Behavioral and Social Sciences

1. There is a difference in what and how topics are covered on liberal (e.g., MSNBC) versus conservative (FOX News) television news outlets.
Watch, take notes, and compare these news reports for a specific period of time. Come up with brief summaries of your findings to report in class.
Here are some questions you will address and discuss inasmuch detail as space permitted:
How is class represented by the Media? How does Weber agree with Marx about class-consciousness, if at all and where is that evident in the Media?
2. Should the government regulate what is broadcast on television or should regulation be a responsibility of each individual consumer? For example, should the government state that nudity is inappropriate during Prime Time and therefore restrict it or should individuals say to themselves: “If I don’t like what’s on, or I don’t think my children should be watching something, it is my responsibility to turn off the television?” Consider a current issue or event that has been discussed in the news recently. How would a functionalist, a conflict theorist, and an interactionist approach this issue? Be Specific and Give Examples.
3. It appears that local television media outlets have become so desperate for ratings, and the huge revenue that follows, they sensationalize issues (e.g., “Are restaurants trying to kill you – tune in at 5:30 and we will let you know,” “Will one of the neighborhood kids break in and rob you – tune in at 6:00 and we will tell you how to defend yourself”) to make you believe that they have the answer to solving these emanate threats to your life. Is this appropriate news broadcasting?

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