In the global context, there have been changes in the approaches used to present cultural aspects. Change is inevitable. In the past, the tools used to present cultural products and practices were arts. Nonetheless, globalization and evolution of technological aspects have seen the advancement of cultural products with mass media. There are different cultural studies that can be learned, seen, and understood over the culture over the media, which are mainly used to create an image of capitalist societies emerging. Therefore, the mass media has the capability of presenting cultural products in different aspects.
The first cultural product that I have personally viewed is a modern family, which is a TV show bringing to light some of the American cultures practiced. Culture is a practice evident in the people’s way of life, particularly in the family social structure in this context. modern family as an American TV show had various cultural products, which shapes, change, and reinforced my own cultural value. The aspects are achieved through the exploration of the various forms of the household practices evident in the American cultural practices. From a general point of view, the cultural products from the show have significant influence in our society. The reason behind this is because it is more of the culturally accepted cultural norms in family and societal structures, as it entails the revelation of the experiences of an extended family (Brooker, 2015). The features different types of couples, that is a straight couple from the same nation and another one from the diverse national origin. On the other end, there is a gay couple. In light of the cultural values of our society, the movie reinforces, changes, and shapes the acceptability of straight cultures and disregards the marriage of gay couples. The TV show has aspects of media literacy. By the reference to media literacy in modern family, it basically means the role the media in enlightening the structure of the modern family. it is essential in showing what is culturally accepted and disregarded.
The second program aired by the mass media is Friends. It is a television show with numerous incidences of the pop culture in American societies. The show has episodes of the inspiring trends of the slag words currently being used, the different hairstyles, and even the means of clothing. From a personal point of view, the watching and viewing of the show has changed, shaped, and reinforced my cultural values. The show has significant influence in the manners and means in which I use language, I dress, and even the means of interaction. As a social platform to showcase the cultural values, Friends has influence in shaping, reinforcing, and changing the cultural values attached to our society (Kellner, 2011). The different characters featured in the show places most of the focus on family life, and specifically on the cultural value of friendship. The older generation of the old generation has cultural values as it advances moral lessons to society. Judging from the issues of class and race, the show advances the benefits and dynamics of friendship. Under the case of Friends as an American television show, media literacy is the use of mass media to reveal the social way of life of different generations. It depicts the dynamics of friendship and the degree to which they support cultural values. hence, it is essential in referencing the significance of friends, by the use of various cultured to inspire the voices and way of life of the characters in the show.
The other cultural product viewed is “Hotel Rwanda.” It is a movie depicting the struggles of a manager of a hotel, in striving to protect his family and the refugees from Tutsi, from the hostilities of the Rwandan Hutu militia. The movie deserves to be termed a cultural product as it is accurate in presenting individual and global reactions to the Rwandan genocide. The movie shaped, changed, and reinforced my cultural values by dictating the significance of protecting individual cultural values, regardless of the magnitude of factors coming into play. The hotel manager did everything he could to ensure the security of people from his culture (Gudehus, Anderson, & Keller, 2010). In the societal context, the movie has an influence in shaping, changing, and reinforcing general cultural values by the deeds of the hotel manager. He serves to present the harrowing of the nation into chaos, while the international community is just looking away. Nonetheless, the hotel manager stood firm to rescue his family and the Tutsi refugees from the chaos. Media literacy served to portray the required level of courage, necessary to save cultural values.
In conclusion, there are different aspects that may be used to shape, alter, and reinforce cultural value, both from a personal account and from the societal perspectives. Mass media has been the modern tool used to depict cultural products from the wide range of program presented. Media literacy, from cultural products point of view, is the use of mass media to create a clear image of how cultural values are significant to an individual and the society at large. The characters used to play the role of enforcing cultural values.
Brooker, W. (2015). Living on Dawson’s Creek: Teen viewers, cultural convergence, and television overflow. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 4(4), 456-472.
Gudehus, C., Anderson, S., & Keller, D. (2010). Understanding Hotel Rwanda: a reception study. Memory Studies, 3(4), 344-363.
Kellner, D. (2011). Cultural studies, multiculturalism, and media culture. Gender, race, and class in media: A critical reader, 3, 7-18.
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