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Social Values

Introduction to Social Values for Unit 4 Media

Eric Jensen

on 9 June 2010

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Transcript of Social Values

Social Values According to the Functionalist school of sociology
society is held together by shared beliefs and values. Emile Durkheim 1858 - 1917 For example:
"You should come over on the weekend.
My dog just had puppies." "We're going to eat them." See? We all share the value that puppies are cute
and you should look after them. So, social values are attitudes.
A puppy is not a social value.
The idea that we shouldn't eat it
is. Some shared social values are advisory, "Don't pick your nose." (these are called "norms") while others are mandatory. "You shouldn't kill and eat people." These are called "mores".
(Pronounced "morays",
like eels). Social Values are not universal.
Some things that seem obvious to
us are obviously wrong in different
times or places. Research "Thit Cho". Is this wrong?
Who's to say?
It's culture. So, one definition of "culture" might be: "The set of beliefs and
values that a community shares." The values that most people
in a society share are called
"dominant" social values. In a democracy, these should
also be the values held by the
government. These shared social values are not
the only social values out there, however.
There are some people who hold other values.
Some people want to eat dogs. Some people want
to eat other people. Sometimes these are codified and we call them "Laws". Often a social value is expressed as a direction
for correct behaviour. So, often it contains the word
"should" (or "should not", or if you're very old "shalt not"). They often also contain the word "that".
So, a social value might be: "That people
should not eat dogs". Alternative Social Values Some people hold values that are in
direct opposition to the dominant social
values of the culture to which they belong.
Some people hold values that are
ahead of their time. One day they will
become Dominant. Maybe. We call these values
"Oppositional". We call these values
"Emerging". Sometimes we don't know if a value is
emerging or oppositional until the dust
has settled. Or, sometimes what we thought was an oppositional social value turns out to be an emerging one. Social Values
Media Products Media products reflect the culture of the society that produces them. Sometimes media products are
inspired by currnet events, and reflect the
producers' attitudes towards the event. For example, in the late 1980s
international condemnation of
apartheid in South Africa was reaching
a crescendo. Who were the bad guys in
Lethal Weapon 2, released in
1989? South African Diplomats. While Murtaugh and Riggs are
the epitome of productive cooperation who
eventually defeat the evil South Africans. In the 1940s Women keep diaries
about their children. In the 1940s
men go to work. In the 1940s
women make clothes. Media products support or challenge
dominant social values. Ralph is a reefer smoker.
Do you think Reefer Madness supports
or challenges the dominant social values of
1936? How has the representation of a reefer
smoker been constructed here? And now...
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