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Ways of Learning about the Social World

  • 08 Pages
  • Published On: 14-12-2023
Introduction

This question have always raised up as a mix of numerous in-depth knowledge and wide range of concepts with various perceptions of different people that “what is social world” and how social science acts as a way to learn about the changing social world, and as an answer it can be termed that social world is a “universes of discourse” through organisations, symbols and emerging activities of people with the passing time and life style. This essay will also be going to include a relevant example topic of the social world and that is – Influence and Power of the Mass Media. The essay here will brief about these two topics and will discuss that hoe the subject of social science can be utilised in such a way that it could be turned into an emerging way to now about the changes that are coming in the social world and the reasons behind these changes.

Discussing social science as a way of knowing about the social world

Social world is the mixture of all the communities in the society whether visible or invisible and includes the organisations, social activities of people and the symbols, together all of which combines and makes the social world. In relation to the social world, social science is the method of studying the components and learning the activities of this social world. Today’s social world includes nursing, science, surfing, politics and many more things. Amoroso (2021) said that apart from the common people, the Gay Community is also a part of the social world that is a self-conscious section in this social world. Social science is said to be the best ways to gain deep knowledge of the social world since social science itself says that it is the study of people, their behaviour and their activities being as a component of this wide society.

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There is vital and fundamental relation between the social science and the social world where the social science examines the connection and relation of the society and the individual people residing in it. As opined by Halford and Savage (2017), the social science develops the operation of the society instead of just studying the nature and activities; it also stimulates the learning of the physical world actions. There are many theories that support social science to gain deep knowledge about the social world such as the Social Evolutionism Theory, the Social Cycle Theory, and the Marxist Historical Materialism Theory. These academic theories are more to rely heavily and essentially on the qualitative and interpretative methodologies of the society. Taguchi and St. Pierre (2017) suggested that these three are considered as the classic and great theories that nurture the knowledge of the society or the social word with the social science as a path to gain that knowledge ad understanding all the activities of the individual as well as the social world also.

Influence and Power of the Mass Media

Social Media is also a key component of this society and the mass media has a huge influence of it on the people of this social world affects both physically and mentally and channels the changes that are coming in the society ad its activities. Parajuli (2020) stated that the mass media has the nucleus power on the people to determine that what will be the future or how it might look like relevant to all the factors whether lifestyle, politics and its elements, behaviour and actions. As an example of the influence of mass media on today’s social world, the visible results can be seen on the parliament, administrations, electorates, politicians, parties and the other members of the government. According to Tsetsura and Kruckeberg (2017), mass media being a part of this society puts great effects and impact on all the major and minor aspects of the human life and their behavioural traits which includes a certain way of voting on any topic, shaping the individuals as well as communal beliefs, thoughts and views, skewing the knowledge of people of this society on any specific matter, reactions of people of being fraud by someone or providing any false information regarding any topic and many more determinants are there.

Some of the theories and concepts that shape the degree of influence of mass media on the social and personal lives of people in this society include - Elaboration Likelihood Model & Social Cognitive Theory of mass communication. These two theories are classified under the representative theories category and are referred by the term Micro-level theories. Shamilishvili (2019) suggested that both these theories create the base of the observatory perception of people and forms the conclusion of the media users’ whether individually or in groups rather than just in general institutions, systems and society at a large scale.

It is known to everybody that in this modern era society, the power of mass media can brings huge changes impacting on the public as they perform lots of activities at a time influencing more and more people by educating them, entertaining them too. Aupers (2020) stated that it changes the perceptions and views of a person to look at the world around outside his closed and compact environment by giving them a new way of discovering many things with the help of the mass media. The mass media is also capable of gathering people and organising the collective public opinion regarding any topic or issue. According to Hrynyshyn (2017) nowadays millions of people round the globe watches television, read newspapers, surf internet and social media which makes them aware that what is happening in the world out there and they get their fair chance to present their opinion on the public front. Mihelj, S. and Huxtable (2018) defined that the mass media has for basic functions as its role in relation to the public influence named as entertainment, correlation, surveillance and cultural transmission. All these four roles of the mass media indulge the public to communicate and connect with each other irrespective of where a person is sitting. The mass media has become an inevitable part of the daily life of the people since it connects through spreading of art and culture and giving voice to the voiceless empowering their power within. Although there are not only pros in mass media but also some cons are present and two most prominent of them are - development of negative & bad values and spreading of misinformation among public.

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Conclusion

The essay above presented the details about the utilisation of social science as the way of learning today’s social world and its deep core components where one most prominent aspect is mass media influence and power on society. This is used as an example to describe that how various determinants of the social science impacts the learning and knowledge about the society and its people. The Elaboration Likelihood Model & Social Cognitive Theory creates the base of the observatory perception and conclusion of the media users’. Though there are some cons also in mass media like - development of negative & bad values and spreading of misinformation among public. So it can be concluded that social science is the best possible path through which humans can gain knowledge and understand the social world around them.

References

Amoroso, L.A., 2021. Walking as a Way of Knowing: An Autoethnography of Embodied Inquiry.

Aupers, S., 2020. Decoding mass media/encoding conspiracy theory. In Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories (pp. 469-482). Routledge

Halford, S. and Savage, M., 2017. Speaking sociologically with big data: Symphonic social science and the future for big data research. Sociology, 51(6), pp.1132-1148.

Hrynyshyn, D., 2017. The Limits of the Digital Revolution: How Mass Media Culture Endures in a Social Media World. ABC-CLIO.

Mihelj, S. and Huxtable, S., 2018. From media systems to media cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Parajuli, P., 2020. Information, Communication and Mass Media; A Positive Outlook. Historical Journal, 11(1), pp.26-33.

Shamilishvili, G., 2019. Psychological influence of modern mass media on formation of gender stereotypes. Economics. Ecology. Socium, 3(2), pp.71-76.

Tsetsura, K. and Kruckeberg, D., 2017. Transparency, public relations and the mass media: Combating the hidden influences in news coverage worldwide. Taylor & Francis.

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