Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen we are group five and we are here to discuss the following question. September 11, 2001 once again illustrates that the media as an agent of socialization can both positively and negatively re-socialise a society. Socialization is a life long learning process which allows members of the society to acquire behaviour and attitudes that are appropriate for members of the society. We can be socialized directly or indirectly. Directly meaning through instruction or by sanctions e. g. a child learning to use the potty at home or getting a smile from an elderly person after giving them your seat on the bus.
Indirect socialization occurs through imitation and observation e. g. learning from someone’s past experience. Socialization is broken down into two parts; primary and secondary socialization. Primary socialization is socialization that prepares children to be adults. This is how children learn the society’s norms and culture. While secondary socialization occurs during adulthood. This aspect of socialization is more concerned with passing on the more general features of the society. Agents of socialization are things that play an important role in the socialization process. These are the family, school, groups and the media.
The media is an impersonal communication directed to a vast audience, and we will be focusing on the media as an agent of socialization with reference to September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001 terrorist attacked the United States of America, home to thousands of people from over 80 countries who found opportunity, shelter and warmth within its bounds. These persons mourned when the evil hand of terrorism sought to destroy the way of life so clearly cherished by not only Americans, but also by the international community. People around the world were informed about this frightening attack on the United States of America through the media.
The media was a factor in the re-socialization of the American society. We will now highlight a few positives. The media sparked unity amongst the Americans as it broadcasted pictures of the horror of that day. E. g. when the rubbles from the twin towers were being cleared, people from all ethnic groups could be seen working together. The society became a primary social group, as persons were genuinely concerned about the welfare of their neighbours and sought to assist each other in what ever way possible to deal with their shock and grief.
More persons saw the importance of revisiting their values and beliefs. E. g. persons held a lot of prayer vigils and prayer was re-introduced in schools. The American Society was quite influential in the increase of stringent security measures at Airports and Borders around the world. Sad to say, with all the good the media did on September 11, 2001 and the months there after, some negatives resulted from their work. We will only highlight a few. Persons from various ethnic groups were regarded as an out group especially those from a Middle Eastern background.
E. g. most cab drivers in New York are Muslims and persons refused to take their cabs because of how they looked. The airline industry suffered a terrible economic loss, as persons were now fearful of flying after seeing the replay of the planes crashing into the twin towers. This resulted in airline personnel loosing their jobs and some businesses declared bankruptcy. In spite of the unimaginable and unprovoked horror terrorism unleashed on the American society it didn’t just throw up arms and decide to stop existing.
No, they decided that in order to survive, they had to re-socialise their society. That is the citizens had to learn new standards of doing things, they had to adjust their behaviours in line with the new sanctions imposed by the government, and their values and beliefs were shifted to reflect the change in what they now see as desirable and good. The media was then able to re-socialise the society in both a positive and negative way through the events broadcasted relating to September 11, 2001.