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Rethinking Identity in the Age of Mass Communication - Essay Example

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Rethinking Identity in the Age of Mass Communication

Identity is more fluid today and is in a transformable stage because of media and the impressions it creates in society. There was no question of identities and their repercussions in earlier days when mobility, migration were limited. There was no mass media to reckon with and people lived in their own regions without much exposure. Today with modernity and media exposure, identities are showing the signs of internal merging and this has created panic in people who want to preserve their own identities and separateness. Even the most resistant of cultures are changing and going through slow metamorphosis and this has set panic bells ringing. Most of the cultures and religions resist change and try to push people back into norms and regulations of yore, fearing that people might grow beyond those boundaries and become uncontrollable, which would tear the social, rather rigid fabric.
The need to rethink about cultural identities and present them as diversities in media has made media studies imperative. Cultural and media studies aim at critical investigations that have come up due to the mass media and its unprecedented power that makes it an extremely important area of study. Continuous academic research had been necessitated due to current struggle for diversity and identity and the grievances of not getting enough of it. These have brought up issues of new ethnicities to the surface, as people have woken up to their separateness all of a sudden in recent years and have been highly vocal about it. It has necessitated questions of race relations, racism, racialization and new identities. It is about more of diversities and less of assimilation.

Studies on identity depend on cultures, languages, myths, beliefs, narratives, discourses and the popular prejudices. Over the past thirty years, race, ethnicity, culture and identities have overlapped one another in fast succession and had been the issues of research attention, along with the all-encompassing media. This myopia had been addressed by thousands of research strategies and solutions had been offered. Revived concepts of ethnicity, diversity, race and identity in their most dynamic forms had been presented by various studies. Demographic changes, migration, globalization, economic outreach and information explosion have created many unforeseen problems and representation of cultural diversity and racial identities in the media had been one of them.


People, masculinity and femininity had been research topics for a long time now from various angles of psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, journalism and mass media. Feminists had been researching and commenting on the way masculine and feminine stereotypes had been shown and written on media. The social acceptance of men and women is usually culture based and is diverse. Their roles in Western societies could differ very much from their role in Eastern societies, especially Muslim societies, where women are not highly visible. Still, there are certain inherent regulations that could be part of any society. Women as house makers, playing second fiddle to men, full of compassion, understanding and pity, fortitude, love and loyalty are the same in every society, just as men, the decision makers, the dominant sex, guiding lights of women folk, ...Show more


Mass media is a force for change and currently, it has attained its most powerful form. Identities that are displayed or represented in various forms of media could be one of the longest lasting images that people could endure. Today mass media has created such a powerful, almost dangerous place in the lives of mankind, that anything and everything that is presented through media will definitely have a long-standing effect…
Author : shieldskaylee
Rethinking Identity in the Age of Mass Communication
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