technology that leads to an expectation of constant convenient access to information and people. Such a fast-paced dynamic is not always to our benefit. Some sociologists assert that this level of media exposure leads to narcotizing dysfunction , a result in which people are too overwhelmed with media input to really care about the issue, so their involvement becomes defined by awareness instead of by action (Lazerfeld and Merton 1948).

Conflict perspective

In contrast to theories in the functional perspective, the conflict perspective focuses on the creation and reproduction of inequality—social processes that tend to disrupt society rather than contribute to its smooth operation. When we take a conflict perspective, one major focus is the differential access to media and technology embodied in the digital divide. Conflict theorists also look at who controls the media, and how media promotes the norms of upper-middle-class white people in the United States while minimizing the presence of the working class, especially people of color.

Control of media and technology

Powerful individuals and social institutions have a great deal of influence over which forms of technology are released, when and where they are released, and what kind of media is available for our consumption, which is a form of gatekeeping. Shoemaker and Voss (2009) define gatekeeping    as the sorting process by which thousands of possible messages are shaped into a mass media-appropriate form and reduced to a manageable amount. In other words, the people in charge of the media decide what the public is exposed to, which, as C. Wright Mills (1956) famously noted, is the heart of media’s power. Take a moment to think of the way “new media” evolve and replace traditional forms of hegemonic media. With hegemonic media, a culturally diverse society can be dominated by one race, gender, or class that manipulates the media to impose its worldview as a societal norm. New media weakens the gatekeeper role in information distribution. Popular sites such as YouTube and Facebook not only allow more people to freely share information but also engage in a form of self-policing. Users are encouraged to report inappropriate behavior that moderators will then address.

In addition, some conflict theorists suggest that the way U.S. media are generated results in an unbalanced political arena. Those with the most money can buy the most media exposure, run smear campaigns against their competitors, and maximize their visual presence. Almost a year before the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the candidates––Barack Obama for the Democrats and numerous Republican contenders––had raised more than $186 million (Carmi et al. 2012). Some would say that the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee is a major contributing factor to our unbalanced political arena. In Citizens United , the Supreme Court affirmed the right of outside groups, including Super Political Action Committees (SuperPACs) with undisclosed donor lists, to spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads as long as they don't coordinate with the candidate's campaign or specifically advocate for a candidate. What do you think a conflict perspective theorist would suggest about the potential for the non-rich to be heard in politics, especially when SuperPACs ensure that the richest groups have the most say?

Questions & Answers

types of cultures and it definations
Umar Reply
how has Covid 19 affected sociolization process
Glenn Reply
our communications translated into untouched greets
Cavs
which work can you do in company as a sociologst
Abel Reply
teaching
LAKEM
human resources manager
Shiikaa
can you think of people in your own life who support or defy the premise that access to technology leads to greater opportunities? how have you noticed technology use and opportunity to be linked,or does your experience contradicts this idea?
Swiftix Reply
we are witness positive and negative samples about it. Technology offers a lot of opportunities, however it's pretty possible that we confront a great many opponent in this phenomenology therefore system does always balance itself.
Cavs
point that's interesting us is make us think better than we were before. it's partially illusion
Cavs
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well definition
Ritu Reply
role of culture in socialization
Malak Reply
what is sociology
YAKUBU Reply
sociology is the study of human behavior
Hashim
sociology is the scientific study of man and society
USMAN
sociology is the study of people behaviours who are interaction in different cultures and groups
Cavs
ethno methodology
USMAN
ethnomethodology and symbolic interaction are good inquiry but it's micro level studying, it's overlook grand theories.
Cavs
cultural diffusion
USMAN
what is the difference between social science and social dicpline
AREN Reply
what is social transformation?
Shraddha Reply
Social transformation is a somewhat ambiguous term that has two broad definitions. One definition of social transformation is the process by which an individual alters the socially ascribed social status of their parents into a socially achieved status for themselves.
Taniza
social change in a consumer society
Sarah Reply
hi sarah
puneet
hi Sarah
Ambrish
consumers shifted from need based purchasing to want based purchasing
sumitra
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well de...
Ritu
type of sociology and character
Mawien Reply
who was the father of socialism?
Delsila Reply
Karl Marx
Chima
Auguste comte
Chima
August comte
HUSSAINI
Cultural sanctions can also be viewed as ways that society
Khaketla Reply
what is a value
Khaketla
what is the difference between nature and nurture
Khaketla Reply
uspc?
sumitra
Hey there! UPSC CSE aspirant here as well
tridy
cool!
sumitra
hi ?
Chang
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well de...
Ritu
Gender is not a "sex". it's determined by referring values people who is live in different societies, by other people.
Cavs
can someone give an example of what is sociology?
Swiftix Reply
one instance, sociology is a comparison between communities whose cultures, religions and other differences etc
Cavs
Sociology is a academic discipline that tend to give causal explanations of causes and effects of social phenomenon
HUSSAINI

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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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