Mass Media: Role, Influence, and Function

Define Mass Media

Media is the mode of communication and when it appeals to the masses it becomes a case of mass media. Mass media, therefore, refers to the entire family of technological devices that make communication among the masses possible.

Role and influence of Mass media

  1. Mass media socialize people not only through the lesson that they teach but also by providing the topics of conversations and common experiences that they can share with others. Thereby creating the mediated background against which socialization takes place.
  2. Though the influence of mass media continuous throughout life, researches indicates that mass media happens to be a significant social force in the lives of children and adolescents. This is because mass media provide young children with script for living that explains the type of behaviour that are accepted in appropriate in various situations and create expectations about the kinds of consequences that are likely to follow from certain behavior.
  3. Mass media influence children’s perceptions of social reality. They influence social behaviour by shaping the expectations and the norms children’s hold regarding various behavioral situations.
  4. Mass media not only facilitate the development of new attitudes in the target group but also serves to reinforce their existing attitude.

Mass media has three-fold function

  1. Serve as a social change agent
  2. serve as a social continuity tool – facilitate the transmission of traditional values across generations.
  3. serve as a social management tool – Helps to maintain status quo in the society by “diffusion of the tension”.

Negative side of Mass media

  1. Commodification
  2. Consumerism
  3. Relative deprivation has increased
  4. The blurring of the distinction between illusion and reality
  5. Mass media has promoted stereotypes and prejudices through biased information presentations.
  6. Aspiration explosion

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