Three Ways the Media Creates Mass Culture

children-403582_640In his book, The Horizontal Society, Lawrence Friedman list three ways modern media help create the impression of a mass culture.

First, they create the impression that each person is an autonomous being living a life full of choices. Lawrence notes, “Almost every TV commercial, almost every program, carries this secret slogan.”

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Second, they convey the illusion that these choices are real by stressing the amount of competition. Lawrence observes that, “True, the products are mass produced and are sometimes as identical as peas in a pod. But there are competing products, competing brands…”

Finally, they present role models using these nearly identical products thereby creating a Subscription11culture dominated by them. Lawrence says that media then asks us “explicitly to buy the products that are advertised and, less explicitly, to buy the way of life and the consumption habits of the men, women, and children who live in the world of the TV shows.” (Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1999, p. 70.)