Mass media that includes movies, television, internet, and newspaper plays a significant role in modern culture. The media creates and portrays the culture of society across all age-groups. This is termed as a mediated culture. The society is constantly bombarded with ideologies from the media (Worsham & Clark, 2011). This information substantially establishes a sense of what the society should perceive as true or important and influences consumption patterns and lifestyle. The movie Thank you for smoking gives the society a view of some of the marketing and advertisement tactics and ideologies used by tobacco companies.
The media sees a person as a cell organized into a social unit. In order to get an automatic response from society, one has to target a nerve at a sensitive spot. As the movie begins, there is a television talk show that uses a teenager affected by cancer as a tactic to amass sympathy to the anti-tobacco activists (Snowden, 2015). The main character uses the same technique but garners admiration and the attention of the audience. He states how it is the tobacco's company goal that he stays alive and mentions that the company has funded a campaign that discourages teens from smoking. Naylor offered the public whatever they desired to hear and utilized the opportunity to convince the public to his side.
Diagrams have a distinct meaning in all cultures. At the climax of the movie, there is a negotiation to discuss the incorporation of the skull and crossbones to cigarette packaging. The medic testifying in place of the tobacco company explains that images are understood by the general population despite the language of the people. The image illustrates that the product is deadly and should be avoided. This is contrary to what the advertisers want as death is not a selling point. The objective of advertisers is to sell a lifestyle option. The movie depicts how images can be used to sway a society’s opinion and how images transcend numerous communication hindrances making them super effective.
When Naylor is watching a film in his house, the man in the movie gives a cigarette to his friend who reaches out for his cigarette. Directors have romanticized the smoking of cigarettes by getting influential and idolized actors to smoke in movies. That way, creating events that influence the public by making smoking appear to be cool without the negative connotations associated with cigarettes. Since cigarettes are addictive, advertising was half the work in boosting production.
A section of the movie explains details about the “Academy of Tobacco Studies” and presents scientists that have been conducting studies in the past three decades. Their objective is to relate smoking to lung cancer, but have not found conclusive evidence. However, the Academy is financed by the tobacco company. Meaning, the scientific study from the Academy is biased towards the funding organization, but the public will perceive it to be reliable. Misuse of instruments that organize public opinion endangers generations.
The biggest ideology spin is the main character, Nick Naylor. He is attractive and charismatic, thereby capturing the interest of the audience. The public will tend to be more welcoming of the message that such a person is delivering. He is good at public relations and swaying public perception. The movie also illustrates the use of instruments that organize public opinion and scientific studies, and how images can be used to create ideologies regardless of any language barrier. The movie brings to light both the best and the worst of some interesting tobacco ideology. Propaganda can be in many forms and effects.
Sociology. The Role and Influence of Mass Media. https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/contemporary-mass-media/the-role-and-influence-of-mass-media.
Snowden, E. (2015, December 9). Thank You For Smoking. https://sites.psu.edu/popculturestuff/2015/12/09/thank-you-for-smoking/.
Worsham, S. L., & Clark, R. E. (2011, November 28). Media's Influence on Social Norms and Identity Development of Youth. Media's Influence on Social Norms and Identity Development of Youth - Applied Social Psychology. http://www.personal.psu.edu/bfr3/blogs/applied_social_psychology/2011/11/medias-influence-on-social-norms-and-identity-development-of-youth.html.
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Essay Sample on Media & Society: Impact of Mediated Culture on Modern Life. (2023, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-sample-on-media-society-impact-of-mediated-culture-on-modern-life
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