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What Is Shown by the Mass Media Will Not Make People Violent, but It May Lead People to Believe That We Live in a Violent Society’. to What Extent Do Sociological Arguments and Evidence Support This View? (33 Marks)

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Some sociologists would agree with the view that the content of the mass media does not lead people to become violent, but rather leads them to believe that we live in a society which is violent. This could be due to the fact that many people watch the News on a regular basis, often the News shows many stories which portray society in a negative way, making it seem more violent than it really is. This could be due to ‘News Values’ which Spencer-Thomas identified; he claimed that News Values are general guidelines and criteria which must be met in order to make a News story seem interesting. One particular News Value is ‘negativity’; this states that News must be negative, as bad news is often seen as more exciting than good news. Due to this, much of the News is very negative and may show society to be much more violent than it really; this is done in order to sell Newspapers and could therefore lead people into thinking that society is violent. Marxist sociologists argue that the mass media, which is controlled by the Bourgeoisie (upper class), intentionally shows negative portrayals of society which make it seem much more violent than it really is. According to Marcuse, this is done in order to distract the audience from the real problems in society, such as inequality and capitalism. This has therefore resulted in media owners and journalists in presenting stories which portray society in a negative light, showing them to be more violent that they really are. Another idea which would support this idea is the Cultural Effects Model. This model suggests that the ruling class (media owners) constantly force their ideology through the media to the public so that the proletariat (working class) will believe that what they see in the News is true and factual; this is called cultural hegemony and by doing this, a false class consciousness is created. The bourgeoisie...

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