Media Portrayal of Substance Use Essay
The beginning of the third millennium and the last decades of XX century are called the “information age”, “a century of communications”, and even assumed that we are on the threshold of appearance of the person from a new perception paradigm of the surrounding world. The first revolution was connected with transition from the perception of reality based on a direct supervision to the perception mediated by a data carrier (mainly paper), but today we have a transition to audio-video perception. Social consequences of such transition are diverse and ambiguous. They are connected with formation of media culture which influence on consciousness and behavior of people, especially younger generation, has to become a subject of scientific studying. However, except obvious advantages this process conceals many dangers.
According to data of many researchers of mass media, media plays more and more significant role in questions of formation of values and expressions of estimates of various social educations, act as one of significant factors of formation of valuable orientations of youth. In particular, electronic mass media fill considerable part of leisure of youth, and, therefore, act as the most important instrument of formation of an inner world, cultural values, and social installations of new generations. One of the biggest problems of modern society is drug abuse. And due to the fact that mass media continue to represent an attractive picture of smoking and drug abuse, it becomes more difficult to explain children the consequences of these problems (Levinthal, 2012).
According to sociological researches teenagers spend from 3 to 5 hours per day in front of TV or computer. The structure of programs, contents of movies, transfers and computer games are of great importance in the course of socialization and social identification. Formation of the personality is a multilateral, long and inconsistent process. On the one hand, in it connect originality of the personality, identity, “uniqueness”, and on the other hand, inclusiveness in whole (family, group, society).
Each person is unique; he represents a part of the culture, traditions and historical experience of that generation to which he/she belongs. In socialization and social identification of the modern teenager the video production plays a serious role: telecasts, fiction and animation films, computer games. Such types of mass media as television, computer programs, video became “beds” of this information. Their influence is studied in sociology quite recently, however, the problem was so significant that researches are developed very actively, thus many problems have not still investigated (Jamieson, Campbell, 2000). Surplus of the repetition intended for pleasure, lack of an innovation is used as commercial reception by means of which the advanced media product could be pleasant to audience. In that case the provocative offer of behavior, new and difficult for perception, is not allowed. The media culture becomes simpler, “an image of “eternal Peter Pep” – the boy, who do not want to become mature becomes the business card of this culture. Influence of aggressive media production on teenagers should disturb the society. Of course, these are very different things: to watch violence and to make it independently. But researches showed that influence of represented violence is noticeable even on social and positive group of teenagers with experience of positive socialization, but it becomes provocative in the attitude towards teenagers. It is senseless to tell about the catharsis phenomenon (clarifications, enlightenments) after contemplation of scenes of uncountable murders – a catharsis the phenomenon highly artistic that cannot be told about mass media production. Defenders of “freedom of mass media” appeal to need to observe democratic principles, freedom of the market in mass media, need to give the chance to the modern person, “to relax”, have a rest, complain of moralizing and mentor tone of the critics.
The problem of studying of social identification is very actual today, in the period of change of systems of values when the transformational break comes to the end and forms new social identity of society. This process is painful for all society, and especially for teenagers. Identity search (including religious identity, national or ethnic, and also social identities) is one of the central problems of the period of a growing of the teenager.
Modern society is in the period of cardinal transformation of the social, cultural, information device of the political relations. Under the influence of globalization, system openness there is new values and priorities, the standards of behavior which are historically used by society in daily activity change. The most dynamic environment and mobile part of society which quickly reacts to all happening changes, the youth, is becoming frequent.
The major conditions, the bases and at the same time mechanisms of real growth development of teenagers, youths and their description to the world of adults are processes of an individualization, socialization and identification of the growing person in ontogenesis, developments of his egoism as the major forming the basic bases of formation and development of the person. The political and inner world of the younger generation which is starting out in the conditions of an interpenetrative gap is formed as a product of an antagonism of the competing social and political institutes the most important of which are a family (system and the environment of education), school (educational system and society), the state (political system and society), mass media (media system and society).
Forming public opinion in the direction pleasing and mass media, favorable to the owner, the journalism has an opportunity to put pressure upon power structures. Such methods of influence on power structures, for instance, influence through public opinion, definitely fabricated, it is most often used by mass media in the conditions of the democratic constitutional state. In such state the harmonious system of electoral power bodies and positions in government office functions. Carrying out elective campaigns became reserved zone of mass media in which mass media undividedly dominate. Underestimation of influence of mass media on the person and manipulation with public consciousness becomes one of the main reasons of degeneration of cultural values of the person and society, art and science, moral and spirituality, education and education of younger generation. To restore harmony between the law and real life, it is necessary to move accent of philosophical knowledge and public outlook with external on an interior, on its highest social and spiritual feelings.
The institutional competition conducts at best to leveling of the major sense of interaction of youth with the adult world; in crisis option these relations cause a gap with society in general as the phenomenon which is objectively providing reproduction of the social. Owing to intrinsic characteristics and objective and subjective circumstances the factor radically influencing a problem aggravation are the mass media. Dominating in the social environment, mass media actually substitute other socio-political institutes on formation of culture and political consciousness of young people, their valuable and motivational sphere, behavioral installations and actually leading activity. For this reason there is a significant studying of real opportunities, requirements, abilities of modern youth not only as subject of a stage of a growing, but also as real carrier social. In this regard objective impact on development of its relations in society gets special sense: the youth has to participate in them not only as object of education, but also as the responsible subject of social creativity which semantic interests should be considered in socio-political reproduction.
The modern school not always manages to watch constantly changing situation in the country and in the world, does not give fully information necessary for adaptation of teenagers in society. The pupils are not helped by school and to be guided in a huge flow of information which is daily arriving on various channels of mass media to distinguish accurate information from unchecked or obviously false. And it considerably complicates life of school students in information society.
In this regard there is a need of new approaches to mass media. In sociological and psychological researches of the last years it to be said that mass media have the increasing impact on younger generation. They set models and standards of behavior, under their influence there is a formation of outlook. Influence of mass media on self-determination of seniors is low-investigated (though undoubted). It is realized by many teachers who try to use more widely mass media for training and education. On the first place the task to teach teachers and pupils to structure and analyze arrays of information, and not just to connect them to new information channels moves forward.
Nowadays concerning youth in a bigger measure the conclusions received in case of application of the media aligned approach since the youth is object on which influence of mass media, for the purpose of consumption of that information which replaces absent in information channels and communication of other socializing institutes is directed are confirmed. It concerns not only granting and representations of knowledge, but also presentation of cogitative habits, stereotypes and installations. Mass media form the ordinary and rationalistic type of thinking, logical receptions of reasoning necessary for development of the identity of individual type that conducts to formation of autistic style of thinking, inadequate reflection of reality, draft to irrational representation at young people (Starker, 1989).
Thus, today one of tasks of teachers is preparation of new generation for life in modern information conditions, to perception of information, training of the person to understand it, to realize consequences of its impact on mentality, to seize ways of communication on the basis of nonverbal forms of communication by means of technical means. Earlier practically all attempts of purposeful formation at school students of information culture in the course of vocational and facultative education at school did not keep within a framework of a traditional education system and therefore could not be widely adopted. Use of messages of mass media in self-determination of school students has three features. First, it is growth of quantity of the information messages containing data on various areas of modern life which importance of studying is dictated by that their understanding can lead to big negative consequences in the future. Secondly, messages of mass media include knowledge of processes and laws of transfer, distribution and perception of information. The third feature is connected with that at self-determination studying at school insufficiently new information on various spheres of life in modern society while messages of mass media can serve as additional resources of obtaining actual information is used.
The social situation of development of modern society, cardinal changes in social and economic and political life of the country, the statement in public consciousness of freedom as options demanded modernization of an education system. The new system has to answer inquiries of the personality, society and market. In this regard studying of new approaches to the organization of work with pupils in whom process of self-determination of seniors is considered as a factor of inclusion of the senior in life of modern society is necessary (Shoemaker, 1996).
Self-determination is the central mechanism of formation of a personal maturity consisting in a conscious choice the senior of the place in system of the social relations. Emergence of need for self-determination testifies to achievement of quite high level of development by the personality for which the aspiration to take own, rather independent position in structure of information, ideological, professional and other communications with other people is characteristic. In formation of the mature personality the special place is taken by the self-determination connected with choice of profession. The conscious social position of the personality put by all complexes of educational and educational influences is the cornerstone of such self-determination.
As a result of self-determination in choice of profession, the senior gets his/her most significant components from the general structure of the content of professional education: experience of development of knowledge; experience of practical (performing) activities; experience of the developing, creative activity; experience of the emotional and moral relations with contemporaries and adults. In this case the increase of intelligence, independence and activity in activities for choice of profession bringing satisfaction to pupils is noted, ensuring psychological freedom and safety of the introduction in future life.
All in all, mass media possess enormous ability to create the images defining vision of the world for millions of people. Print and broadcasting media can establish the agenda for public forces, concentrating attention on concrete events, individuals and problems and dramatizing them. In democratic society of mass media are urged to carry out a number of the standard functions which are going beyond simple “the message on the facts” though they do not confer on themselves formal responsibility for a formulation of a state policy and diplomacy. The last is usually considered as being in the sphere of competence of the elected governments. Mass media have a number of creative opportunities to play a constructive role – to promote permission of the international and ethnic conflicts according to is international recognized standards and norms. Free access to unlimited volumes of information creates new problems of intellectual and psychological character today. Mass media render rather negative, than positive influence on self-determination of seniors, propagandizing violence, force of money, a cult of wealth and different perversion.