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The persuaders - Movie Review Example

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Name Instructor Class 24 September 2012 The Media and the Cultivation of New Cult Cultures As media increasingly fights for advertisement space, numerous consumers oppose the intrusions of advertisements into their everyday existence. Frontline produced The Persuaders to examine the effects of the media on social norms and behaviors…
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The persuaders

Conflict Theory asserts that people with economic power control the formation of culture through media and other basic social institutions (Andersen and Taylor 73). Symbolic Interaction Theory believes in the power of human agency in shaping culture and media products (Andersen and Taylor 73). The media is actively shaping culture through its code of norms and morals that have become increasingly insistent in consuming the visual and auditory landscapes, although consumers continue to struggle in controlling their cultural development through selective media consumption. The media uses its economic resources to send messages about cultural norms and behaviors that benefit the economic elites, according to Conflict Theory. This theory asserts that culture rests on and supports social inequalities (Toland, and Barbara Mueller 92). The Persuaders show that the media does not definitely always or openly show the support for these inequalities, and yet these media messages contain values that divide people from one another. A good example is the relationship between mainstream media and the sexualization of women. Globalization is a phenomenon that has made it imperative for the media to find themes that transect cultural differences (Albarran 299). The media then bombards people with messages of sex and violence, which are universal themes. In the essay “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt,” Kilbourne contends that countless advertisements perceive women as sexual objects and this message results to sexual harassment and violence against women. She explains the dangers of sexualizing women. She stresses that media promotes a culture that sexualizes women and children, thereby diminishing their value to society. Kilbourne offers numerous examples of print ads that show women either naked or in sexually provocative positions (Kilbourne 473). The main purpose of these ads is to entice people into consuming these media images, as if they are the norm. Some people then act according to these norms; thereby supporting the idea that media creates destructive cultures that support existing power structures. Naomi Klein, author of the book No Logo, warns audiences of becoming too intimately involved with brands that they forget its impact on their value systems (The Persuaders 3). Conflict Theory opposes global media messages that homogenize cultures and create cult-like obsession of brands. In the end, these messages only serve big multinational companies. Media’s power seeks to further influence identity and culture. The media wants to control more visual and auditory space to shape how people see themselves and the world they live in. Modern consumers are a paradox. On the one hand, they want to exert control over advertisements and prefer to screen out ads that annoy them. On the other hand, scores of consumers have become vulnerable to the emotional appeals of the brands that they love. Columnist for Advertising Age, Bob Garfield, talks about being bombarded with advertising messages in every nook and cranny of the American metropolis. Correspondent Douglass Rushkoff examines the evolving nature of marketers in what he calls “The Persuasion Industry” (The Persuaders 1). He notes the difficulty in finding advertising space in a congested landscape. Rushkoff stresses that because THE media needs to reach more and to affect people more, it increases the number of ads, which results to a vicious image of ... Read More
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