Media and Money

Media and Money
Media Immersion
 The signs on billboards, busses, taxis, park benches,
and just about everywhere someone goes.
Shopping bags, soda cans, fast food cups.
These things all affect our “reality”.
The words we associate… “chapstick” “bubblewrap”
“magic marker”… are all made up words that have
become part of our realities.
Every day we see 300-1,500 ads.
$900 per person is spent on an ad.
$220 billion per year.
Media Immersion
 Ideal beauty : How advertising shapes body image.
 Some ads are positive
 Advertising creates anxieties and fears and then says
we can solve them through consumerism.
 Advertising also fosters competition, especially
between women in the media created beauty contest.
 It is very common to use the female body to sell all
type of products for men and women.
 In extreme cases the woman body becomes the
product, as in pornography.
Media Immersion
Labeling Theory
 Labeling theory began in the 1970’s
 Vietnam
 Civil Rights
 Hippie Rebellion
 Many social institutions were being challenged and
assumptions were questions
 Tannenbaum: The dramatization of evil
 A person becomes the thing they are described as being
 If someone calls someone deviant, they are likely to
become deviant and sometimes more so than they were
Labeling Theory
 In general the theories argue that becoming
stigmatized or labeled by agents of social control,
including official institutions such as the police and
the courts, or unofficial institutions, such as parents
and neighbors, is what creates and sustains delinquent
Questions to be answered…
 Why are certain behaviors defined as “delinquent?”
 Why are certain “individuals” labeled delinquent?
 What is the effect of the label?
 Chambliss: Suggests 3 crucial factors in the labeling of
 Visibility of delinquency
 Personal disposition of offender
 Mobilization of community bias
Questions to be answered…
 Saints and Roughnecks
 During the 1970’s Chambliss conducted a 2 year study
involving interviews and observations of 2 groups of
high school boys.
8 White men that had ‘promising futures’ (saints)
6 Lower class white men (roughnecks)
The Saints would drive out to the bad side of town and
get into trouble on weekends. Society reacted by
saying “boys will be boys”.
The roughnecks did similar things but were labeled as
delinquents and punished more.
Questions to be answered…
 Society created distrust and developed fear.
 Visibility: The saints had cars to move around in. The
roughnecks walked and hung out in pool halls,
restaurants, and on street corners together.
 Demeanor: Polite cooperation (saints) and hostility
and disdain (roughnecks).
 *Class bias was evident between the middle and lower
The Question of Sanity
 Rosenhan: On Being Sane in Insane Places.
 How accurate are diagnoses of insanity?
 Are they made based on the individual or
 8 volunteers have themselves committed to 12 different
psychiatric wards in 5 different states, all are
completely sane.
 1 Psychologist grad student,3 psychologists, 1
pediatrician, 1 psychiatrist, a painter and a housewife.
 11/12 are admitted with schizophrenia and 1 was
diagnosed with manic depression after they claimed “I
hear voices!”
The Question of Sanity
 As soon as they were admitted the ‘patients’ stopped
hearing voices and were acting as they normally would.
Cooperative, kind, however they would be (no more
All were released by they were considered to be ‘in
remission’ and were never considered to be fully cured.
Hospitalization lasted 7-52 days.
The label of schizophrenia was so powerful that the
hospital staff began to interpret “normal” behavior as
This just says that once a label is applied, everything
becomes associated with the label.
Income Inequalities
 Modern American culture is stratified through a “class
 Anthony Giddens identifies 4 characteristics of the
class system:
 Its fluid, that is the boundaries between levels are not
clear cut or well defined.
 Class positions are to some extent achieved.
 Social mobility is possible even if positions are
economically based.
 Large scale and impersonal focus is on impersonal
associations and occupational categories, not
Income Inequalities
 Intragenerational: Within ones own lifetime they
move through the levels.
 Intergenerational: Between 2 or more generations.
 Class in America:
 Capitalist
 Upper middle class
 Lower middle class
 Working class
 Working class
 Underclass
Income Inequalities
 Capitalist:
 Educated or prestigious universities
 Heirs, investors, top level executives
 Income exceeds $500,000
 1% of the population
 Upper Middle Class
 Educated at college level with a graduate education
 Employed as professionals and upper managers
 $100,000 plus
 15% of population
Income Inequalities
 Lower Middle Class
 High school/College level
 Employed as semiprofessionals, lower management, and
 $60,000
 34% of the population
 Working Class
 High school level
 Employed as factory workers, clerical staff, crafts, etc.
 $35,000
 30% of the population
Income Inequalities
 Working Poor
 Some high school education
 Employed as laborers, service workers, and low paid
sales people
 Income around $17,000
 16% of the population
 Underclass
 Some high school
 Unemployed or part time
 Income under $10,000
 4% of the population
Income Inequalities
 Cultural Capital: The taste, attitudes, language and
thoughts, that convey social class.
Education level
Leisure activities
Economic Distribution
 2004 median income is $44,389 and the mean is
$60,528. This is because there are a lot of very wealthy
people in the United States.
 Geographic distribution:
 Northeast $47,994
 West $47,680
 Midwest $44,657
 South $40,773
 Median household wealth = $93,000
 Mean would be $448, 200
 In the 1990’s 1% of the US owned 38% of the wealth
and 20% controlled 83.9%
Economic Distribution
 In 1996 140 billionaires existed.
 There are now over 800 with many in the US.
 $1,000,000,000,000
Who’s who among the wealthy?
Bill Gates = 53 billion
Warren Buffet = 46 billion
All white. Any woman on the list of billionaires
inherited their wealth.
 #77 most wealthy is the first non-white
 #140 I when minorities are “consistent”
 Oprah is #242 and 1st African American! Go OPRAH!
Who Rules America?
 Mills argued that a power elite rules the country.
 Top corporate, military, political leaders
 The middle class elite exists just below
 Huge interest groups and congress members
 Under that lies the rest of America
Poverty in America
 12.7% of 37 million Americans live in poverty
 14.4% of New Yorkers live in poverty.
 Poverty is:
 Single, individual, under 65, income under $10,488
 Two adults under 65, income under $13,500
 Two adults and one child, income under $17,000
 Africans and Latinos are two times more likely to be
poor than Caucasian Americans.
 An American’s risk of poverty has been stable since
The Effects
 Children:
 Higher risk of deafness, blindness, death in childhood,
fatal accidental incidents, lower IQ scores.
 The failure of hard work:
 Almost ½ of the poor are either too old or too young to
work in full time employment.
 35% are under 18
 9% are over 65
 A minimum wage worker only earns 82% of the
poverty level income for a family of three.
The Welfare State
 The notion that America’s poor survive on welfare is
 50% of the income of poor adults comes from wages
and pensions.
 25% comes from welfare.
 22% comes from social security.
 The fact is that the majority of government aid goes to
the non-poor.
 More goes to agribusiness, banks, corporations, and
defense industries.
The Welfare State
 There is over $12 billion in tax avoidances by
transnational corporations annually.