ESL 91 SPRING, 2001

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Galina 1
Galina 2
Larysa 1
Larysa 2

Galina  Kopelovich
ESL 91
Spring, 2001

Essay Topic: The Media as an Agent in Socialization

According to  sociology researchers  we  know  that  the  Mass  Media-  radio,  motion  pictures,  recorded  music,  television  and  the  Internet-  are  important  agents  of  socialization  in  our  life.  The  Mass  Media,  especially  the  Internet,  has  a  powerful  influence  in  developing  value  systems  and  shaping  behavior.

Recently, sociologists  and  other  social  scientists  have  begun  to  consider  what  impact  Internet  communication  may  have  on  socialization.  Thus, the  Internet  has  two  kinds  of  influence  on  people,  negative  if  people  do  not  use  it  wisely  and  positive  if  they  do.

 “The  Internet  is  the  world’s  largest  computer  network.  As  of  1998,  it  was  reaching  some  37  million  computer  users,  but  the  number  of  people  using  the  Internet  has  doubled  each  year.  The  Internet  serves  as  a  powerful  agent  of  socialization  for  many  young  people  in  the  United  States  and  elsewhere.  In  recent  years,  people  have  expressed  concern  about  the  type  of  material  that  children  can  access  on  the  Internet,  especially  pornography.” (Schaefer, 2000).

The  governments  of  all  countries  are  constantly  trying  to  fight  child  pornography  on  the  Internet,  but  they  cannot  succeed  because  if  they  close  one  site,  there  are  two  more  that  will  be  opened  the  next  day.  For  example,  in  a  Russian  newspaper  I  read  about  the  recent  discovery  of  Internet  child  pornography  in  Russia.  People paid big money  to  see  a  6-year-old  girl  raped  and  then  killed.  But the  government  cannot  stop  this  spread  of  illegal  material  over  the  Internet  because  there  are  too  many  powerful  people  involved  in  this  business.  This  is  bad  not  only  for  the  children  that  are  being  raped  and  killed,  but  also  for  people  who  watch  those  video  materials  on  the  Internet.  After  seeing  something  like  this,  they  might  also  want  to  do  the  same  thing  themselves.

Although  this  is  an  example  of  the  negative  influence  of  the  Internet,  the  Internet’s  influence  may  also  be  positive.  For  example,  my  husband’s  relatives  live  in  different  countries  such  as  Australia,  Israel  and  Germany,  and  my  husband  wants  to  keep in contact  with  them.  However, he  does  not  like  to  write  letters  at  all,  so  he  uses  the  Internet.  Sending  letters  by  mail  to  other  countries  is  more  expensive  than  using  the  Internet.  In  this  case,  the  Internet  gives  him  the  possibility  to  communicate  with  his  relatives  more  easily  and  cheaply.  Moreover, he  has  met  many  people  on  the  Internet  with  whom  he  talks  about  many  subjects  including  his  and  their  lives,  the  weather,  entertainment,  the  political  and  economical  situation  in  different  countries.  The  Internet  has  been  very  useful  to  my  husband.

While  preparing  to write  this  essay  I  spent  a  lot  of  time  on  the  Internet  looking  for information  about  the  positive  and  negative  influence  of  the  Internet  on  people’s  minds.  After  many  hours  of  hard  work,  I’ve  found  some  useful  information  on  this  topic,  which  helped  me  to  better  comprehend  the  influence  of  the  Internet  on  people.

 I  think  that  the  Internet  plays  a  great  role  in  all  of  our  lives,  especially  children’s.  When  I  tried  to  find  information  for  my  essay  my  son  helped  me.  I  could  not  imagine  that  two  years  after  we  arrived  in  America  my  son  would  know  so  much  about  getting  information  by  using  the  computer.  When  I  came  to  America  I  wondered  when  I  found  out  that  every  school,  college  and  even  kindergarten  was  computerized. 

 The  Media,  especially  the  Internet,  play  a  great  role  in  our  lives  and  are  an  important  and  powerful  agent  of  socialization  in  everyone’s  lives.  The  Internet  enables  us  to  communicate  over  great  distances  and  makes  our  life  much  easier.

Work Cited

Schaefer, Richard T. (2000).  SOCIOLOGY A BRIEF INTRODUCTION (Third  edition).  Boston: Mc Graw-Hill.

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Galina  Kopelovich
ESL 91
Spring, 2001

Essay Topic: The mass media can have a great influence on encouraging people, especially teenagers and young adults, to pursue the cultural ideal of beauty. How does the mass media teach and promote a specific standard of beauty in our society? What effect does this have on young people? What is the relationship between media messages and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia? Choose ONE form of the mass media (for example, television, magazines, movies, the Internet) and explain how this medium promotes a cultural standard of beauty that can lead to eating disorders.

Nowadays  the  Media,  especially  television,  have  become  an  important  agent  of  socialization.  Socialization  is  an  important  process  in  everyone’s  development.  Socialization  enables  us  to  adapt  and  to  operate  in  our  society.  However,  not  everything  we  learn  over  the  process  of  socialization  has  positive  results.  Think  about  eating  disorders  that  result  from  the  preoccupation  many  people,  especially  young  people,  have  with  body  shape  and  weight.

Many  television  advertisements  represent  to  us  thin  and  beautiful  models  which  elegantly  show  and  sell  us  beauty  products.  In  these  commercials  beauty  is  being  equated  with  being  thin  and  blameless.  These  ads  portray  models  who  have  a  weight  that  is  way  below  average  and  who  do  not  have  imperfections.  It  is  really  impossible  to  reach  this  look,  but  the  young  people  watching  these  ads  at  home  do  not  realize  that.  The  images  presented  in  these  ads  are  simply  manipulating  the  young  people  for  marketing  purposes.

When  young  people  watch  television,  they  see  a  lot  of  pictures  of  slim,  attractive  young  models.  For  example,  a  lot  of  young  people  watch  “Friends”,  “Roswell”  and  many  other  serials.  In  these  serials  the  actors  are  basically  young,  thin  and  beautiful.  They  constantly  remind  young  people  to  lose  weight,  be  thin  and  beautiful  and  buy  more  products  such  as  jewelry,  cars  and  clothes.  They  send  the  message  that  if  you  get  the  same  things,  which  they  represent  to  us  in  these  serials,  people  will  like  and  appreciate  you.  Young  people,  especially  teens,  want  to  look  and  be  like  their  idols  because  these  models  are  portrayed  as  successful,  popular  and  rich.

Television  ads  portray  thin  women  and   muscular  men  as  successful,  popular,  sexy  and  rich.  As  a  result,  many  young  people,  especially  young  women,  begin  to  starve  themselves  to  get  the  tender  and  exhausted  look  that  surrounds  them.  To many  the  pursuit  of  the  ideal  image  portrayed  becomes  an  obsession  and  results  in  eating  disorders  like  anorexia  bulimia.  This  pursuit  becomes  a  way  of  life  and  the  starvation  of  anorexia,  as  well  as  the  binging  and  purging  of  bulimia  become  every  day  habits.  Young  people  do  not  realize  that  if  anorexia  and  bulimia  are  left  untreated,  they  can  be  fatal.  These  young  people  believe  that  when  they  become  thin  they  will  be  happier,  more  successful,  and  beautiful  because  this  is  what  the  ads  portray.

In  conclusion,  television  has  become  an  important  agent  of  socialization  which  enables  us  to  adapt  and  to  operate  in  our  society.  However, not  every  message  that  we  get  through  agents  of  socialization  is  positive.  Therefore  people,  especially  young  people,  have  to  analyze  the  information  that  they  get  from  television  ads  because  as  the  proverb  tells  us  “ All  that  glitters  is  not  gold.”


Kasper, Loretta F.  Interdisciplinary  English,  New  York: Mc Graw-Hill, 1998, p.128.

Karyn. “Eating  Disorders  and  The  Media.”  Online.

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James Hyacinthe
ESL 91
Spring, 2001

Essay Topic: The Media as an Agent in Socialization

The entire world media such as TV, radio, magazines, newspaper and the Internet play an important role in society. These kinds of media, especially TV affects people’s behavior in a variety of ways. This is especially true when people watch more violent movies than romantic and neutral news.

In the early days people got the news from media like the newspaper and word of mouth. Later on, in the 1940’s TV appeared and it helped people to understand the news better and to see what was happening all over the world.

In society TV is the most popular media from the past few years. It also educates people with information about weather, crime, historical and current events and also, about good and bad events.

TV can be very good. Some of the shows teach people how to learn English. For example, on channel thirteen (13) at 1 o’clock every Monday, there is a program that educates people with lots of words and also, teaches people how to use them in a sentence. When I first came to the United States, I watched this channel every Monday and it really helped me to learn English faster.

Many people like watching TV instead of reading magazines or newspapers. They may not get the emotional feeling by reading. For example, when the bombs began falling in Kosovo, Yugoslavia in March 1999, people did not get the strong emotion just by reading the newspapers. They wanted to see all the damages the bombs did in those countries. Another good example of the effect of the media violence is the story of the boy who took his father’s gun and went to school with it, and then shot two people. When they showed that on TV people felt sorry for both. First of all, the little boy is not mature to be responsible for his crime and the victim lost his/her life without achieving his /her goal of dream. These kinds of tragedies make people think that they are living in a secure world.

When people get the neutral news such as weather. It does not affect people’s behavior. This kind of news makes people think that they are living in a safe world without violence, and also people get friendlier to others.

After what I have observed, the amount of violence in the news today is much higher than the past. I think that TV should take more time giving neutral news, but unfortunately news reporters are very aggressive in pursuing violent stories that will attract viewers.

Therefore, to attract more viewers, TV devotes more time to violent movies instead of to romantic ones. However, I think it is still a good media to provide people with all kinds of information. It also makes people feel alive, that they want to live in this world.

Larysa Soldatova
ESL 91
Spring, 2001

Essay Topic: The Media as an Agent in Socialization

Since  the  twentieth  century, media  innovations - radio, motion  pictures, recorded  music, television, and  the  Internet – have  become  important  agents  of  socialization. They  all  play  a  great  role  in  the  process  of  socialization, but  to  my  mind  the  Internet  is  the  most  important. It  is  the  world’s  largest  computer  network.

We  can’t  imagine  our  life  now  without  the  Internet. High  school  and  college  students  use  the  Internet  in  their  studies  and  everyday  life. Great  companies  and  firms  use  the  Internet  in  business. The  Internet is  available  to  everybody. In  reality  the  Internet  is  taking  the  place  of  radio, motion  pictures  and  television. It  is  really  an  agent  of  socialization. It  helps  people  to  get  together, exchange  information  on  different  problems  and  communicate.

According  to  Staimer  (1996)  and  Bollag  (1996), “ A  lot  of  people  in  the  U.S.A.  believe  that  the  Internet  will  increasingly  become  our  primary  source  of  information. About  59  percent  of  respondents  born  since  1971  believed  that  they  would  get  most  of  their  news  from  the  Internet, compared  with  31  percent  who  thought  it  would  come  from  radio  and  television  and  only  10  percent  who  thought  most  news  would  come  from  print  media “ (qtd. in  Schaefer,2000 pp.467-467).

While  the  Internet  has  unquestionably  offered  exciting  new  possibilities  for  sharing  information  and  communication, many  troubling  issues  have  been  raised  about  day-to-day  “life”  on  the  Internet. For  example, it’s  impossible  to  imagine  that  neo-Nazis  or  other  extremist  groups  would  exchange  messages  of  hatred  and  even  bomb-making  recipes, but  the  do.

Sociologists  that  have  already  been  familiar  with  Internet, think  that  heavy  Internet  use  affects  the  traditional  agents  of  socialization  because  the  Internet  takes  users  away  from  their  families  and  friends. Since  agents  of  socialization  most  directly  affect  children, the  Internet  plays  a  great  role  in  their  life. On  the  one  hand  it  helps  bring  up  and  educate  them. On  the  other  hand  heavy  Internet  use  takes  much  of  their  free  time. As  a  result, children  have  less  time  for  reading, for  walking, going  in  for  sports, and  communicating  with  other  children. Therefore  I  think  parents  should  do  their  best  to  help  their  children  to  use  the  Internet  wisely.

As  for  me  I  have  a  computer  at  home  and  I  use  the  Internet. I  learn  a  lot  of  information  from  the  Internet  concerning  my  everyday  life  and  my  studies. I  don’t  have  enough  time  to  read  newspapers, so I  learn  the  news  of  the  world  from  the  Internet. I  don’t  write  and  send  letters. I  use e-mail  to  communicate  with  my  friends.

I have  been  living  in  America  for  about  three  years, but  I  still  don’t  know  many  things  that  are  necessary  for  me. The  Internet  is  my  greatest  helper  because  it  takes  less  time  but  gives  me  a  great  amount  of  information. For  example, not  long  ago  I  had  to  buy  a  car. Instead  of  looking  through  papers  and  calling  different  dealers, I  used  the  Internet  and  managed  to  solve  my  problem  in  a  few  hours. I  also  use  the  Internet  if  I  need  to  get  certain  information  in  order  to  find  and  buy  other  necessary  things.

Since  I  became  a  student  of  Kingsborough  Community  College  I  have  used  the  Internet  in  my  studies. My  college  teachers  give  me  tasks  on  different  subjects  on  the  Internet. In  my  turn  I  send  off  my  homework  to  them  by  e-mail. I  get  the  information  for  my  ESL  class  on  the  Internet. It’s  of  great  help  for  me  because  I’m  one  of  the  thousands  and  even  millions  of  people  who  think  the  Internet  is  the  most  important  media  innovation  in  their  life.

As  one  of  the  main  agents  of  socialization  the  Internet  has  considerable  influence  on  the  process  of  people’s  development. Sociologists  and  psychologists  have  studied  the  process  of  socialization. Socialization  helps  to  shape  and  define  our  thoughts, feelings  and  actions. It  teaches  us  the  cultural  values  and  norms  for  our  everyday  life.  It’s  impossible  to  overestimate  the  role  of  the  Internet  in  the  process  of  socialization.


Schefer,Richard T. (2000).Sociology A Brief Introduction (third  edition). Boston: MC Graw-Hill.pp.90, 466-467.                                  

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Larysa Soldatova
ESL 91
Spring, 2001


Mass  media  is  all  means  of  communication, such  as  the  Internet, newspapers, radio, and  television, that  provide  the  public  with  news, entertainment  and  advertisements. To  my  mind  television  is  the  greatest  invention  of  the  20th  century  and  an  important  agent  of  socialization. On  the  one  hand  television  plays  a  serious  role  in  the  development  of  technology, science  and  industry, space  exploration. Today  people  can’t  imagine  their  everyday  life  without  it.

On  the  other  hand  television  may  be  harmful  to  a  certain  extent. Television  teaches  and  promotes  a  specific  standard  of  beauty  in  our  society. People, especially  the  young, watch  hours  of  television  every  day. They  see  young  people  who  depict  the  “ideal”  body. I  don’t  think  that  television  plays  a  positive  role  in  this  situation : inexperienced  young  people  can  do  harm  to  their  health  by  stop  eating, starve  themselves  and  exercise  more  frequently.

Most  models  and  superstars  on  television  show  clothes  designed  to  fit  skinny  people. Unfortunately, our  society  stereotypes  beautiful  women  as  being  thin. Society  puts  great  emphasis  on  thinness  for  women; moreso    than  it  does  for  men.

“Some  girls  and  women  feel  that  they  can’t  be  successful  or  worthwhile  people  unless  they  look  like  the  underweight  models  shown  in  the  media. Many  become  slaves  to  the  mirror  and  bathroom  scale, which  robs  energy  from  more  important  pursuits  and  may  lead  to  eating  disorders. Indeed, women  are  20  times  more  likely  than  men  to  have  anorexia  nervosa  or  bulimia  nervosa.” (Insel, Raul M. and Roth, Walton T., 1997).

When  young  people  watch  shows  like  “Friends”, they  internalize  what  they  see. They  want  to  be  like  the  beautiful  actresses  because  they  believe  the  actresses  to  be  successful, popular, sexy  and  rich. However  actresses  must  be  underweight  to  look  “perfect”  on  television. In  order  to  be  thin, young  people  keep  to  special  diets.

Diet  advertisements  are  another  media  influence. On  television  people  are  continually  exposed  to  amazing  “before”  and  “after”  body  images. The  majority  of  women, especially  young  ones, watching  these  ads  do  not  realize  that  the  results  of  a  diet  are  individual  for  everybody. Sometimes  it  can  lead  to  diseases  like  bulimia  and  anorexia. These  ads  are  viewed  during  shows  like  Dawson’s  Creek  and  Melrose  Place, which  occupy  the  lives  of  teenagers. This  is  the  age  when  women  are  most  vulnerable  to  pick  up  an  eating  disorder, and  these  ads  make  it  that  much  easier.

The  eating  disorders  may  begin  with  a  reasonable  diet. However, in  anorexia  and  bulimia  the  goals  and  habits  quickly  become  unhealthy. Anorexia  nervosa  is  characterized  by  self-starvation, increased  physical  activity, distorted  body  image, and  an  intense  fear  of  gaining  weight. Bulimia  nervosa  is  characterized  by  often  episodes  of  uncontrolled  binge  eating  and  frequent  purging, either  by  self-induced  vomiting  or  the  use  of  laxatives  or  diuretics.

The  desire  is  not  to  be  thin. The  desire  is  to  be  thinner. As  each  weight  goal  is  achieved, another  lower  weight  goal  is  set. People  with  anorexia  and  bulimia  are  not  aware  that  they  have  abnormal  eating  behaviors. These  people  stop  eating, starve  themselves  and  exercise  more  frequently.

In  today’s  society  pressures  to  be  thin  and  the  media’s  portrayal  of  thinness  have  been  thought  to  play  an  important  role  in  the  development  of  eating  disorders. Eating  disorders  like  anorexia  nervosa  and  bulimia  nervosa  are  threatening  the  lives  of  people. People  have  to  think  about  these  as  very  serious  illnesses.


Insel, Raul M. and Roth, Walton T, (1997). Core Concepts in Health (eighth edition). California: Mayfield Publishing. pp.243,248. 

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Rene Edouard
ESL 91
Spring, 2001

Essay Topic: The Media as an Agent in Socialization

The media  plays  an important  role in  the  society.  In fact, there are many types of media; these include newspapers, magazines, radio, Internet, and television. There are positive and  negative  aspects  in  the  media. 

There  are  some  programs on television that  give children a lot of information  For example: Sesame street is one of the best shows for children. They learn to share things, and also how to get  along  with others.  On Channel Thirteen there is a show for children named Barney, in which they teach children the alphabet and  how to spell the words.  On the Fox channel, there is the Simpsons. It a very  good  cartoon; and it helps parents to raise their children on the right path. When those children watch these programs, they are not the same persons anymore; in fact, they try to imitate those characters by becoming kind to everyone. These programs really change their mind; they  make the children different from what  they were before. Those children don’t have the same behavior. Also, they become  more receptive and more attuned  to reality. These shows help the children to become socialized.

The TV also has some negative effects on children. For example : Jerry Springer’s show shouldn’t be shown on TV  because it has too many fights and bad words. Those things could affect the children if they imitate  them. Ricky Lake also not a good show for people to watch  because it has a lot of vulgar words. She can’t affect children. Also she invites people to talk about their relationships, but those people aren’t good examples for this society; they are usually divorced parents. W.W.F has too much violence . Although those battles are fake, many children believe they are real. As a matter of fact , a teenager in Florida killed his friend  two years ago by wrestling with her. Children sometimes  like to have knives, guns, and explosives because they see that their favorite actors use them. When those children see something on  television like sneakers or cars they want to afford those things. If they don’t have the money to buy them they may steal it.

The Internet also gives children a lot of information. For example when they have homework , they can use the Internet  to do research. Also people can check the news on the Internet. College students have a great opportunity  to get help when they have projects to do. On the other hand, there are some sites on the web that are not good for children. Parents have to make sure that their children don’t go there because these sites only show pornographic pictures.

The media  has positive  and   negative effects on the society.  People get both because the state doesn’t do anything to control  those negative programs; it is supposed to assure that these shows  really help this world. Sometimes television presents some good programs to the children, but also they have some  garbage like Jerry Springer, and Ricky Lake.        

Page last updated on May 30, 2001

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