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Midterm: Readings & Lecture
Terms in this set (16)
What is anomie?
a condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or a breakdown of purpose or ideals.
Who introduced the term 'anomie'?
French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his study of suicide.
What are the characteristics of a society in a state of anomie?
Common values/meanings are no longer understood or accepted and new values/meanings have not developed.
What are the characteristics of a member of a society in a state of anomie?
Sense of futility, lack of purpose, and emotional emptiness and despair. They feel no need to strive, because there is no accepted definition of what is desirable.
What is the cause of anomie?
What did Robert K. Merton find to be the cause of anomie?
When people lack the acceptable means of achieving their personal goals... leading people to seek illegitimate means, and thus breaking the norms. Social behavior would thus become unpredictable.
Merton's continuum of anomie:
- Social innovation
What are reactions to anomie?
Delinquency, crime, and suicide
What does anomie mean regarding the state of mind?
The state of mind of a person who has no standards or sense of continuity or obligation and has rejected all social bonds. These individuals may feel that community leaders are indifferent to their needs, that society is basically unpredictable and lacking order, and that goals are not being realized.
What is Mass Culture Theory?
The theory that claims that society has been transformed by industrialization - with large scale and mechanised types of production.
Produces a state of
, causing a moral crisis in mass society where individuals are susceptible to manipulation & religion declines. Rational individualism and mass consumption arise in its place.
What is atomisation?
A mass society consisting of people who can only relate to each other like atoms in a physical or chemical compound. Mass society consists of atomised people, people who lack any meaningful or morally coherent relationship with each other.
The élitist bias of mass culture theory
Mass society theory does not regard power as residing in the people. Power becomes monopolised by the state in cooperation with capitalism and the mass media industry.
Mass culture is "popular culture which is produced by mass production industrial techniques and is marketed for a profit to a mass public of consumers."
Argue that artistic integrity cannot reside in the products of Mass Culture.
The mass audience
According to mass culture theory, the audience is a mass of passive consumers, manipulated by the mass media and influenced into consumerism.
Mass culture and Americanisation
American popular culture is vilified as the embodiment of all that is wrong with modern culture (by Britain).
Critique of Mass Culture Theory
mass culture is still influential. The theory is elitist and that is ignores the "range and diversity" of popular culture... pop culture is not homogenous/does not need to be consumed as a whole." The 'golden age' of folk art is idealized. Mass culture theory arises from resentment of certain groups of intellectuals.
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