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Critically evaluate the role of the mass media in contemporary British society The mass media within Britain consists of newspapers television radio magazines films books and the Internet Mass communications comprise the institutions and techniques by which specialised groups employ technological devices to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely dispersed audiences Janowitz 1968 Available to the masses these forms of media have the potential to influence the population and establish reinforce and reflect values opinions and lifestyles The fact that the media has the power to do this raises issues such as how great a influence does the media hold over the population especially as over time the mass media has achieved a larger audience and a greater power targeting a large spectrum of people It can be argued that the mass media plays a large role in society today affecting and influencing peoples views and beliefs on matters such as race sex violence and politics In order to evaluate the role of the mass media in contemporary British society it is essential to look at the different theories and the different ways in which the media affects society Perhaps the most well known theory that relates to this case is the Marxist theory Marxists see the mass media as tools for creating a false reality as to disguise a reality of oppression and exploitation Curran et al 1982 A main feature of Marxist theory is the materialist stance that social being determines consciousness Therefore ideological positions are a function of class positions and the main ideology in society is the ideology of its leading class Ideology becomes the route through which struggle is obliterated rather than the site of struggle Curran et al 1982 Media institutions are regarded by Curran et al as being locked into the power structure and consequently as acting largely in tandem with the dominant institutions in society The media thus reproduced the viewpoints of dominant
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