Identity Confusion In Mass Media

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Mass media is defined by Sullivan as “the channels of communication in modern societies that can reach large numbers of people, sometimes instantaneously” (as cited in Dean 2010 para.15). It has the technical capacity to provide information to reach a very large number of persons through electronic means such as the television and radio for example and print media which includes newspapers and magazines. The media disseminates a number of messages about identity and acceptable forms of self-expression, gender, sexuality, and lifestyle. According to Boeree (2006), the studies carried out by the psychologist Erik Erikson described the stages through which individuals must pass through in human development, and in each stage requires a development task which he called ‘crises’. In the Fifth Stage called adolescence the crisis faced is the identity versus identity confusion, which occurs during early to middle…show more content…
The images displayed in print and electronic media results in the low self-esteem of adolescents because of the views that mass media place on body image. According to Roberts, Henriksen, & Foehr (2004), the stereotypes that the media places on the ideal female body has resulted in high rates of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders of young girls as much emphasis is placed on thinness and weight-loss and this view of body image is focused on by advertisements and fashion magazines where slim-built women are overrepresented in comparison to the general population (p. 502). Boys are also influenced by the media according to Baugh (2007), where they compare themselves to media personalities and become dissatisfied with their own body image and result in them modifying their bodies to meet the expectations that society expect of them through either body-building and

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