© Media Watch 9 (3)
Impact of Media on Shaping
I.N. CHUDNOVSKAYA & M.E. LIPATOVA
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
The digitization of communication and the mediatization of society transform the forms and types of relationships of parties of the communication process. Social media as a new media environment has a great potential for managing opinions, media consumer's impressions and the formation of certain attitudes and stereotypes. The question arises of formulating distinct criteria for assessing the degree to which media affects certain social groups and society as a whole, as well as the consequences of such an impact. The article analyzes the impact of technical and technological and
Keywords: Media, mediatization, youth, new media,
“Mediatization” became a new category of scientific study at the turn of the century; in modern scientific discourse, M. McLuhan’s multifaceted formula “The Medium is the Message” can be perceived as a request, an assignment to the sciences that study society and man. Man and his social and communicative practices, specific of the nineteenth century, the time of the institutionalization of sociology as a science, changed significantly by the beginning of the third millennium. And the historical evolution of man is not the last factor. The whole human life environment has undergone changes: in natural, technical and technological,
Society as a communicative system has become different. The new information and communication platform served as a basis not only for the formation of new types of social communities having no analogues in the
Another factor that sets the direction for the development of modern society is globalization. In
The purpose of the proposed study is to reveal the contemporary role of the media in the formation of
Media are means of communication, technical means of creating, recording, copying, replicating, storing, disseminating, perceiving information and exchanging it between the author and the audience (Fedorov, 2014).
Mediatization is the impartation of basic elements of social and cultural reality with medialogic or media form (Thompson, 1993), saturation of social relations with media technologies and media entities (Kolomiec, 2014).
Stereotypes are ordered, schematic worldview elements determined by culture existing in human consciousness that save people’s efforts in perceiving complex social objects and protect their values, attitudes and rights (Lippmann, 1922).
In the sociological literature there is no single definition of the concept of “young people”. As a rule, this
Young people demonstrate manners, values, etc., different from people of other ages. It is worth noting that the development of this social group ensures the implementation of one of the most important social functions of society, namely, ensuring the continuity of generations and the reproduction of the social structure. Additionally, the realization of such important functions as reproductive, innovative, and broadcasting is also taking place. Thus, it can be stated that the choice of young people as a research object results from the prospects of their role in social and communicative interaction.
The investigated problems are interdisciplinary. They are included in the object of research in sociology, communicology, psychology, journalism, philology, political science and culturology. The following media research schools have emerged: Chicago, Toronto, Annenberg, Frankfurt, Birmingham (The Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies), the Glasgow University Media Group, the French postmodernism philosophy, etc. Theoretical and methodological basis for our research was grounded on the works of scientists in the following areas.
The definition of the essence and main social functions of the media is laid down in the works by M. McLuhan (1964), N. Bolts (2011), D. McQuaiL (2010), N. Luman (2005), A. Fedorov (2014), M. Nazarov (2010), J. Jackson et al. (2011), and M. O’Shaughnessy et al. (2016). The evolution of media is compared in these works with changes in society. Thus, N. Bolts following McLuhan’s tradition, identifies six historical stages of media development: oral speech, writing, a book, mass media, digitization and networking. M. Nazarov (2010) offers to consider media functions on two levels: personal and social, featuring their mismatch and the possibility of subsequent conflicts. N. Luman (2005) puts forward the idea of two realities of the mass media.
The issue of comparing media and power is raised in major works by H. Innis (1950), M. Castells (2009) and T. Dijk (2015). Noting the strength of the institutional influence of media on other social institutions and society as a whole, researchers analyze the notion of “mediatization”, reincarnated, as explained by S. Livingstone, at the turn of the century. Along with significant
The theories structuring and interpreting mass communication are represented in a consistent manner in the works by D. McQuail (2010), J. Bryant and S. Thompson (2002), and M. Mooij (2014). It is important for us that M. de Mooij considers the meaningful peculiarities of the theories from the perspective of
The problem of media influence is one of the core issues in media research. Due to the wide variety of its perspectives, a large number of publications have been devoted to it. The most relevant for our research was the work of J. Bryant and S. Thompson (2002), especially its excerpts to address the degree of the force of media impact. The diverse aspects of social and personal media influence, in particular, subjectivity of media consumption as an aspect of media influence, are presented in the works by S. Sibert et al. (1998), M. Horkkhajmer, T. Adorno (1997), G. Gerbner et al. (1994), T. Wilson (2009), D. Freedman (2015), L. Jeffres et al. (2008), T. Chalklev et al. (2011), S. Turkle (2015), A. Sibiriakova et al. (2015), and Ke Xue et al. (2018).
Description of the essence and social functions of stereotypes and, especially,
The findings of sociological survey: The Impact of Cultural Stereotypes on Students’ Communication Practices and Students’ Life Strategies and Values in Modern Russian Society held within the framework of the research Culture and Education as a Modernization Potential Development of Russia were used to study the media influence on the formation of
The research was conducted in several stages. The first stage of the research, the study of
In the second half of March 2017, the survey was conducted in the educational institutions of London (Great Britain) and the city of Leicester. The total number of respondents was 213 persons (51% of young men (104 persons) and 49% of young women (105 persons)). The respondents were students of
In the second stage, which took place in April 2018, young people aged 18 to 25 years old, living in Russia and being its citizens were interviewed. The survey was held online. The sample amounted to 1200 respondents (including 50.4% of young men (605 persons) and 49.6% of young women (595 persons)).
Results and Discussion
The main sources of shaping stereotypes are mass media, interpersonal communication with the nearest environment and personal experience. The most sustainable generators of shaping stereotypes in the youth environment are the mass media.
New media (social networks) are among the highest ranked as regards the sources,
which indicates an increase in the level of subjectivity of media consumers.
The role of social networks in the formation of stereotypes has surpassed the role of the family and the immediate environment. This trend is observed in the youth
environment in both countries.
Among the media, films are ranked high after the new social media. In addition, in the
ranked by two positions lower in comparison withsocial networks.
The role of the family and the immediate environment in shaping stereotypes is completely comparable to the role of films in the British youth. As for the Russian young people, rates characterizing the role of films is 2.5 times higher than those
related to the role of the family.
Great differences are observed in the generating role of literature. In the rating characterizing Russian students, it is almost 2 times higher than the rates related to the family and it occupies the fourth line of the rating. In British students, on the contrary, the rates as regards literature are 3.5 times weaker than the status of the
family and it is on the penultimate line of the rating.
The result of the analysis of the media’s content impact is presented by quite benevolent mutual
stage of the study.
Despite the existing
In H. Lasswell’s model, which is effective for theoretical and practical application, revealing the structure of communication, the unit “Effect” is matched with the units “Who?”, “Says What?”, “To Whom?”, “In Which Channel?” (or “Medium”). In this study, we analyzed the relationship between the blocks “Effect” and “Medium” in terms of shaping
The most important category related to the effectiveness of communication is trust. The availability of feedback a priori causes more trust to the source of information, and since trust reduces the boundary of the critical attitude to information and its source, new media have great opportunities to manipulate communicants’ consciousness and influence their values. An important factor in creating trust is the style of providing information. The following trend has emerged: media from the perspective of mass communication with its generalized communicative style are heading over to the position of interpersonal communication, which, as a rule, is trusted more. In new social media, the style of interpersonal communication is broadly presented. Thus, the construction of reality by new media has a great potential impact on the target audience. It is evidenced with figures.
According to VCIOM data (VCIOM, 2018) in the first quarter of 2018, the share of Internet users in Russia was 80%, while the daily share of Internet surfers aged
According to the survey conducted online by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center in 2014 (VCIOM, 2014) 81% of respondents believe that the Internet contributes to the expansion of their area of thought. Access to various media resources such as: music, films, books (80%),
The same tendencies are also traced in the results of the survey related to Russian and British student youth (The Influence of Cultural Stereotypes on Students’ Communicative Practices), which named various news resources presented in the Internet space (72.6% and 81.2%, respectively), as well as social networks, forums, blogs (48.5% of Russians and 71.8% of British people answered this way) as sources of information about the surrounding world. The indicated sources were singled out by young people as the main tools for shaping ethno- cultural stereotypes. Along with this, taking into account the growing role of media resources in the storage and distribution of books, films, music, these are films (51.4%) and books (40.2%) which play a significant role in the construction of stereotypes in the Russian students’ opinion, whereas the share of this content as regards British students is only 35.2% and 9.3%, respectively. In the British students’ opinion, the nearest environment (34.2%) or personal experience of interaction with another culture (24.4%) may have a significant impact on the opinion of representatives of other cultures. As for the Russians, this figure is significantly lower: 21.9% and 17.8%, respectively.
There is an inverse relationship when it comes to the destruction of
Our data correlate with the data of analytical centers in 2018. According to the analytical agency We Are Social and the largest SMM platform Hootsuite (Internet 2017- 2018 v mire, 2018), the main feature of the media environment development is the Internet development. In 2018 the number of Internet users reached 4.021 billion people, which is 7% more compared to the same period last year. The audience of social networks in 2018 amounts to 3.196 billion people, this is by 13% more in relation to the last year’s indicator. In the last 12 months, the number of people on the most popular social sites has increased daily by almost 1 million new users.
According to the POF data obtained in May 2018 (SMI: vostrebovannost’, 2018), television remains the most popular source of information in Russian society. News sites are considerably lagging behind. The third place, again with a large margin, is taken by social networks. However, the information consumption varies greatly in groups by age and education. Young people are much more likely to give preference to the Internet as compared to TV. With a general decrease in trust in information sources with respect to 2015, there is an evident increase in trust in forums, blogs, social networking sites.
The significance of the influence of social networks, forums and blogs on the audience is also indicated by the relatively new phenomenon of astroturfing, when persons concerned, for selfish purposes, knowing about the trust in certain new media, use modern software or pay specially employed users for the artificial management of public opinion, crowding real people’s opinion.
It is obvious that such a development of the situation with social networks aggravates the issue of media literacy development and media education. In a certain perspective of the problem of information security, the shaping of ethno- cultural stereotypes can also be considered.
By the end of the 20th century the following thesis was accepted in the scientific discourse of journalism, communicology, sociology and philosophy: the main essential function of mass media is to influence broad social strata through the content of transmitted information. The issue of the degree of this impact and the criteria for determining it remains contentious. The history of mass media functioning was contingently divided into several stages in terms of their impact effectiveness. In J. Bryant and S. Thompson (2002) historical stages that characterize the scientific attitude to the mass communication impact on the audience is presented as a very strong impact
In our opinion, a promising situation develops when some of the new social media is a platform for discussion, as a result of which the media impact actually reflects active communicants’ influence, i.e. in the strict sense, we can talk about the zero impact of the media. In other words, if in the context of mediatization media are considered as communication environment, then new social media have a very large impact potential, but if we treat media only as a communication channel, then unlike the other media impact, the technological impact of new social media is essentially close to the interpersonal communication effects.
In our study, a questionnaire survey was applied to determine
In turn, British students, in their view of Russia, represented primarily under the media influence, singled out such positive traits as diligence (143),
(32), sincerity (28), good manners (24), modesty (17), aristocratism (16), sociability (9) and punctuality (4). The negative characteristics mentioned by the British are alcoholism
(115), hostility (92), quick temper (77), rudeness (68), haughtiness (52), bad manners (51), vulgarity (26), avarice (25), uncertainty (21), lack of education (20), duplicity (14), arrogance
(10)and lack of
In April 2018, in the second stage of the study, we obtained the results of an online survey of young Russians aged
Media act on the one hand as sense generators, on the other hand, as their translators, as reflected, for instance, in the communicative model by Westley and Maclean. This means that in terms of the senses obtained at the end of the information transmission chain, it is possible to draw certain conclusions about communicators’ social characteristics, their objectives, motives and attitudes and their values. The results obtained as regards
Digitization as a new information and communication technology platform leads to the transformation of media consumption practices and ways of building interpersonal communication. The role of subjectivity in the communication processes is increasing, but a serious problem of trust in information sources still remains, on the basis of which certain ideas and attitudes to social phenomena and behavior patterns are shaped. The Internet space is able to act as a significant other, supplying reliable information and shaping the individual and entire groups’ worldview. Internet media, social networks, forums, blogs are suppliers of news, opinions and platforms for
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Dr. Chudnovskaia I.N is an associate professor in the Faculty of Sociology at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; Chudnovskaia is also a scientific editor of collections of research papers at the same University. Her research interests are: sociology of communication, expert
Lipatova M.E is a research fellow in the Faculty of Sociology at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; Lipatova’s research interests include: sociology of culture, sociology of youth, sociology of communication, sociology of art, life strategies for youth.