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Sociology of the mass media by Mind Map: Sociology of the mass media
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Sociology of the mass media

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Some commentators see the media as a beneficial institution that educates, informs and gives audience diversity.

Some are concerned that the media have a negative and controlling effect on audiences.

Definition:Where the audience does not receive what is criticised and accepts it.

Theorist: McLuhan - argues that the media, and in particular new media technologies, have a determining influence of social change.


It is a way of regulating and controlling the media that involve preventing or removing material from reaching it's audience or restricting the audience being reached.

Positive: It is to protect those vulnerable members of society.

Negative: Free choice should be protected unless harm can be proven.

Content Analysis

Used to analyse the content of media products such as newspapers and magazines.

Lobban and Best used used it to examine gender representations in children's reading schemes by counting the numbers appearing in particular categories.

Negative: The meaning of the content to the audience is not explored.


Research method which involves analysing the meaning of signs and codes within their cultural context.

Signs can be found in written text and visual representations in the media.

Some sociologists use semiotic analysis to uncover the message being conveyed.

Problems With Semiology

It lacks reliability

The analysis relies on the researchers interpretation of the content.

It does not refer to the way the audience may receive the message.


The use of experiments to study the media is influenced by the methodology of the natural sciences.

Negative: There are significant ethical concerns about possible effects on the participants

Negative: The artificial environment of the experiment means that the validity of the results can be called into question.