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Media's role in defining social science - Essay Example

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For example, cases of youth attacking schools and killing a number of children and teachers point out to previously observed or diagnosed anti-social behaviour of the culprit. The decision of the young perpetrator of the crime to attack is credited to have caused social disorder.
With the growing social disorder in the world, sociologists strive to study why and what can be done to reduce, if not totally eradicate it. The latter seems impossible considering factors that contribute to its prevalence. One is the great effect of media and its sensationalizing of observed disorder to attract its audience. For example, rallies and demonstrations of people for various causes, often controversial ones, can be provocative of social disorder. If demonstrators offend people against their causes and such people strike back at them, then it is likely that violence can ensue between the opposing forces. News footages of such violent exchanges can further inflame the emotions of viewers and push them to join the commotion, resulting in more social disorder.
Kelly & Toynbee (2009) suggest that the mediation of ‘disorderly’ behaviour in the newspapers, television, the internet and other media platforms may bring about a feeling that we live in a dangerous society because of the awful events happening around us. Two theorists have attempted to make sense of media’s role in social disorder. One is Stanley Cohen (1973) and another is Stuart Hall (1978). Both theorists have logical explanations of how media participates in the existence of social order in society. Cohen speaks about moral panic, which is a group of people’s reaction to specific threats to the values and interests of their society as well as their way of life. This moral panic can be caused by disorderly behaviour displayed by some people, which lead to distress and disruption of other people’s lives (Taylor et al., 2010). The ...Show more
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Summary

Perhaps a vision of chaos or wild behaviour with people running around for cover is imagined. Disorder triggers negative emotions such as fear, anxiety and dread. It can be further provoked when one hears worse news that…
Medias role in defining social science
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