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In this context, power can be understood as control of material resources and accumulated wealth, control of politics and the institutions that make up society, and one's social status relative to others determined not just by class but by race, gender, sexuality, cultureand religion, among other things.

But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut. Conflict theory originated in the work of Karl Marxwho focused on the causes and consequences of class conflict between the bourgeoisie the owners of the means of production and the capitalists and the proletariat the working class and the poor. Focusing on the economic, social, and political implications of the rise of capitalism in EuropeMarx theorized that this system, premised on the existence of a powerful minority class the bourgeoisie and an oppressed majority class the proletariatcreated class conflict because the interests of the two were at odds, and resources were unjustly distributed among them.

Within this system an unequal social order was maintained through ideological coercion which created consensus--and acceptance of the values, expectations, and conditions as determined by the bourgeoisie. Marx reasoned that as the socio-economic conditions worsened for the proletariat, they would develop a class consciousness that revealed their exploitation at the hands of the wealthy capitalist class of bourgeoisie, and then they would revolt, demanding changes to smooth the conflict.

According to Marx, if the changes made to appease conflict maintained a capitalist system, then the cycle of conflict would repeat. However, if the changes made created a new system, like socialismthen peace and stability would be achieved. Many social theorists have built on Marx's conflict theory to bolster it, grow it, and refine it over the years. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, critical theorists who were part of The Frankfurt Schoolfocused their work on how the rise of mass culture--mass produced art, music, and media--contributed to the maintenance of cultural hegemony.

More recently, C. Wright Mills drew on conflict theory to describe the rise of a tiny "power elite" composed of military, economic, and political figures who have ruled America from the mid-twentieth century.

conflict perspective on social media

Many others have drawn on conflict theory to develop other types of theory within the social sciences, including feminist theorycritical race theorypostmodern and postcolonial theory, queer theory, post-structural theory, and theories of globalization and world systems. So, while initially conflict theory described class conflicts specifically, it has lent itself over the years to studies of how other kinds of conflicts, like those premised on race, gender, sexuality, religion, culture, and nationality, among others, are a part of contemporary social structures, and how they affect our lives.

Conflict theory and its variants are used by many sociologists today to study a wide range of social problems. Examples include:. Share Flipboard Email. By Ashley Crossman. Karl Marx "A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence.

How today's global capitalism creates a global system of power and inequality. How words play a role in reproducing and justifying conflict.

The causes and consequences of the gender pay gap between men and women.In contrast to theories in the functional perspective, the conflict perspective focuses on the creation and reproduction of inequality—social processes that tend to disrupt society rather than contribute to its smooth operation.

When we take a conflict perspective, one major focus is the differential access to media and technology embodied in the digital divide. Conflict theorists also look at who controls the media, and how media promotes the norms of upper-middle-class white people in the United States while minimizing the presence of the working class, especially people of color.

Powerful individuals and social institutions have a great deal of influence over which forms of technology are released, when and where they are released, and what kind of media is available for our consumption, which is a form of gatekeeping. Shoemaker and Voss define gatekeeping as the sorting process by which thousands of possible messages are shaped into a mass media-appropriate form and reduced to a manageable amount.

Conflict theory - Society and Culture - MCAT - Khan Academy

In other words, the people in charge of the media decide what the public is exposed to, which, as C. With hegemonic media, a culturally diverse society can be dominated by one race, gender, or class that manipulates the media to impose its worldview as a societal norm.

New media weakens the gatekeeper role in information distribution. Popular sites such as YouTube and Facebook not only allow more people to freely share information but also engage in a form of self-policing. Users are encouraged to report inappropriate behavior that moderators will then address.

In addition, some conflict theorists suggest that the way U. Those with the most money can buy the most media exposure, run smear campaigns against their competitors, and maximize their visual presence.

Almost a year before the U. Some would say that the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee is a major contributing factor to our unbalanced political arena. What do you think a conflict perspective theorist would suggest about the potential for the non-rich to be heard in politics, especially when SuperPACs ensure that the richest groups have the most say? Social scientists take the idea of the surveillance society so seriously that there is an entire journal devoted to its study, Surveillance and Society.

The panoptic surveillance envisioned by Jeremy Bentham, depicted in the form of an all-powerful, all-seeing government by George Orwell inand later analyzed by Michel Foucault is increasingly realized in the form of technology used to monitor our every move.

This surveillance was imagined as a form of constant monitoring in which the observation posts are decentralized and the observed is never communicated with directly.

Today, digital security cameras capture our movements, observers can track us through our cell phones, and police forces around the world use facial-recognition software.

What types of women are we exposed to in the media? Some would argue that the range of female images is misleadingly narrow. Take a look at popular television shows, advertising campaigns, and online game sites. In most, women are portrayed in a particular set of parameters and tend to have a uniform look that society recognizes as attractive.

Most are thin, white or light-skinned, beautiful, and young. Why does this matter? Feminist perspective theorists believe this idealized image is crucial in creating and reinforcing stereotypes.

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For example, Fox and Bailenson found that online female avatars conforming to gender stereotypes enhance negative attitudes toward women, and Brasted found that media advertising in particular promotes gender stereotypes. As early asMs.Mass media has a direct affect on modern culture. This is especially true in the United States where the majority of mass media originates. The moods and attitudes of our society are influenced by messages delivered through mass media channels.

Mass media and advertising affect our actions, thoughts, and values.

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We are at the point where mass media creates and reflects our culture—a mediated culture. A look back through the history of our society will reveal that we were not always influenced by mass media. This is due largely to the fact that our current level of media saturation has not always existed. Television, the most popular mass media medium, was less predominant in the s and s. Even if you were one of the fortunate families to own a television set, only three main channels existed.

Additionally, a few public broadcasting and independent stations were in operation. Radio and television shows in the s were targeted to an audience with very high moral values. The audience demographic consisted primarily of two-parent, middle-class families. The programming was a reflection of everyday life. Families living three decades ago would never have tolerated a reality show.

The same families gathering in front of a television set to watch a s situation comedy would have never accepted the programming of today. Our moral values in the early days of television dictated content and influenced advertising.

We controlled mass media by our level of acceptance. Still photography, motion pictures, telegraphy, radio, telephone, and television were all invented between the years and Mass media emerged into a capitalization of the leisure industries to eventually become the dominator of mental life in modern society.

Adolf Hitler used radio for propaganda sparking concern that mass media could be used for mind control. Early studies of mass media by sociologists proved that media effects were direct and powerful. However, the level of influence on an individual depended on certain factors such as class and emotional state.

Wright Mills defines mass media as having two important sociological characteristics: first, very few people can communicate to a great number; and, second, the audience has no effective way of answering back The Power Elite, The introduction of the internet into mainstream mass media has changed communication into a bidirectional process.

The internet reaches a broad audience but has less of an impact on shaping society. The majority of research in the s was concentrated on television.One of the central tenets of Conflict Theory is that those in power are able to control or manipulate the media and the public at large so that they can escape criticism.

Subsequently those in power can do or say things that if a less powerful person exhibted the same behavior they would be ridiculed or possibly be committing a crime As you can see there is some overlap with Labeling Theory here as well.

Some students will say that homeownership stimulates the economy, but I counter that food stamps, WIC, and many other welfare programs stimulate the economies of the communities where these monies are spent. Many of those who were in an uproar over this finding suggested that something was wrong with our tax system or, as Glenn Beck suggested, they should be forced to serve in the military if they were not going to contribute in some other way.

Understanding Conflict Theory

None of the critics suggested that growing economic inequality was the cause, but rather blamed the poor for taking advantage of the system.

I have shown this video in my classes and Stewart explains this aspect of Conflict theory better than I ever could in only 6 minutes. My students loved this video and were laughing out loud, but I do have to caution you that at one moment into the video Stewarts comedy is a tad inappropriate.

I always ask my students if they are okay with a little blue humor before I show this clip.

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Daily Show Full Episodes. Political Humor. Tea Party.We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. It is hard to imagine that just one theoretical view can make clear the many ways that individuals relate with media and technology.

Technology covers a wide range from simplistic to complicate. Media is everywhere we look and on every gadget we own. This paper will take a look at mass media from the functionalist, conflict, and interaction perspectives. You can look at a variety of theories and you will find studies and scholars that agree and those who disagree. A sociological approach in functionalism is the reflection of the relationship among the functions of less significant parts and the functions of the total.

conflict perspective on social media

Don't use plagiarized sources. From the functionalist perspective there has been a problem from the start.

How Social Media is Changing Conflict

The problem is the failure to identify and come up with a definition for the actual function of mass media. Also it has been problematic to define what role the mass media plays in various cultures and sub cultures Mendelshon, H.

From the start a functionalist breakdown comes with a profound handicap. According to the functionalist perspective the media is a marketing product and entertaining, it is socializing individuals, teaching norms, morals, and philosophies to future groups.

Media also keeps individuals in touch with cultural standards in the time if happenings of nationwide importance. The functionalist perspective sees the media as teaching what is virtuous and appropriate Gamson, Croteau, Hoynes, and Sasson The media has four essential functions for society: surveying the environment to give reports and information; relaying replies to this information; amusing; and transmitting traditions to upcoming generations.

Advertisements are always shown before movies; it also appears on public transportation and on highway billboards. There is virtual gaming that allows one to talk to friends on social networks. Technology gives individuals and groups innovative and more stimulating ways to stay amused.

Some sociologist affirm that this level of media experience hints to narcotizing dysfunction, a word that defines when persons are excessively overcome with media feedback that they begin to ignore it. Functionalism has gotten criticism for neglecting the harmful functions of an event such as divorce.

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Functionalism does not support individuals in taking a lively position in altering their social environment even if this change could be for the better. Functionalism sees vigorous social change as unwelcome since each part of society will recompense naturally for any troubles that may come to pass.

Conflict theorists see social conflict among any groups in which it is probable for disparity exists: racial, gender, religious, political, economic, and so on. Conflict theorists claim that disparate groups more often than not have contradictory standards and agendas, causing them to vie in opposition to each other.

This steady rivalry between groups is the foundation for the constantly shifting nature of society. Looking at the conflict perspective mass communications study has time after time recognized the major force that the media can have in determining a communal outlook about a certain matter, such as conflict.

The media repeatedly helps decide what the public sees the subject, its causes and penalty, whether it is important, and what to assume about it Reuben, R. The media can have a very influential role in fueling fires when it comes to certain issues like racism and other social injustices. Conflict like functionalism has been defined in many different ways. When it come to mass media the same can be said.

Although conflict is regularly important to those involved, it may not always be noticed by the media. The disagreement has got to be remarkable to the picky viewers of the media. According to the conflict perspective a main emphasis is the variance of avenues to media and technology exemplified in the digital world. Conflict theorist concentrate on who reigns the media, and how the media endorses the norms of the upper-middle-class white Americans while lessening the existence of the lower class especially minorities.

Candidates with the most monies available can buy the most media exposure, trash talk their competition, and take full advantage of their visual existence. Now days cameras capture our activities and viewers can find people over their cell phones.

Social scientists take the idea of the surveillance society so seriously that there is an entire journal devoted to its study, Surveillance and Society library. Influential individuals and social organizations carry much of the say so about what technology is out, when and where it is released and what kind of media is accessible for intake.Friendships also have a less pleasant side — one that includes conflict, disagreements and in some cases, the end of the relationship. Teens from higher-income households are more likely to report people stirring up drama on social media sites than teens from lower-income households.

Among both groups, teens are more likely to say they witness drama occasionally rather than frequently. Teens in our focus groups described how drama often flows back and forth from in-person to online conflict and back again.

One thoughtful teen explains the way the disinhibiting effects and group relationships on social media can escalate conflict. Things they kind of hide behind their screen or their phone. So it blows up a lot more on social media. And then, so once it blows up, people like start feeding in or they start feeding into somebody else. And some people might scroll down there.

Like look at their past and be like, six months ago … oh yeah. When it comes to fights moving from online to offline, most teens say digital technology has not been a main cause of disagreement among friends.

Besides gender, there are also racial and ethnic differences. Besides demographics, how teens use and interact with technology is correlated with whether they have had negative experiences facilitated by the web or a text message. Social media use is a big predictor of whether a teen has been involved in a fight over something that occurred in a digital space.

Teens who have a smartphone are more likely than those with basic phone or no phone at all to say they have had a disagreement with a friend about something that started online. Teens in our focus group described some of the factors that contribute to online conflict. It was a little misunderstanding on the way I typed something on Facebook. It was just the way I worded something … they took it seriously.

We got into a really big fight over that. Afterwards, more people were involved. It was just like really petty and stupid.The rise of ISIS, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the election of Donald Trump are not only three very important geopolitical events, they all are directly connected to the varying impact of social media on conflict. Russia uses cyberwarfare and misinformation. It is no question that social media matters. The extent of the influence of social media on conflict and political struggle and the mechanisms at play still need to be captured more systematically.

In this article, the author presents a framework to understand how social media can influence political conflict on the level of the elites as well as mass-level collective action.

Communication is assisted by social media through the exchange of information, the exposure of wrongdoing by elites, and mobilization and coordination of protest. Connections between activists are made easier, coordination and communication are less costly.

Moreover, potential allies and activists can be targeted and recruited—a point primarily examined in the context of political violence and radicalization e. ISISbut also in the context of nonviolent social movements e. Such broad and disparate findings make it important to provide a conceptual framework on the impact of social media on conflict.

The author proposes four points: 1 Social media makes communication for individuals and groups easier. They can challenge the state outside of mainstream media.

conflict perspective on social media

Likewise, regimes can manipulate social media with fake users to give the appearance of broad support. The implications are mixed. For example, the pressure to first report news stories might lead to poorly vetted material and publication of false and misleading information. In turn, secretive actions or mass atrocities might quickly become visible.

In this dynamic process both sides constantly shift communication technology and tactics. In conclusion of this research, the author offers four key future implications: 1 recognizing the increased use of social media as a campaigning tool; 2 increased usage of encrypted social media due to privacy concerns; 3 social media and cyberconflict will be tied together more generally; and 4 higher technological sophistication and artificial intelligence will have increased ability to manipulate conflict and social media.

The entire framing of this article is contemporary relevant by the omnipresent yet underexplored impact of social media on conflict. At present, no social conflict can be viewed without examining the use of social media by conflict parties and the impact these communication platforms have on the conflict trajectory, the conflict parties and their constituencies, and the broader conflict context.

With the advent of social media, any intervention into conflict or efforts to build peace must consider the role of social media. The frameworks for analysis and conflict prevention can benefit from understanding the four key roles outlined in this study.

Social media can be both, therefore it becomes more important to understand the role of social media in conflict as discussed in this study. We should also use the understanding of social media technology to systematically think about conflict prevention.

Functionalist, Conflict, and Interaction Perspectives on Mass Media Essay

A key factor in disrupting destructive conflict lies in understanding the strategic interaction of the conflicting parties at the different stages of conflict latent conflict, manifest conflict, conflict escalation, conflict climax, conflict de-escalation, post-conflict. It can affect perception on ethnicity, change attitudes, and promote tolerance and mutual understanding. Zeitzoff, T. Talking Points: In conflict, social media makes communication for individuals and groups easier.

In conflict, the speed and spread of information is increased by social media. In conflict, it is important to examine the interaction and strategic dynamics between movements and elites via social media.


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Conflict perspective on social media
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