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Theoretical Sociological Perspectives

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As explained by Schaefer (2012), the three theoretical sociological perspectives include, functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interaction. Functionalism explains how media and its advancements in technology are crucial to the society. Media gives the ability to search information online, entertain, advertise and place products thus contributing to social norms.

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Under functional theoretical perspective, media performs three different functions, namely: commercial, entertainment and social norm functions. Commercial functions entail the use of media, such as television in advertising, which helps companies to promote their products in a bid to win the market share. Commercial advertising is also common in showups and theaters, on roadsides and buildings. Entertainment function involves use of the media by the society for enjoyment purposes. For instance, people watch television and movies for entertainment. Social media, such as online games, facebook and twitter are commonly used for entertainment. Media contributes as a social norm function through helping people to socialize. Such norms, beliefs and values are passed to generations (OpenStax College, 2012). When well-utilized, it teaches people on what is expected of them, how to speak, behave and react when faced with different circumstances. Through the media, people emulate different styles, such as code of dressing, thus influencing different social classes.

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Conflict theory

This theory focuses on how social processes tend to spoil the society, thus contributing to disruption of its smooth learning. This creates and produces inequality in the society due to the gap formed in accessibility of media and technology, as observed in the digital divide. There emerges a conflict on who to control the media and how it promotes norms in different classes or races. Individuals and institutions influences who, where, how and when to release which form of technology. Different forms of media are meant for different class of people, such as age, gender, race or academic qualifications (OpenStax College, 2012).

Symbolic interaction

Media and technology is used as a symbol of status. As observed by technophiles, symbolic perspective has a notion of wealth; what kind of a computer or car one owns symbolizes one’s future. Media contributes to social construction through creation of symbols that base people’s understanding of reality. For instance, media influences individuals on who to compare them with in judging their success or failure.

Media can become a source of crime, if not well-monitored. This is because of conflict theory, where information released to the public is not filtered and hence the users abuse such information. Crimes such as web hacking has lead to lose of money and properties,also other forms of crimes such as impersonation. In addition, children have been exposed to pornographic materials hence disrespecting our social norms. There are also movies with themes of crime and violence, when the society is exposed to such movies, the characters portrayed may become a reference group hence increasing the rates of crime among the youth (Schaefer, 2012).

Deviance is a form of behavior that infringes social norms. Control theory involves both outer and inner controls. Outer controls include concerns over parties that are against deviant behaviors such as law enforcers, family and religious leaders. Inner controls involves one’s conscience, integrity and moral values that tells a person of what is expected of her or him to become a good person. On the other hand, labeling theory has a notion that behaviors become deviant only when they are labeled as deviant. Labeling depends on what behavior the society regards as deviant (Schaefer, 2012).

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