Media roles In The Creation Of Social Identities


Since the 1972 call for more research on the influences of the mass media, numerous surveys and studies have been launched on the effects and significance of TV news and other forms of modern media in the creation if different kinds of identities in the society. This paper, therefore, will review the opinions of an author named David Altheide who researched widely on the issue and came up with an article named Media Hegemony: A Failure of Perspective in 1984. The author argued that the main issues underlying much of this research are dominance and control of the process of news. His article, therefore, was published to analyze and examine the empirical and logical adequacy f the hegemony of the media as an explanation of dominance of ideologies.

The authors analyzed recent studies and found that some researchers have uncritically adopted or believed in the thesis of the dominant ideology of the hegemony of the media to the surveys of TV news, and, as a result, have overlooked outcomes that challenge their claims about a number of aspects. These aspects include the ideology and socialization of journalists, whether TV news further the quo status, and the extent and nature of coverage of international news. The authors argue that, despite the limitations, the concept of hegemony of the media, efforts should continuously develop a theoretical perspective that is empirically sound for locating the process of news in a broader societal background.

The article, though significant in its findings, has a number of limitations. For example,the article does not conduct its own surveys; it solely depends on the conclusions made by otherstudies. This limitation can be critical in determining the accuracy of a survey.


Throughout the paper, the author of the article has continuously given reasons and evidence that indicate that television and TV news play dominant roles in the creation and establishment of ideologies in the minds of individuals in a society. For example, it was indicated in the paper that television plays an incredibly essential role in shaping and creating the ideas and philosophies society has about color and race, and especially in children through messages and images shown and broadcasted in the TV.  Professionals argue that it is these images and messages imposed on children that nurture and grow to result to social segregation based on color and race. As much as the mass media has been celebrated for being able to bring key trends in the world closer to families at home, professionals have argue that the images that the media present distorts the views and the ideas of the world.

This results to the nurturing of false expectations in their minds, and ultimately to socialand behavioral discontent that is undesirable. As it has been seen, the pervasiveness of the media today implies that their influence might go beyond minor issues to a point of coloring all of the cultural views in the world. As it has already been indicated, these effects might have diverse effects on the individual. An author looked at in the paper, for example, argued that there is a relationship between the social development of an individualwith their sense of belongingness. If an individual feels segregated, he cannot be able to develop socially. As it follows, it was seen that individuals should be careful when choosing to trust the media. It was also indicated that individuals must ask themselves a number of questions before deciding to trust and listen to themedia. As it has been indicated, efforts should be continuously be used for the development of atheoretical perspective that is empirically sound for locating and placing the TV and modernmedia in a broader societal context, if we are to survive its effects.


Work cited

Altheide, David L. “Media Hegemony a Failure of perspective.”Public Opin Q 48. 2 (1984):        476- 90. Print.




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