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Marisa Alvarado

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Functionalism

Marisa Alvarado
Krystal Maestas Mass Entertainment Theory Functionalism Theory Theoretical approach that conceives of social systems as living organisms whose various parts work, or function, together to maintain essential processes Communications Systems Theory Theory that examines the mass communication process
as composed of interrelated parts that
work together to meet some goal Social Cognitive Theory Theory of learning through interaction with the environment that involves reciprocal causation of behavior, personal factors, and environmental events Manifest Functions Intended and observed consequences of media use Latent functions Unintended and less easily observed consequences of media use Charles Wright's
Classic Four Functions of the media Surveillance
Transmission of the social heritage
Entertainment Narcotizing Dysfunction Theory that as news about an issue inundates people, they become apathetic to it, substituting knowing about that issue for action on it Theory asserting that television and other mass media, because they relax or otherwise entertain average people, perform a vital social function System Any set of interrelated parts that can influence and control one another through communication and feedback loops Cybernetics The study of regulation and
control in complex systems Feedback loops Ongoing mutual adjustments in systems Communication Systems Systems that function primarily to facilitate communication Model Any representation of a system whether in words or diagrams Goal-oriented Characteristic of a system that serves a specific overall or long-term purpose Transmissional Model The view of mass media as mere senders or transmitters of information Social Learning Theory Functionalism Theory Strengths
Positions media and their influence in larger social system
Offers balanced view of media's role in society
Is based on and guides empirical research Weaknesses
Is overly accepting of status quo
Asserts that dysfunctions are "balanced" by functions
Asserts that negative latent functions are "balanced" by positive manifest functions
Rarely permits definitive conclusions about media's role in society Mass Entertainment Theory Strengths
Stresses media's prosocial influence
Provides cogent explanation for why people seek entertainment from media Weaknesses
Is too accepting of the status quo
Paints negative picture of average people and their use of media Paul Lazarsfeld Robert Merton One of the most influential social theorists of the 1940s and 1950s
Sociologist at Columbia University
Intrigued by Lazarsfeld's work
Wrote "Social Theory and Social Structure" in 1949 Empirical researcher
Rarely relied on social theory during research
Used surveys to investigate
Fascinated with opinion leaders The result of their collaboration.... Merton wrote "Social Theory and Social Structure" in 1949
"On Theoretical Sociology in 1967
Developed theories of the middle-range Middle-Range Theories Merton's solution to the dilemma posed by the rising tide of research findings was development MRT that attempt to explain only limited domains or ranges of action that had been or could be explored using empirical research 1. MRT consist of limited sets of assumptions from which specific hypotheses are logically derived and confirmed by empirical investigation.

2. These theories do not remain separate but are consolidated into wider networks of theory.

3. These theories are sufficiently abstract to deal with differing spheres of social behavior and social structure, so that they transcend sheer description or empirical generalization

4. This type of theory cuts across the distinction between micro-sociological problems.

5. The MR orientation involves the specification of ignorance. Rather than pretend to knowledge where it is in fact absent, this orientation expressly recognizes what must still be learned to lay the foundation for still more knowledge. Harold Lasswell In 1949, he provided a cogent, succint version of the transmissional model when he described the communications process as "who says what to whom through what medium with what effect" Moving Beyond Limited Effects:
Chapter 7 Fathers of Functionalism Focus on Children
and Violence The Start: 1960's- New American Social Landscape Crime waves swept cities
Race riots broke out
Black Panthers & Weathermen use violence
Assassinations of J.F.K, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy
Young people had new music and new behaviors. Urie
Bronfedbrenner Research showed that by the mid-1960's young people were no longer going to family and church as their source of primary socializing. Instead they were going to media and peers. Surgeon General's Scientific Advisory Committee
On Television and Social Behavior Established in 1969 by the federal government
Commission broad range of media effects to determine if television had an influence on children's behavior
Believed it had some influence but didn't know how much
Results: Family viewing hour-optimized violent content Media and Children's Socialization Early Window: the idea that media allow children to see the world before they have the skill to successfully act in it. Children are exposed to:
Gender roles
Body Image
Relationships Television Violence Theories Catharsis: also called sublimation; the idea that viewing mediated aggression sates, or reduces, people's natural aggressive drives i.e.-
Family purging on cake
Mediated sexual behavior
Violence Feshbach:
study with preadolescence boys and television viewing for six weeks - Encompasses both imitation and identification to explain how people learn through observation of others in their environment Imitation: the direct reproduction of observed behavior -Monkey see, Monkey do-
UFC fights Effects those who are already "predisposed" to aggression- instigated prior to observation Identification: - A special form of imitation that springs from wanting to be and trying to be like an observed model relative to some broader characteristics or qualities More lasting and significant than imitation Social
Learning Neal Miller John Dollard Before: Imitation began with a desire to learn and then reinforced.

Later: Models can influence behavior simply by being depicted on the screen. No reinforcement or reward needs to be given Social Cognitive Theory Strengths:
Demonstrates causal link between media and behavior
Applies across several viewers and viewing situations
Has strong explanatory power Weaknesses:
Laboratory demonstration raises question of generalizability
Experimental demonstration might overestimate media power
Has difficulty explaining long-term effects of media consumption
Underestimates people's active use of media messages
Focuses too narrowly on individual rather than on cultural effects Operant Learning Theory: Asserts that learning occurs only through the making and subsequent reinforcement of behavior. Presented with stimuli
Respond to the stimuli
Response is reinforced (+/-)
New behavior is learned
Behavior repertoire: the learned responses available to an individual in a given situation Facts:
1.) Inefficient way of learning

2.) Learning through observation Negative reinforce: a particular stimulus whose removal, reduction, or prevention increases the probability of a given behavior over time Modeling: the acquisition of behaviors through observation Social Cognition Operations: 1. Observational Learning:

2. Inhibitory Effects:

3. Disinhibitory Effects: the observation of a behavior is sufficient to learn that behavior the effects of seeing a model punished for a behavior, thus reducing the likelihood that the observer will engage in that behavior the effects of seeing a model rewarded for a prohibited or threatening behavior, thus increasing the likelihood that the observer will engage in that behavior. Vicarious Reinforcement: reinforcement that is observed rather than directly experienced Reinforcement Contingencies: the value, positive or negative, associated with a given reinforcer Social Prompting: demonstration of previously learned behavior when it is observed as socially acceptable or without restraints Aggressive Cues: information contained in media portrayals of violence that suggests (or cues) the appropriateness of aggression against specific victims Priming Effect:

Cognitive Neoassociationistic Perspective: the idea that presentations in the media heighten the likelihood that people will develop similar thoughts about those things in the real world frequent viewing of violent media portrayals primes particular constructs, making them more likely to be used in behavorial decisions. The Context of Mediated Violence Contextual Variables: the information surrounding the presentation of mediated violence 7 Variables:
Reward/Punishment- reward is more frequent
Consequences- produces less modeling
Motive- greater levels of modeling. Appropriateness
Realism- realistic media produces more real-world aggression
Humor- reduces the seriousness, then it will continue
Identification with Media Characters- relating to a media icon
Arousal- dramatically induced arousal and emotional attachment Active Theory of Television Viewing - view of television consumption that assumes viewer comprehension causes attention and , therefore, effects or no effects. Viewing Schema: - interpretational skills that aid people in understanding media content conventions Active-Audience Theories: theories that focus on assessing what people do with media; audience-centered theories The Developmental Perspective the view of learning from media that specifies different intellectual and communication stages in a child's life that influences that nature of media interaction and impact 1950s and 1960s America... Post-WWII American society
changes forced reconsideration of the prevailing thought on Mass Communication Theory new communication technologies
efficient superhighways
universally available home ownership and higher education
population's migration to the suburbs
exploding advertising industry
women entering the workforce in ever larger numbers
expanded leisure time
rise of youth culture with its new music and social styles
geographical displacement of millions of GIs as they were ushered out of the military
increased voice and visibility of racial minorities
the threat of imminent global destruction with the Cold War *Peoples' power to deal with television is their ability to comprehend it at different stages in their intellectual development. *Children undergo qualitative changes in the level of cognitive and intellectual abilities available to them. Video Games Heighten
Media Violence The Four How's: Amount of video gaming played

"Presence" of video games in high-profile school shooting
Video game interactivity

Brutality of bestselling games where player controls violence 9 of 10 children have game systems (half in their own bedroom) "Player" vs "Viewer" Fix It! Craig Anderson- 2010 review- Best way to deal with risk 1. Reduce Exposure
2. Get Parents Involved
3. Increase Media Literacy What to do: -Casual link between violent video games and subsequent player aggression Potential Test Questions: 1. Name one theory under functionalism and how its role relates to society today.
2. What are some of the socialization issues children are exposed to through media other than violence. How is this displayed as they get older?
3. How do you see Narcotizing Dysfunction in society today?
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