The literature published in the specific field is reviewed at the level that it can offer adequate explanations on the relationship between mass media and society. It is proved that the above relationship is strong, in fact mass media can affect all aspects of social life; however, in terms of the behavior of individuals, the power of mass media to intervene can be differentiated, meaning that each individual is likely to be influenced differently by the images/ information provided through the mass media. On the other hand, it is made clear that the role of media in social beliefs and events is not standardized; it can be positive or negative in accordance with the conditions of the social environment, the characteristics of the events involved – as provided through the media – and the local ethics and values, as explained below.
In order to understand the relationship between mass media and society it would be necessary to describe the characteristics of mass media – as being different from common media. In accordance with Gupta (1) ‘mass media are that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience’.
Mass media can strongly affect people in societies with different social and political characteristics. However, the level at which mass media influence the behavior of individuals in countries worldwide is likely to be depended on the following facts: the age of people involved, the living standards, the economic/ political framework of the country involved and the culture of each country. In the study of Singer and Singer emphasis is given on the power of mass media to influence young people. It is explained that mass media often promote social identities with particular characteristics; young people may be affected by those identities. Most commonly, young people are likely to be attracted by these identities, trying to use it as patterns of behavior (Singer and Singer 313). Moreover, the media preferences, as developed by adolescents, are likely to reflect a specific identity; ‘young people tend to use this identity for defining themselves but also other people’ (Singer and Singer 313). From a similar point of view Blanck (24) notes that mass media can strongly affect the style of life of people of all ages, including the young people. Through the mass media, young people can be informed on particular dressing styles, eating behaviors or ways of entertainment, which are described by mass media as a trend. Young people are more likely, compared to adults, to imitate such trends without examining in advance the alignment of these trends with their own style of life, their own social and cultural background and status and, most important, with their beliefs and values. It is in this context, that negative patterns of behavior may be adopted; through the years, these patterns are likely to influence the behavior and the beliefs of young people at such level that their personal views on morality and legality may be radically alternated. The potential negative effects of mass media on young people are explained in the study of Houghton and Roche. In the above study, the role of media in the expansion of drinking among adolescents is strongly criticized (Houghton and Roche 183). At the same time, it is noted that the level at which mass media can influence the behavior and the thinking of young people is depended on the personal beliefs and the social environment of each adolescent (Houghton and Roche 183). It is assumed that in families where communication and