Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Sociology, Media, Economics, Television, Finance, Capital, Culture, Technology

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/03/23

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Question1

Technological determinism is a theory that suggests that the creation and development of technology is responsible for the social changes that have occurred to the human generations over many years.Innovations and inventions with regards to technology have clearly impacted the structure of the modern world and cannot be dismissed as a key factor (Winston 787). Technological determinists focused on the developments of the technological world and disregarded the effects of other changes affecting humans, which could have played a role in social change. An example in technological determinism is the evolution of the cinema world.
Cultural determinism is a theory which incorporates the social and cultural events as external factors to the social changes that are brought about by technological developments. According to cultural determinists, there are occurrences that cause certain technological advancement to take place leading to social changes in a society. An example of this is the introduction of Java programming language in 1995 (Winston 791). Due to the availability of digital gadgets that enabled people to take photographs and videos of their social activities, there was increased need for them to incorporate them to their PCs and the current programming languages could not allow this. Hence Java was introduced to allow the connection of digital devices to their personal computers.
Using the example of the 1930s TV advert of the TV-stove, which allowed women to view TV programs as they went about their domestic work, there was a clear disparity in gender roles in both the private and public domains. In the 1930s, women were segregated to the domestic work as their assigned roles and those who chose to venture into the outside work environment were only viable for the voluntary jobs which offered no salaries. The public domain was viewed as the male world whereas the private domain was considered as the female domain. Men were not allowed to participate in domestic work thus leaving out to women activities, such as washing, cleaning and cooking. This is why the TV-stove advert was targeted for the female audience and became such as success at the time; the combination of technology and culture.

Question2

According to Pierre Bourdieu’s framework, there are three forms of capital namely economic, cultural and social capital.Economic capital refers tocapital attributed practices that enable to cope with economic effects. Access to economic capital covers a wider range than just the initial purchasing cost of a product. The capability of owning a device is based on the family structure with regards to type of housing and number of family members, family income and level of technology. Poor large families of low income earners cannot afford good housing thus leading to the communal use of devices as compared to the high income earners who can afford to buy a device for each family member (Seiter 44). The low income earners are exposed to outdated technologies, such as old computers, which are difficult to use and less interesting TV channels on cable whereas the high income earners can afford to pay for good TV channels as well as high-tech gadgets, which enable them to access the bets up-to-date products. This creates a clear disparity in the economic and social classes in the economy.
Social capital refers to the relationships network between the society members that enable the society to work effectively.New forms of social networking through digital communication have enabled easier access to social capital without the geographical barriers. The access and availability of computers and the internet allow individuals to interact with each other and share information through social media hence increasing the speed with which social capital is accessed and gained. An example which indicates the potential and success of social networking is the development of a musician. From an early age, an individual requires a skilled professional to teach them piano lessons and with time they gain the skill. However, to master it, they need avenues to practice their skill. Church services and social events, such as parties in the society allow the individual to practice. In order to become successful, they have to face competition from other skilled mastered piano players through concerts, which are organized by the society. However, the absence of such social networks leads to disparities in social capital. The low classes are deemed to be less involved in social networking since they have to be actively involved in economic activities to fend for themselves, thus leaving the social networking to the high class individuals.
Cultural capital refers to the background, skills, knowledge and disposition of a particular culture that have been passed from one generation to the next. The social status of an individual greatly determines the way cultural capital is gained as well as the means by which it is gained. High cultured members of the society incorporate activities that allow transition of cultural practices widely and easily as compared to the less cultured families (Seiter 30). For example, piano lessons are started early and are consistent to adulthood thereby honing the skills and increasing the chances of one becoming a successful and skilled musician. The use of computers to access the internet enables frequent use hence mastery of computer learning as well as access to a lot of knowledge thereby bridging the gap between class instruction and personal learning. Students from high class homes were viewed to have higher academic success compared to those from low class homes. This is because in high class homes, access to computers and relevant learning materials was easier and more often than the low class homes.

Question 3

Neoliberalism refers to the shift of controlling economic factors to private sector from public sector in economics. Policies in neoliberalism aim at creation of an environment that is free from government restrictions and barriers against the economy’s actors. Such policies include limitation of subsidies, privatization of state corporations, back regulation, broadening of tax base through tax reforms and reduction of deficit expenditure.
Neoliberalism started off in the 1970s drawn from the liberal scholars from Europe in 1930s. Margaret Thatcher of UK and US President Ronald Reagan were seen as the starters of a transitional period into the adoption of neoliberal economic policies, which acted as the basis for the 2008 financial crisis (Hesmondhalgh 92). Neoliberal policies were encouraged as an alternative to the classical liberal policies that were used in the 1930s and were seen as the reason for the then economic failures. The classical liberalists were in support of economic policies that encouraged and increased the power of the state on the country’s economy; this model was referred to as social market economy.
In the late 1970s, the governments of USA and UK introduced policies that allowed permanent reduction of government spending so as to accommodate lowered consumer spending. This approach was used so as to restore the economic growth rate of the states. This led to massive re-election of those governments based on majority votes despite the failures in labor movements which only saw to the benefit of a minority through these policies. These economic policies led to the reduction of profit margins for the economies and the employers thus leading to increased capital and labor power hence creating an imbalance. International mobility of labor led to very high competition between capitalist economies thereby creating an international crisis. Expansion into manufacturing sectors by Japan and Germany caused overcapacity since USA was the key international economy in manufacturing thereby causing an imbalance. This situation led to the hike of oil prices by OPEC in 1973 (Hesmondhalgh 99).
The choice of the audio visual product is a television advert for a domestic product known as the TV-stove. The TV-stove was the representation of the leisure that the domestic home created in contrast to the work place, which was depicted as an environment for strict productivity. In the 1930s, there was increased use of TV for the purpose of fulfilling the demand for leisure in the homes (Spigel 30). This highlighted conglomeration and encouraged the growth of the media industry. It also depicted flexible specialization through the innovative combination of labor and leisure since the housewives at those times were highly engaged in domestic work and the television acted as a hindrance to their productivity. Hence to solve this problem, through innovation, the TV stove was introduced to allow women to simultaneously enjoy TV programs and do their housework. The TV-stove influenced internationalization through introduction of the outside world to the domestic environment. Through television programs and magazines, women could engage in cultural diversity from the comfort of their homes by simply watching international shows.

Works Cited

Winston, Brian. How Are Media Born?New York: New York University Press, 2000. Print.
Spigel, Lynn.Television- The critical View 5th edition. New York: Oxford University Press. Print.
Hesmondhalgh, David.“The Cultural Industries. London: Sage Publications Inc., 2002. Print.
Seiter, Ellen. Practicing at Home: Computers, Pianos, and Cultural Capital. Cambridge, MA: The MITPress, 2008. Print.

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