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Summary

There are myriad theories about how society, technology, and media will progress. Functionalism sees the contribution that technology and media provide to the stability of society, from facilitating leisure time to increasing productivity. Conflict theorists are more concerned with how technology reinforces inequalities among communities, both within and among countries. They also look at how media typically give voice to the most powerful, and how new media might offer tools to help those who are disenfranchised. Symbolic interactionists see the symbolic uses of technology as signs of everything from a sterile futuristic world to a successful professional life.

Short answer

Contrast a functionalist viewpoint of digital surveillance with a conflict perspective viewpoint.

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In what ways has the Internet affected how you view reality? Explain using a symbolic interactionist perspective.

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Describe how a cyberfeminist might address the fact that powerful female politicians are often demonized in traditional media.

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The issue of airplane-pilot exhaustion is an issue of growing media concern. Select a theoretical perspective, and describe how it would explain this.

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Would you characterize yourself as a technophile or a Luddite? Explain, and use examples.

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Further research

To learn more about cyberfeminism, check out the interdisciplinary artist collective, subRosa: (External Link)

To explore the implications of panoptic surveillance, review some surveillance studies at the free, open source Surveillance and Society site: (External Link)

Read an example of socialist media from Jacobin magazine here: (External Link)

References

Brasted, Monica. 2010. “Care Bears vs. Transformers: Gender Stereotypes in Advertisements.” Retrieved January 10, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Carmi, Evan, Matthew Ericson, David Nolen, Kevin Quealy, Michael Strickland, Jeremy White, and Derek Willis. 2012. “The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates.” New York Times . Retrieved January 15, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Foucault, Michel. 1975. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison . New York: Vintage Books.

Fox, Jesse, and Jeremy Bailenson. 2009. “Virtual Virgins and Vamps: The Effects of Exposure to Female Characters’ Sexualized Appearance and Gaze in an Immersive Virtual Environment.” Sex Roles 61:147–157.

Gamson, William, David Croteau, William Hoynes, and Theodore Sasson. 1992. “Media Images and the Social Construction of Reality.” Annual Review of Sociology 18:373–393.

Gentile, Douglas, Lindsay Mathieson, and Nikki Crick. 2011. “Media Violence Associations with the Form and Function of Aggression among Elementary School Children.” Social Development 20:213–232.

Kautiainen, S., L. Koivusilta, T. Lintonen, S. M. Virtanen, and A. Rimpelä. 2005. Use of Information and Communication Technology and Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Adolescents.” International Journal of Obesity 29:925–933

Krahe, Barbara, Ingrid Moller, L. Huesmann, Lucyna Kirwil, Julianec Felber, and Anja Berger. 2011. “Desensitization to Media Violence: Links With Habitual Media Violence

Exposure, Aggressive Cognitions, and Aggressive Behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100:630–646.

Lazerfeld, Paul F. and Robert K. Merton. 1948. “Mass Communication, Popular Taste, and Organized Social Action.” The Communication of Ideas . New York: Harper&Bros.

Magnet, Shoshana. 2007. “Feminist Sexualities, Race, and The Internet: An Investigation of suicidegirls.com.” New Media&Society 9:577-602.

Mills, C. Wright. 2000 [1956]. The Power Elite . New York: Oxford University Press.

NielsenWire. 2011. “Nielsen Estimates Number of U.S. Television Homes to be 114.7 Million.” May 3. Retrieved January 15, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Pierce, Tess. 2011. “Singing at the Digital Well: Blogs as Cyberfeminist Sites of Resistance.” Feminist Formations 23:196–209.

Savage, Joanne. 2003. “Does Viewing Violent Media Really Cause Criminal Violence?

A Methodological Review.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 10:99–128.

Shoemaker, Pamela and Tim Voss. 2009. “Media Gatekeeping.” Pp. 75–89 in An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research, 2nd ed. , edited by D. Stacks and M. Salwen. New York: Routledge.

U.S. Department of Commerce. 2011. “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation.” August. Retrieved February 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

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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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