Mass Media and its influence on society

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In the current world, mass media is a major influence on the society. The influence has
been growing over time, and the rapid proliferation of the smartphones and the internet has led to
major impacts of mass media due to increased scope of coverage. The mass media has continuously
spread its influence to the lives of many people and affected their thinking and decision making.
Social cognitive theory (SCT) can be used to explain the impact of mass media in the society. The
theory states that a person's knowledge acquisition is directly related to observing other people
within the individual’s context of their experiences and interactions and the influence of the media
(Bandura, 2004 pp.76). The paper below explains the social cognitive theory and how it is applied
by the mass media in communication vehicles to influence how the social systems work to bring
about socio-political change in the society.
These mediums of communication use vehicles to spread information, and this has greatly
influenced the society. It is evident in the use of Hip-hop as a vehicle used by radio which is the
medium to influence the society. It is also evident in the use of Facebook as a vehicle by the
internet which is the medium of communication to influence change. This is evident in the Arab
Spring revolution that was experienced between December 2010 and October 2011 in the some of
the Maghreb countries (Zepic et al., 2016, pp.240). The impact of mass media as an influence on
the society is also evident in the Women’s Magazine a vehicle used by print media which is the
medium to influence self-perception among the teenagers and youthful members of the society and
mainly among the women. Lastly, the series of movies Fast and Furious as a vehicle is used by
television which is the medium to spread media related violence mainly among the children and
teenagers and therefore promoting violence in the society.
The Impact of Hip hop as Vehicle by Radio as the Medium to the Society
Through the use of social cognitive theory, hip hop music has become the most influential
music genre today. According to Richard R. Reese, Hip hop is the fastest growing genre of music.
Which means in music today, hip hop has the most influence over our generation. Hip hop affects
our slang, the way we dress, and even our attitudes at times. Hip hop not only affects our everyday
attire and slang, but it also affects our political views and can cause a sense of comradery among
our generation (Robertson, 2014, pp.31). Hip hop has the most influence over our entire generation
which has not only affected us positively but also negatively as well.
As stated by Everett G. Price III," The greatest impact of hip-hop culture is perhaps its
ability to bring people of all different beliefs, cultures, races, and ethnicities together as a medium
for young, and now middle-aged, people to express themselves in a self-determined manner, both
individually and collectively." In which through personal experience I found was true. In my first
semester of college my art appreciation teacher, who was a hip hop fanatic came up with a bright
idea to make us rap about our favorite sculpture and perform it in class for a major test grade. After
everybody presented, we had a very great moment of laughter and even despair, depending on
what sculpture they wrote about. After this project, I felt closer to every student on a more personal
level. The language of Old School hip hop was based of words used in blues such as hot, swing,
hip, cool, chill, etc. But in today's hip hop the slang is much different. Most slang words that are
used are very derogative or very much gang affiliated. Words such as thot, big, bird, etc. are words
that are used commonly in hip-hop to negatively address women mainly as objects and pieces of
meat other than actual women (Neate, 2014, pp.4). And words such as coolin, boolin, slaughter,
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cuz, and slime are just a few out of many words to identify what gang and set a certain artist is
from (Stephens & Few, 2007. Pp. 201).
Today's music is just as influential in political situations as they were in the 90s and late
80s. In 1988 the group N.W.A. created a song called F*** Tha Police, which depicted how they
felt about the rising problem of police brutality in the black community (Chang, 2015, pp.3). Much
of the same problems exist today, and prominent artists such as J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar often
speak out about it in songs. J.Cole wrote a song titled "Be Free”, which is mainly referring to the
death of those who were wrongly killed due to police brutality. Hip hop has also affected
presidential votes for the young crowd. Many artists let known that they did not trust Donald
Trump, and from knowing that one’s favorite artist won't vote for a certain candidate meant that
the fans wouldn't vote for the candidate during the 2016 elections.
Although hip hop has its positives, hip hop also has just as many negatives. In today's
music, most of the biggest songs are calling women completely out their name or have very strong
gang roots. For example, an artist who is very renown in our generation is rapper Young Thug. In
Thug's music, he constantly refers to women as b****** and also refers to his slimes, which means
blood (Summers, 2016, pp.7). Most fans of him that I know of became blood because they were
in love with Thug's music so much that they wanted to mean what they were saying, so they got
jumped in and joined. Which in my opinion was not smart at all to do, because the majority have
gone to jail or have sadly lost their lives trying to protect their new turf.
Hip hop is the most influential genre of music today. It affects more than most people
know. It affects your talk, walks, political views and so forth. It affects our generation both
positively, by giving us a voice to speak out against the wrong doing of the police and such. And
it also affects us negatively, by causing us to call women out of their name and participate in gang
The Impact of Facebook as a vehicle used by the Internet as the medium in influencing political
change during the Arab Spring Revolution in 2011.
The society can be greatly influenced by the media to bring about social political change.
As per Howard and Hussain (2013) "Social dissents in the Arab world have spread crosswise over
North Africa and the Middle East, to a great extent in light of the fact that advanced media enabled
groups to understand that they shared grievances and on the grounds that they sustained
transportable techniques for assembling against chiefs" (p. 3). Hermida et al., (2014, pp. 479) takes
note of that a study by National Public Radio found that web-based social networking molded and
lead the level headed discussion as to the legislative issues of the Arab Spring, and that social
media had influence in spreading information of the revolution compared to other media sources.
For instance, Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali found the energy of online networking
when protestors posted a video of him and his better half utilizing an administration financed
stream to go to Europe on luxurious shopping trips something that rankled local people, who
were battling with hard economic conditions; and at last added to his destruction. Also, the
National Public Radio consider cited to by Hermida (2014, pp. 479) likewise found that online
networking was instrumental in sharing their thoughts globally, and this no uncertainty
additionally powered the Arab Spring, and to make individuals in the locale long for living in a
free and law based society.
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Moreover, Zepic et al. (pp. 240) additionally takes note of that Facebook social networking
assumed a crucial part in the Arab Spring without an open media and common society. For sure,
in Syria, for instance, the administration there is infamous for controlling the broad
communications and remains an extremely hazardous place for columnists to carry out their
specialty; with there being not very many press flexibilities, and with Internet movement
additionally being checked by the legislature, and being exceptionally edited. Be that as it may, it
is extremely hard to screen and control all Internet movement, and in this regard, online networking
likely assumed a fundamental part in the uprisings there as well. In this manner, because of the
danger that online networking now stances to imperious administrations, places, for example, the
United Arab Emirates now have laws set up that have the ability to rebuff individuals on the off
chance that they examine or post photographs of other individuals which obviously incorporates
legislators or individuals in leadership positions, which is causing some worry among human rights
groups (Tovey, 2015).
Maybe at that point, the energy of online networking originates from its unedited and
uncensored organization, which enables individuals to get nearer to reality than forn=mal media
in the area has permitted. Also, it is likewise an instrument that enables individuals to sort out, to
rapidly accumulate bolster for a reason, to scatter data, and to stir individuals energetically before
the aggression is lost. Furthermore, Wolfsfel, Segev and Sheafer (2013) take note of that the part
of online social networking in aggregate activity can't be comprehended without first inspecting
the political condition in which it works, and that a huge increment in the utilization of new media
is substantially more liable to take after a lot of dissent action than to go before it and this was
likewise the case in the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, while some may downplay the role played by
facebook and other online social networking in the Arab Spring uprisings, others , for example,
Eltantawy and Wiest (2011) - propose that more research is required keeping in mind the end goal
to discover the genuine degree to which online networking affected the course of the Arab Spring
development (pp. 1207).
The Impact of Women’s Health Magazine as Vehicle of Print Media as the Medium to influence
Self-perception and body image amongst American Women.
The magazine uses models as the image of the magazine. It uses the social cognitive theory
to get a wider audience and promote their beauty products. It has a lot of influence on the women
who are the majority readers. Self-perception can be viewed as specifically identified with
confidence and self-esteem. Promoting, especially for mold and beauty care products, powerfully
affects how we see ourselves and how we see our very own body image. It has been accounted for
that youngster as youthful as three years of age have encountered the weights of media on body
image, yet it is teenagers that are more able to be in danger of creating undesirable dispositions
towards their bodies in view of their helplessness to commercial on account of the fast changes
happening both physically and rationally amid this phase in life. As of now in life youngsters are
centered around building up their characters, they are additionally exceedingly helpless to both
social weight and media pictures which can profoundly affect how they see their bodies. Ladies'
magazines specifically have a huge impact on self-perception, with specialists announcing that
young teenage ladies depend vigorously on them for data on excellence and fashion. This steady
unavoidable weight of the media has made the conviction that 'thin is lovely' inside our present
society. The media can impact us in such an exceptional courses because of the mental hypotheses
that have been established that significantly and effectively control our brains into working or
review something in a particular estate. A typical hypothesis utilized inside promoting is that of
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Sigmund Freud and his hypothesis of Psychogenic Needs, Freud trusts that the three fundamental
divisions of identity are: the ID, the ego, and the super ego. The ID contains primitive, flippant
driving forces and inclinations to sympathy, impersonation, and recognizable proof. Guardians,
peer groups, and social components shape the super self-image, and the sense of self deliberately
chooses and wills the bearing of behavior (Freud, 1997, pp.4). When the media can effectively
focus on every part of Freud's hypothesis, they will all the more effectively have the capacity to
showcase their item, on a route, for example, one product will enable you to work, rest, and play
(Fiske and Taylor, 2013, pp.13).
The effects of Fast and Furious movies as a vehicle of Television the medium for promoting
media related violence among the teenagers and children in America.
The series of the Fast and Furious action movies in America promotes media related
violence among the children and teenager through the use of social cognitive theory. The movies
advocate for violent fighting and also promote sexual immorality among the children and
teenagers. Television as a medium uses movies to bring about media related violence either for
unintended or intentional purposes. According to Nelson, the media portrays the youth negatively
in many instances (Nelson, 2016, pp. 5). This play a critical role in shaping the society.
Everything that children learn during their early years in life goes on to affect their adult
life. Majority of the shows aired during prime time contain various acts of violence. Children and
teenagers who are exposed to media violence are more likely to have hostile emotions, decreased
emotional response when watching violent scenes and this may likely lead to violent behavior
through imitation (Bushman & Huesmann, 2006, pp.348). The stunts that are showed in the Fast
and Furious movies are violent and therefore may cause injury, accidents and even violent behavior
when they are imitated. Additionally, the Fast and Furious movies have scenes of sexual
immorality, and this may likely erode the morals of the children.
The social cognitive theory has its strengths and shortcomings. For its strengths, it allows
for accounting of the processes that are analyzed to conclude the theory and therefore it is easier
to handle inconsistent behavior. There is the accuracy of the theory, and therefore it is easy to
understand. Additionally, the theory is a positive theory. On the other hand, the theory has its
shortcomings. The theory focuses mainly on what happens in the society instead of working with
the observation, and therefore the theory does not explain the behavioral differences. The theory
also does not explain all behavior (Schwarzer, 2014, pp.34).
In conclusion, Bandura’s social cognitive theory explains the effects of electronic media in
changing how the social systems work at a societal level to bring about socio-political change
through the use of vehicles of communication. According to the theory, a person’s behavior is
shaped by the environment in which a person is exposed to. Hip hop music is used as a vehicle by
radio which is the medium to change societal values. The Women’s Magazines is used as a vehicle
by print media which is the medium as a vehicle to change self-perception. Facebook as a vehicle
has been used by the internet as the medium to promote political change during the Arab spring
revolution. Additionally, Fast and Furious series of movies has been used as a vehicle by television
which is the medium to spread media related violence and sexual immorality. Mass media plays a
major role in shaping our society today.
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Bandura, A. and Wessels, S., 1994. Self-efficacy, pp. 57-64.
Bandura, A., 2004. Social cognitive theory for personal and social change by enabling
media. Entertainment-education and social change: History, research, and practice,
Bushman, B.J. and Huesmann, L.R., 2006. Short-term and long-term effects of violent media on
aggression in children and adults. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(4),
Chang, M.M., 2015. Rice and Rap: Hip Hop Music, Black/Asian American Racialization, and the
Role of the US Multicultural Neoliberal State (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los
Angeles), pp. 3
Eltantawy, N. & Wiest, J. B. (2011) 'The Arab Spring Social Media in the Egyptian Revolution:
Reconsidering Resource Mobilization Theory',International Journal of
Communication,Vol. 5, No.18, pp. 1207-1224.
Freud, S., 1997. Sexuality and the Psychology of Love. Simon and Schuster, pp. 4-13
Funk, M.J. and McCombs, M., 2017. Strangers on a theoretical train: Inter-media agenda setting,
community structure, and local news coverage.Journalism Studies, 18(7), pp.845-865.
Hermida, A., Lewis, S.C. and Zamith, R., 2014. Sourcing the Arab Spring: A case study of Andy
Carvin's sources on Twitter during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. Journal of
Mediated Communication, 19(3), pp.479-499.
Howard, P.N., Duffy, A., Freelon, D., Hussain, M., Mari, W. & Mazaid, M. (2011) 'Opening
Closed Regimes: What Was the Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring?' ICTlogy,
Marx, D.M. and Ko, S.J., 2012. Superstars “like” me: The effect of role model similarity on
performance under threat. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42(7), pp.807-812.
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Neate, P., 2014. Where you're at: notes from the frontline of a hip hop planet. Bloomsbury
Nelson, M., 2016. The Portrayal of African American Youth in the Media: A Textual Analysis,
Robertson, D.O., 2014. Cash Rules Everything around Me: Appropriation, Commodification, and
the Politics of Contemporary Protest Music and Hip Hop. In Soul Thieves (pp. 31-49).
Palgrave Macmillan US.
Schwarzer, Ralf, ed. Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. Taylor & Francis, 2014.
Stephens, D.P. and Few, A.L., 2007. The effects of images of African American women in hip hop
on early adolescents’ attitudes toward physical attractiveness and interpersonal
relationships. Sex Roles, 56(3-4), pp.251-264.
Summers, E., 2016. Black Women as Listeners of Hip-Hop Music (Doctoral dissertation, The
George Washington University).
Tovey, J. (2015) 'United Arab Emirates is a "dangerous place" to use social media, human rights
groups warn', The Sydney Morning Herald,
Date accessed 16/10/2015.
Wolfsfeld, G., Segev, E. & Sheafer, T. (2013) 'Social Media and the Arab Spring Politics Comes
First', The International Journal of Press/Politics, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 115-137.
Zepic, R., Klotz, T., Dapp, M. and Krcmar, H., 2016, June. Social Media in Political Transition:
A Literature Review. In European Conference on e-Government. Academic Conferences
International Limited, pp. 240.

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