Write 2 pages with APA style on Sociology ( popular culture). Sociology The entertainment is an idea which represents how the media, news sources, entertainment sources and other industries which dominate how information travels from the producers to the consumers also control how the message is shaped and what effect it has on the ideology of the state. In essence, the entertainment sought by a society also reaffirms its beliefs, notions and ideas about itself. Sherwood (2008) lists some elements of the entertainment state such as “reality television, celebrity culture and the voyeurism that is so characteristic of the mass media today (Sherwood, 2008, Pg. 1)”.
Of course the entertainment state is much larger that television itself and is essentially made up of what Hirsch (2000) calls cultural industries. These industries include television, films, news media and other influences on culture that define how a society shapes itself. The entertainment state can affect cultural values to the point that villains in the culture of one social order may be the heroes in another. For example, in some Islamic countries “Osama bin Laden’s now familiar smile beams out from posters and T-shirts dotted around the bus stops and markets (The Daily Times, 2003, Pg. 1)”. In American however, his picture may grace many dart boards.
This is also a difference of ideology which is described by Johnson (2004, Pg. 587) as, “Popularly accepted ideas about the structure, the internal processes, and the world situation of the society”. Further, ideology includes ideas about the history of the society, revaluations of accepted facts as well as the values and goals which society has for itself. However, Johnson (2004) makes it clear that ideology is not a static object since it can change its particulars with time and may need constant reassurances from the institutes which maintain and control the social order.
This maintenance and control of the ideology of a society creates hegemony. The hegemony may be created by the government in situations where the media is controlled by the state or it may be created by media mavens themselves. In America for example, the media controls most of the information and entertainment given to the public. As described by Henry (2007, Pg. 252), “Five gigantic entities: Time Warner, the Walt Disney Corporation, Rupert Murdoch News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom” control most of whatever is heard and seen by the American public. Unsurprisingly, this media cartel has the same news and views to offer to the public while the voice of dissent often gets drowned by the cultural industries that make all the noise in an entertainment state.
Despite this hegemony, the situation may not remain the same for long since alternative sources of information and entertainment could be found on the internet. In fact, it is likely that the internet could become a tool which brings more democracy, cultural variance and developments to the ideology of America but there is a risk that the hegemony of the few in the real world could be translated to the hegemony of the few in the virtual world. Internet giants such as Google and Yahoo or even companies such as Apple and Microsoft could dominate what we see and how we see it if competition between cultural industries is not supported.
Henry, N. 2007, American Carnival: Journalism under Siege in an Age of New Media, University of California Press.
Hirsch, P. 2000, ‘Cultural Industries Revisited’, Organization Science, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 356-361.
Johnson, H. 2004, Sociology: A Systematic Introduction. Allied Publishers.
Sherwood, S. 2008, ‘UCLA: Department of Sociology’, [Online] Available at: http://www.soc.ucla.edu/people/faculty?lid=1351&display_one=1
The Daily Times. 2003, ‘Bin Laden more popular with Nigerian Muslims than Bush’, [Online] Available at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.