Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media

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Influence and role of the media

Reflections

In the social context, influence and role of the media may be looked upon as a medium or environment satisfying the dynamics of the human existence. The relation between influence and role of the media and culture is a complex and constantly evolving one. Modern media is the medium through which we conduct our social lives. It is a means of expressing our views, opinions and ideas. These perceptions and ideas are built up on our knowledge, understanding and experience of the world around us.

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Generalizations / Principles / Theories

The members of a community do not always express their views and experiences; they also share their experiences with others. The speakers identify with the language in which they communicate and consider the language as an expression of their social identity. Language, thus, becomes an expression of one’s social identity. Language influences culture in many ways. One of these is via mass media.

The term ‘mass media’ refers to any form of public communication- whether written, broadcast or spoken which reaches a wider audience. Market research indicated that there should be a number of variables that should be maintained in order to gain competitive advantage in the business.

On seasonal period it is essential for the hotel to increase casual staffs. It is also important that Effective service improvement strategies will be accomplished through training of employees that should include providing adequate training for employees to possess the skills that are required in performing their job tasks and develop an efficient internal communication between restaurant manager and employees which will help employees to realize and understand what management expects and the media works according to the beliefs of the mass.

However, it should be noted that the corporate social responsibility is a very important aspect of the modern world of business. It is evident that once the business grows the CSR grows with it at the same time. This because with the growing involvement with the society a business makes profit out of it and it is at this point the society demands a share of this profit. This share is obviously not in cash but in kind. The society expects the business to return some of the profit acquired from the society in some way or the other. It can be done by social work or developing social amenities or simply maintaining a specific high level of the service provided by the business. Media is no exception and thus there should be a complete ethical approach of the media as it has the ability to influence huge mass at any given time.

Description of Concrete Experience

On a personal note I can always state that the struggle was to establish a binary distinction between two kinds of people. Once you get to the Enlightenment, which says and recognizes that everybody is one species, then you have to begin to find the way which marks the difference, inside the species. It is not two species, but how, why one bit of the species is different – more barbarous, more backward, more civilized than another part. Then you get into a different marking of difference: the difference which is marked inside the system. To me the word ‘culture’ has varied implications.

Testing and Application

Earlier, the print media played an effective role in the formation of public opinion. With the advent of new media in the form of television, radio, billboards etc. the participation habits of the public have also undergone a sea change. Communities and individuals are constantly overwhelmed by the huge influx of information generated by the mass media. Thus, they also serve the purpose of acting as our moral guardian. Furthermore, it is the mass media which has the immense power of making or breaking celebrities.

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Influence of science and technology

Reflections

The influence of science and technology is huge. Technological aspect like the internet is still growing. It has created more space for political information as well as social and cultural ideas and opinions. This has amplified the participation level of the general masses. Not only this, it has also provided opportunity for social and cultural exchanges on a wider forum.

Generalizations / Principles / Theories

In this context I would like to remind that scientific and technological developments also influence the culture of a society. The relation between science and technology and culture is one of co-dependence, co-influence as well as the representation of technology in culture and vice versa. Thus, this symbiotic relationship between the two can be perceived in two ways- how technological development influences society and how society determines the need for technological development.

Gradually, they gave way to compact discs which were smaller and could store more data. However, on a positive note, I can say that the technological advancements have changed the people’s lifestyles by making life easier for them. They have created a leisure class, made the society better informed, prepared the society for imbibing complex learning tasks as well as introduced the concept of multi-tasking. Global networking, denser social circles, cheaper prices of electronic goods and services and the growth of specialized jobs have added newer dimensions to the dynamics of human life.

Description of Concrete Experience

I can put forward innumerable examples to prove the influence of technological advancement on society. One of these is the advent of the mobile phone. It has brought about a revolution in the field of communication. It has made the people more accessible irrespective of the physical distance between them. Society also determines the need for technological advancement as in the case of modern media players. It not only my personal experience but it is true for all that the internet has revolutionized the process of the formation of public opinion. Thus, it goes without saying that technological development plays an important role in shaping the culture of a community and it has deeply affected me too.

Testing and Application

However, all these developments have come with a price. I believe pollution is the biggest concern affecting our lives and I personally, suffer from it, particularly as I am prone to smoke and dust allergy. So, increase in transportation has lead to congestion, newer technological developments have exposed us to newer forms of danger, and certain forms of entertainment are having serious social consequences. Moreover, this has lead to a tremendous increase in the occurrence of lifestyle diseases like obesity. Structural unemployment and severe climate changes have also become issues of serious concern.

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However, it is a fact that Invention of computer has miraculously changed the whole scenario. Computers not only impinged on global economy by increasing production, enhancing efficiency etc. Along with business sectors like banking, stock exchange etc, which witness extensive use of computers, other sectors have also been influenced by computers. Educational institutions, hospitals, etc are now day’s increasingly using computers. Due to their vast facilities of computers are becoming more and more popular among house holds also. Increasing number of people are using computers in their day to day life. Thus, the demand of internet would be high and added with refreshments the project is a sure success.

Use of slang

Reflections

In the context of slang, it can be stated that we all use slang up to some degree and the use of slang is also considered to be representative of one’s cultural identity. This concept of slang has however, changed due to urbanization, immigration and mass communication. I feel that Slang has permeated modern life as its popularity can be judged from newspaper headlines, advertisements, television scripts and stump speeches. When slang is introduced in a speech, it automatically entails a subtext apart from the main text message. In the present context, slang may be considered as a powerful and vivid representation of the tribe identity. In fact, American slang has now given rise to a global culture.

Generalizations / Principles / Theories

The primary social function of slang is to signal a sense of belongingness. Knowledge of the American slang identifies the speaker as a member of that global youth culture. The impact of slang on the culture of a community can well be perceived from the fact that it has assumed the status of a global code for the youth. Nowadays, the youth have easy access to the media where they log in as members of different fan communities. It is in the same way that American English and related resources have now become a global code of communication for youth across the length and breadth of the globe.

Description of Concrete Experience

I do not know about the others but I used quite a bit during my early youth. I used it because this creates a commonality among youth across the globe whereby they share a common culture. I felt it was a form of identity creation during my early youth.

Testing and Application

American slang has important global implications in the youth-cultural contexts. Rather, it is transmitted via rapid linguistic transfer that cannot be encompassed within the curriculum. However, knowledge of slang has various positive implications as well. It also serves the distinctive purpose of relating foreign language learning with adolescent cultural experience.

Expansion/limiting vocabulary

Reflections

Vocabulary is either limited or expanded and it is dependent on time. Thus, it is in a lifetime such changes can be observed. I believe that the mass as a whole becomes bore with a specific word and thus, to attain an extra meaning of it, either expands or reduces the application of the word. As a result, the phenomenon of expansion or reduction of vocabulary takes place.

Generalizations / Principles / Theories

Fundamentally, this realization made me understand that a word undergoes two basic types of meaning change- generalization and specialization. Generalization, also known as extension, refers to the assigning of a meaning to a word which is broader than its original meaning. E.g. the word ‘place’ derives from the Latin word ‘platea’ which means “broad street”. Gradually, the word came to be used in a wider context as referring to “a particular place”, “a business area” etc. Now, the word has undergone further expansion in meaning as it refers to “an area”. Generalization is a natural process resulting from the situations where the speaker has a limited vocabulary at his/her disposal or is in the process of second language acquisition.

Specialization, on the other hand, is contrary to the process of generalization. It may be defined as the process of narrowing the meaning of the word so that it refers to something which is just an aspect of what it originally stood for. An appropriate example in this context is the Japanese word “koto” which originally referred to “any kind of stringed instrument”. I also found it very interesting in the context of the relation between language and culture is the limiting or expansion of vocabulary. It has often been argued whether limiting or expanding the vocabulary creates a direct impact on the thought process and thereby affects the culture.

Description of Concrete Experience

I have seen in my experience that there is a constant change in language in terms of expansion of meaning of word or its gradual limitation. On a personal note, it can be stated that the some words that I used during my early days do not carry the same meaning today.

Testing and Application

I have talked with many experts on this parameter and I found that it has mostly been agreed upon that limiting or expanding the vocabulary may not directly influence the thought process as it operates independently. But, the limiting/expansion of vocabulary definitely affect the mode of expression of the people. As has been already mentioned, language embodies the cultural reality. Language conforms to the mode of expression of the people. Thus, the limiting/expansion of vocabulary definitely influence the culture of the community.

Changes in meaning of language and idiomatic expressions

Reflections

Idioms used in the language also reflect a particular culture and if we study our surroundings we would definitely realize that. The reason for this is not difficult to comprehend. As idioms are culture specific, they are mostly used in the local context. They can rarely be universalized. Nevertheless, there are some idioms that are more universal in their meaning and can be translated. Idioms are related to the language in the sense that they embody the style and form of the specific language. But, their meanings cannot be deduced from the grammatical rules or the elements constituting them.

Their meanings can mostly be deciphered in their cultural contexts. Another interesting feature of idioms is that like language, these do not undergo overall modification. With time, some idioms gain in importance while some lose their significance and become obsolete. But these do not change. There are also situations where over-exaggeration of meanings has given birth to new idioms.

Generalizations / Principles / Theories

However, change in the meanings of a language or semantic change can be viewed as a natural process of change unlike the idioms which are more or less stable. The meaning associated with a particular word may change from language to language, culture to culture. The same word may conjure up different images depending on the culture of the speaker. Thus, change in the meanings of a word is culture specific. While in Japan, few years back, I realized that the word ‘coffee’ is used irrespective of the temperature at which it is served whereas in England, the term refers only to hot coffee.

Description of Concrete Experience

We all use idiom and I use it quite frequently. The word ‘paparazzi’ is such an idiom that I have seen to flourish in the context of ‘yellow journalism’ lately. The death of Princess Diana ignited this Italian word and now I find it is used very frequently whenever one is dissatisfied with the approach of an intruding journalist.

Testing and Application

We can deduce that there are elements of stability and change in the making of identities. Ideas of ‘common origin or shared characteristics with another person or group or ideal may be seen as constituting a stabilizing factor in the processes of identification and the development of identities. The persistence of the biological trace in discourses of race becomes the site of contestation between super-ordinate and subaltern groups, with elements among both groups critiquing and/or clinging to it. This leads to adjustments in the functioning of the biological trait in racial discourse and classification.

Some among both groups accept, or contest, the resultant adjustments to the functioning of the biological trace in the identification and definition of racial groups. Members of super-ordinate groups may come to consider their institutional responses to the agency of subaltern groups in two ways: as positive fundamental changes or the making of too many concessions. Dependent on the biological trait as a mobilizational tool, some elements among subaltern groups also find themselves at a loss as to how to conduct the politics of race relations without the guarantee of a presumed racial solidarity. There is no guarantee that being a victim, by race or by class, automatically inclines one to the ‘correct’ politics.

Impact of advertising

Reflections

The above discussion would remain incomplete without referring to the impact of advertisement on culture. It is a part and parcel of our daily life and I have taken great interest in this subject. Most of the ads create artificial needs and demands of the community. But, to convince the audience into believing what it preaches, it often exploits the basic human desires which have often proved harmful. Most of the people declare that they are not influenced by the recent spate of advertisements. But, it may not be the reality.

Generalizations / Principles / Theories

Advertisements may appear silly, funny or trivial. But, they often create a mindset which has a serious bearing on human relationships. Most of the advertisements present the human life as dull and boring with values like trust, faith and belief in relationships fast depleting from the society. The constant bombardment of these messages often makes audience more cynical about human relationships.

They start believing that loyalty to brands is far easier than commitment in relationships. Another harmful message conveyed by advertisements is the projection of human bodies as mere objects. Just as objects need to be perfect, human bodies must also achieve the perfection projected in these ads via the use of varied products. Here, the concept of self-image suffers a change for the worse. Young girls especially become obsessed with their bodies and often suffer mental agony and frustration as they try to perfect them.

Advertisements have no doubt, brought about a boom in the consumer industry as it encourages the people to seek their own identity as well as fulfill their artificial needs and requirements through the purchase of products and services. Moreover, they also offer a wide range from where to select. Nowadays, it is nothing very strange to hear people finding solace by indulging in the purchase of products and services rather than in the human relationships. There are various situations where excessive faith in the promises offered by the products via advertisements has suffered a setback. This has often created severe disappointments.

Description of Concrete Experience

My experience suggests that advertisement may be looked upon as a means of communication which has an element of persuasiveness in it. It involves the promotion of brands or products with emphasis on how the users are going to benefit from them. It also possesses the power to convince a larger section of the society into taking up an action for a particular cause. I have seen that advertisements have a greater impact on the culture and society at large.

Testing and Application

Thus, I feel, and my feelings can be backed by my own experience that advertisements, in this process not only objectify human beings but also create a class of people addicted to certain products or brands. This addiction is far more serious than drug addiction as it gets constant encouragement from the mass media hailing them as the ideal consumers. According to many experts I have corresponded with, advertisements serve the purpose of a mirror reflecting the values of a society rather than affecting them. However, in most of the cases, it remains a pervasive medium of persuasion and propaganda.

Repeated exposure to advertisements creates a cumulative impact on the culture of a community which is often at the sub-conscious level. Many compare the role of advertisements in modern society to the role and function of myth in ancient society. They serve the dual role of the creation and perpetuation of dominant values in the modern society. And it is on the basis of these values that people conduct themselves within the society. In other words, it lays down the social norms. Advertisements can, thus be looked upon as reflecting certain values while suppressing others.

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Premium Papers. (2022, January 27). Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media. Retrieved from https://premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/

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Premium Papers. (2022, January 27). Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media. https://premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/

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"Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media." Premium Papers, 27 Jan. 2022, premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/.

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Premium Papers. (2022) 'Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media'. 27 January.

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Premium Papers. 2022. "Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media." January 27, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/.

1. Premium Papers. "Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media." January 27, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/.


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Premium Papers. "Language and Culture: Influence and Role of the Media." January 27, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/language-and-culture-influence-and-role-of-the-media/.