Contemporary Political Socialization

Chapter 5: Contemporary Political Socialization THEMES IN POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION Political socialization performs a valuable function. It helps a society communicate its political heritage to new generations. We want children to understand the storied history of the United States, both its strengths and shortcomings. We want them to appreciate the importance of freedom, tolerance, and duty to country, as well as the importance of civic engagement. Other countries also convey their political lineage to young members of society, emphasizing distinctive national norms and values. Democratic societies in particular seek to nurture four virtues in citizens: knowledge of the political system; loyalty to democratic principles; adherence to traditions like voting; and identification with citizenship. Two themes weave their way through the socialization of political attitudes: continuity and change. STUDYING POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION You would not find as many children who harbored such uniformly positive attitudes today. On television and the Internet kids are […]

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Media and Political Knowledge

Chapter 4: Media and Political Knowledge “A democracy can’t be strong if its citizenship is weak,” observed political scientist William A. Galston (2011). A key requirement for effective citizenship is knowledge. Meaningful democratic decision-making requires that citizens understand basic facts of government and the issues that are at stake in elections. National surveys show that most Americans know key aspects of the U.S. Constitution and civil liberties. Happily, they also know the number of senators from their state. But in a testament to widespread ignorance, just 35 percent know the names of both U.S. senators from their state, only a third can name all three branches of government, and 29 percent believe a person can be tried twice for the same crime. This underscores a time-honored paradox of political communication: There is more information available than ever before, yet citizens’ knowledge levels do not approach normative ideals (e.g., Neuman, 1986). […]

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Chapter#5: NORMATIVE THEORIES OF MASS COMMUNICATION During the era of yellow journalism, most media professionals cared very little for the niceties of accuracy, objectivity, and public sensitivities. But in the first decades of the twentieth century, a crusade began among some media industry people and various social elites to clean up the media and make them more respectable and credible. The watchword of this crusade was professionalism, and its goal was elimination of shoddy and irresponsible content. Some sort of theory was needed to guide this task of media reform. The goal of this theory would be to answer questions such as these: Should media do something more than merely distribute whatever content will earn them the greatest profits in the shortest time? Are there some essential public services that media should provide even if no immediate profits can be earned? Should media become involved in identifying and solving social […]

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Post Positivism vs Interpretivist approach

Having invested some more energy concentrate the zones of Positivism and Interpretivist  in the territory of instructive research I have dissected the fundamental contrasts between the two methodologies with the goal that I can figure out where my position may lie. Post Positivism This is generally regarded as a “scientific” approach with methods used that are highly organised, measurable and based on approaches taken by the scientific community involved in researching behaviours in the natural world. The researcher will not be involved with those involved in the research topic and will often use observations as a method of obtaining information. Martyn Denscombe (1998) describes how for positivists, the aim of social research is to discover the patterns and regularities of the social world by using the kind of scientific methods used to such good effect in the natural sciences. Key features: Scientific Objective Robust Involves identifying causes Tests hypotheses Uses the methods of the natural sciences External reality need to collect ‘facts’ Use of statistics (quantitative) […]

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Feminist Approach or Feminist Theory

Feminist theory, or feminism, is support of equality for women and men. Although all feminists strive for gender equality, there are various ways to approach this theory, including liberal feminism, socialist feminism and radical feminism.

Feminist Approach What Is Feminist Theory? Feminist theory, or feminism, is support of equality for women and men. Although all feminists strive for gender equality, there are various ways to approach this theory, including liberal feminism, socialist feminism and radical feminism. Let’s take a look at the basic feminist ideas and various approaches to achieving gender equality. Basic Feminist Ideas Both females and males who identify themselves as feminists disagree on many things. That being said, most feminists agree on five basic principles: Working to increase equality: Feminist thought links ideas to action, insisting we should push for change toward gender equality and not just talk about it. Expanding human choice: Feminists believe that both men and women should have the freedom to develop their human interests and talents, even if those interests and talents conflict with the status quo. For example, if a woman wants to be a mechanic, she […]

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MASS COMMUNICATION THEORY Foundations, Ferment, and Future (Book) Chapter#4: THE RISE OF MEDIA THEORY IN THE AGE OF PROPAGANDA (Review) Muckraker Crusading journalist, typically challenging the powerful on behalf of those less so. Propaganda No-holds-barred use of communication to propagate specific beliefs and expectations. White propaganda Intentional suppression of potentially harmful information and ideas, combined with deliberate promotion of positive information or ideas to distract attention from problematic events. Propaganda theorists abandoned idealism in favor of strategies they regarded as realistic and scientific. Propaganda must be resisted by whatever means possible. Even though the threat of propaganda was great, there might be a silver lining to this cloud. If we could find a way to harness the power of propaganda to promote good and just ideals, then we would not only survive its threat but have a tool to help build a better social order. This was the promise of […]

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Chapter# 3: THE RISE OF MEDIA INDUSTRIES AND MASS SOCIETY THEORY (Review) First Amendment Guarantees freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion Culture war Struggle to define the cultural foundation of the broader social order in which we live THE RISE OF YELLOW JOURNALISM At the beginning of the twentieth century, every industry had its barons, and the most notorious—if not the greatest—of the press lords was Hearst. Hearst specialized in buying up failing newspapers and transforming them into profitable enterprises. He demonstrated that the news business could be as profitable as railroads, steel, or oil. One secret to his success was devising better strategies for luring low income readers. His newspapers combined a low-selling price with innovative new forms of content that included lots of pictures, serialized stories, and comic strips. Some experts even say that yellow journalism got its name from one of the first comic strips: “The Yellow […]

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