Does it seem like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Hard to conclude otherwise when children are massacred as in recent fashion. If you want to understand why however, maybe it is time to put aside “stock” answers and look past clichés about God, madness, and guns. If you are interested in a deeper look at the world we live in, sociologists can help.
Ah the power of the media. The power itself is not a problem. The problem is the “masses” often don’t get just how powerful it is. Here is a student essay providing evidence of the incredible power of the media to literally create reality, in this case the reality of Multiple Personality Disorder. What is interesting for me about this case is not only were the “masses” fooled, but smart, PhD level professionals, and in fact the entire psychological establishment, was sucked in as well. They even created a DSM classification based on the lie seeded by the media. WTF? And while the masses lost nothing but credibility, professionals who bought into the media scripted lie ruined lives. When will we learn?
What is creativity? How does one become creative? Turns out, nobody knows. Or at least that is the conclusion of Dr. Monika Reuter who, after thousands of hours of research, throws up her hands in frustration at the lack of theory and explanation. Should we give up? No. But if yo uask me, if we want to understand creativity then what we need is a revolution in how we understand the nature of our reality, our existence, and ourselves.
Freedom of speech? Its a thorny topic. Do people have the right to be hateful, misinformed, even misogynist? Does free speech include allowing emotional and psychologies bullies, like Rush Limbaugh, to use the airwaves for name calling? In the United States it is free speech uber alles, but other countries have different perspectives. In Canada you can’t engage in hate speech, just like you can’t punch people in the face. Whatever your position, however you think about it, Rush certainly is a magnet for controversy.
It used to be identity was to be found in the way we thought, the groups we were a part of, and the things we held dear. More and more, however, we exist in a monotonic world where our identity is provided by the things we display (cloths, watches, smart phones, stinky chemical scents), our thinking is remarkably conformist and identical, and we all belong to the same social group knowm as “the consumers.” It is a brave new world world where the pain of our shrinking sense of self can, we are told, be easily be mitigated and managed with the appropriate product purchase (booze, antidepressents, social phones) . But in case you haven’t realized, more product purchase doesn’t help. The anxiety and malaise continue to grow.
This student essay was submitted for Sociology 435 (The Sociology of Social Change) at Athabasca University. It is a critical examination of the “heinous” way the media treated the aids epidemic, and their absolute disregard for social responsibility or the deleterious impact media messages were having on the public’s understanding of the disease. The media [...]
First published in 1994 by Gerald Grow, this article takes a critical look at advertising, exploring the meaning behind the images. Commercials work not because they sell a product, but because they sell a “state of existence,” or a “way of being” that we find desirable or that we attain towards, but that we can never achieve! In a very real sense advertising, argues Grow, promotes despair and depression because advertising shows us things that most of us can never attain. Are advertisers to blame, then, for the exploding rates of depression and mental illness, eating disorder and pathology, in our “modern” world?
While traveling recently, I stopped at a fast food restaurant with my 6-year-old daughter. When we sat down at the table to eat, she disappointedly pulled a pink care bear out of her cheeseburger meal. When I asked her what was wrong she asked why the woman had given her a care bear when she wanted a transformer. She went on to explain to me that she liked boy’s toys because she was a tom boy. Why did the fast food worker assume that my daughter wanted the care bear? Why is the transformer considered a boy toy?
There are now a range of academic disciplines which have been indelibly marked by — indeed produced by — the interests and actions of the propagandists. The field of Public Relations research, the discipline of marketing, some aspects of Human Resource Management and Management and Business Studies more generally all bear the mark of [...]