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How does the mass media serve as an enforcer of social norms?

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lehcir | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:25 PM via web

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How does the mass media serve as an enforcer of social norms?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The mass media act as an enforcer of social values in many ways.  One way in which they do this is by showing the consequences of breaking certain rules.  For example, there is the show “Teen Mom” on MTV.  This show depicts the problems that are faced by teenage mothers.  By broadcasting this show, MTV is enforcing the social value of abstinence, or at least of avoiding pregnancy.  Other parts of the media enforce social values in a more positive way.  They do so simply by showing people acting in ways that are seen as normal.  When the media portray people acting in these ways, they send the message that this is the proper way to act.  This, too, enforces social values.

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