Power And Influence Of The Media

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Jeff Williams 11/21/11 Power and Influence of the Media Every year the average American citizen is exposed to more than a million advertisements of the media. The media helps to depict the ideal American society and societal norms. Major media companies such as the Disney Corporation and Hollywood are constantly setting the standards of people’s everyday lives. If on average we see approximately 3,000 advertisements every day, Americans are directly influenced on how they should dress, act, and view themselves. Many Americans are influenced to take a stand on controversial topics such as homosexual relationships, and the consistent but yet discreet degrading of women because of what they see in the media. The average American is constantly subjected to mass media influence. The media is a very powerful tool that contributes to sculpting the American society. Throughout traditional American culture, heterosexual relationships are what are accepted as the societal norm. It was not until the latter half of the 20th century that gays and lesbians started to assimilate into society. The documentary produced in the early 1990’s, It’s Elementary, produced by Helen S. Cohen and Debra Chasnoff, shined light to the influence of the media on the American youth. In the documentary three main surveys were conducted in public school systems at different grade levels. The first study done on a New York City Public school which revolved around first graders, indicated that while young children are naïve they tend to accept gays and lesbians overall. As the final survey was conducted, at a San Francisco High School, the outcomes produced were very anti gay and lesbian as the teenagers had seemed to have already established an opinion that homosexual relationships were disgusting and immoral. There was a heavy emphasis placed on the fact that the younger children were more

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