What is the impact of media on culture?

There are certain values that are universal. Yet the manner in which they are defined or expressed may vary across cultures. These varying values, which are commonly called cultural values are derived from universal values that are specific to a particular group, region or community. Within each culture there are sub cultures that have characteristics that may be different from the group culture. For example, though Indian Women are home loving, traditional, conservative and religious, a sub-culture within this group is fast changing that follows different values that is they are independent, modern, permissive and ambitious.

Medias have come to stay as a part of modern systems and present day society. Communicating to consumers about the vast variety of products and services available would be practically impossible without advertising. Emerging life styles and patterns of buyer behaviour call for such communication in the interest of prospective buyers.

The goal of media is to promote a product or service and not to change society. Media reflect and follow trends in society. Media does not in itself promote a culture. It merely depicts the lifestyles or values inherent in the society aggressively and dramatically. It projects even the negative, often hidden values of a society and is therefore exposed to criticisms.

Positive Impact of Media on Culture

  1. Media is a vehicle for promoting purchases and stimulating consumption.
  2. It promotes the habit of savings and investments among the consumers.
  3. Media approaches and techniques are being effectively used for the promotion of number of important social causes such as family planning, health care, prevention of accidents, prevention of cancer, prevention of TB, prevention of Aids etc.
  4. Advertisements follow certain norms of quality and maintains standards.

Negative Impact of Media on Culture

  1. Negative Impact on the value systems of the society.
  2. Negative influence on social values and lifestyles.
  3. Media develops Unscrupulous Buying Habits among the consumers.
  4. Freedom of choice of the consumers is restricted by the power of media since it manipulates buyers to take decisions against their will or interest.
  5. Media plays on the subconscious motives of the people using emotional appeals.
  6. Moral concerns about advertising related to the product like cigarettes, alcohol etc create adverse effects.
  7. Over emphasis on sex appeal.
  8. It promotes Stereotype roles to women shown in advertisements as housewives, mothers or companions to men, apparently leading women to secondary roles.

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