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Posts Tagged ‘Media’

By Jhansher Khan

I would like to touch base with the idea of how we choose to communicate with each other and our general topics of interest. Basically, what happens here is that we take certain ideas that the “Elite” class has established for us and we base our thoughts and opinions on that. Therefore, we don’t have much in the way of freedom of thoughts. For example, we may discuss an episode of “Lost” that premiered last night or some other program that was on Television the night before. We basically are starting to find more in common with each other based on external media forces we all tend to consume. This just further amplifying the effect of the media on us, it extends towards our personal lives as well or what we choose to talk about when we interact with others.

According to the most quoted living theorist, Noam Chomsky, we speaks of how the media enacts a type of propaganda on the rest of society. This propaganda is enacted by the “Elite Class” as I mentioned before. The majority of people in society fit under the category of “mass opinion.” However, before the Elite reach us, they must go through a “Mass Media Filter.” If I were to generally lay this out in a diagram it would look like this:

Elite——–>Mass Media Filter———> Mass (public) Opinion

Therefore the idea I’m getting at, is that the way we think, our opinions are very much shaped by the Elite class in society. Our thoughts are losing their distinctness and we are slowly losing our individuality, as we are forced in a unitary mode of thinking, thoughts and ideas.

Chomsky looks at the corporate world through the lens of the “economic” point of view. The main group of people that are effected are called the “Unwashed class”, which generally means the working class. With regards to the media, they are mainly subjected to distraction and entertainment. So basically they are distracted from the main issues in the media, unaware that they are being manipulated by this idea of propaganda that Chomsky proposes.

Most of us are unaware of how manipulated we truly are and Chomsky was one of the theorists that looked more at media and the economic sphere. Therefore, those with wealth are the few “Elites” in society, the rest of us are just followers of what ever they decide to put forth in society.

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By Jhansher Khan

Who is really in charge of corporations? What types of members of society do they choose to marginalize? Typically people who are in charge of corporations for the most part are “white males,” who lead the patriarchal society. Those who become marginalized are typically women or non-white members of society. This statement may seem too general and I’m probably not speaking out for some “exceptions”, but for the most part this is the case in the corporate world. Basically, all the products we buy, television programming, and the creators of media culture are male for the most part. Advertising is just a way to give us that taste of what they have in store for us. In simpler terms, “look what we have for you” or “don’t miss out on this awesome deal” or “program.”

In reality, we just feed these corporations and their certain ideas of who should be represented in the media and who shouldn’t be represented in the media. Yes, there are networks on television that represent these minority groups and that represent women. One example of these types of channels is the “women’s network.” This program is geared primarily towards women and their tastes in television. However, the network is still bombarded with advertisements, which advertise products geared towards women. Therefore, women can be used as a marketable segment of society. These advertisements are primarily generated by men, therefore isn’t that defeating the purpose of having a distinct women’s network?

It is obvious that these “white male” dominated media firms are our primary sources of information, as it makes up the majority of what we view in the media. According to a site displaying statistics within the states regarding journalists, “According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 11.5 per cent of the 54,700 journalists working at newspapers across the U.S. are visible minorities. That’s about 6290 journalists, compared to 6100 in the previous two years.” ( http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/) This number is significant since it represents how few people in the media are hired that are classified as “visible minorities.” Therefore, what is the media trying to prove regarding hiring so few “visible minorities?” Are they trying to make a claim that they accept minorities working in the media? However, it is clear that there is still misrepresentation, regardless of this small number of “visible minorities” working in the corporate world.

Sources:

( http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/research_documents/statistics/minority_representation/minority_representation.cfm )

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By Jhansher Khan

Yes we can structure our own self image, yes we can have our own opinions and yes we can follow any lifestyle we choose to. However, are our ideas of originality really OUR ideas? Not likely. Much of how we perceive the world and even the way we choose to communicate with others verbally or in a non verbal fashion is shaped by our wonderful media system. Whether you are trying to shape your own body image, the way you present yourself or just your general way of thinking, are all likely shaped by the media world around us. Therefore, we aren’t staying true to our own beliefs to a full extent. However, we do to some extent. For example, women in the media are often portrayed as being dominated by men and as sexual objects or figures. In modern society, many women are strongly opposed to women being represented in that way and believe it is morally wrong. There are multiple feminist groups that strongly advocate for feminine rights and gender equality. The media is one of the sources of enrichment that women would like to address, since the media tends to structure our perceptions about the “outside world.”

I call it the “outside world” since the media generally represents a fantasy-like world in my opinion. The “outside world” would be the world that we choose to make our own decisions as a result, which reflects how much the media has impacted our own decisions. Going back to the topic of women in the media, many women in society often contradict their own beliefs about “gender equality” and it results in them following the media’s beliefs. This may include, behaving in a way that belongs to their “gender” (which is supported by the media). By this I mean, communicating with others in a very passive way and not being too outspoken just as an example. Also, wearing revealing clothing,which completely destroys the idea of equality since they are feeding the media system ruled by men. There are other examples, but these are just a few. As an article called, found at “Media Portrayals of Girls and Women: Introduction,” states “We all know the stereotypes—the femme fatale, the supermom, the sex kitten, the nasty corporate climber.”(http://www.media-awareness.ca) This basically outlines the different “models” of women in the media, which are sadly still followed in society. The article states, “Female stereotypes continue to thrive in the media we consume every day.” (http://www.media-awareness.ca) Obviously, the consumption of these female stereotypes will cause people to act out these stereotypes as a result.

How are most of these stereotypes delivered to society? Well through advertising of course! Through fashion magazines, which portray how to be a perfect and ideal female. Through television, where celebrities show you have to dress like them, how to structure your own lifestyle based on their lifestyles and how to behave like them. Through posters, through music, through any other platform you can think of. Women are probably the most manipulated members of society. In the same article mentioned earlier, “It looks at the economic interests behind the objectification and eroticization of females by the media as well as efforts to counter negative stereotyping.” (http://www.media-awareness.ca) This idea is completely true, since the media destroys any idea of “individuality” of women in society. Women are now as dependent on the media than ever, as a gateway to the “outside world”, as I mentioned before.

Sources:

(http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/)

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