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Module 4 Presentation Readings Assignments

Go on to Module 5, Consumer Culture
Go back to Part 3, Media and Socialization, continued

Mass Mediation of Leisure

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1) Media and Socialization

2) Mass Mediation of Leisure

The Industrial Revolution gave the working class more leisure time. As leisure became more important to society, becoming part of that leisure became more important to mass media.

3) Commercialization of Culture

The Industrial Revolution also brought the concept of rapid consumption of goods and services. And Mass Media played a key role in promoting consumption.

2) Mass Mediation of Leisure

The Industrial Revolution along with the widespread use of gas and electric lights gave the working class more leisure time. And, as leisure became more important to society, it became more important to mass media.

The entertainment industry realized activities were needed to fill increasing leisure time.

Businesses realized that increased leisure activities meant more opportunities for businesses to advertise products.

1) Mass Media provided activities to fill the increased leisure hours.
According to the US Census Bureau, the average person spends 9.6 hours per day consuming media. In comparison, the average person in the UK spends about 7 hours per day consuming media.

As the cartoon to the right shows, more than one medium is often used at the same time.

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©Gary Trudeau

Case Study #1


The Newspaper sports page and sports sections and sports magazines started in the late 19 th Century.

Radio broadcasts of sporting events started in the 1920's.

Television broadcasts started in the 1940's.

Television emphasized sports that were "visual" such as wrestling (a 1950's staple) and football.

1947 Dumont Television
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The importance of the media to the very survival of sports cannot be overstated.

1) The American Football League was bankrupt until NBC bought broadcast rights
2) The USFL went bankrupt because they couldn't sell TV rights for enough money
3) Football was the first professional sport to create a "TV time out" for commercials
4) The World Series is played at night on the East Coast to insure airing in "prime time". Last year, an extra 30 seconds was added between innings. The game didn't end until after midnight.
Nike ad
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©1998, G.B. Trudeau
Sports Marketing
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©1998, G.B. Trudeau

The relationship between sports and culture is very complex, but the media does play a role in forming that relationship.

Here is how one sports figure (and his sponsor) approaches the issue of role modeling.

Charles Barkley was criticised for being a poor role-model for children. This commercial was his (and his sponsor's) response.

The appeal of sports in our culture is so strong, advertisers have created some very unusual linkages. In this case, they've linked a crunchy snack with some old fashioned sports violence.

As you remember from your readings on Social Utility in Module 3, strong linkages exist between sports and sports figures. Why would someone who has never won a tournament, never placed in the finals of a tournament, and is ranked out of the top 50 players in the world get more endorsements than anyone else? Sex.
"Sports programming plays a significant role in the media messages that American boys receive today. According to a recent study conducted by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, 98% of U.S. boys ages 8 to 17 consume some form of sports-related media, 82% do so at least a couple of times a week, and 90% watch televised sports."

Click here to read "boystoMEN, Sports Media - Messages About Masculinity."

boystomen - Sports Media

"Consequently, the advertising market has discarded the past, unauthentic view of the female athlete. Companies have found themselves competing with each other to sign female athletes with strong media images to capture the new market ("Women in the fast track," 1995). Corporate America can no longer ignore the fact that in the marketplace the female consumer has become as competitive as female athletes have become on the playing field."

The Cyber-Journal of Sport Marketing - "A New Image: Female Athlete-Endorser"

2) Mass Media provided opportunities for businesses to advertise and sell products.
The business model that evolved in America requires "sponsors" or "advertisers" rather than the federal government to fund the cost of media.

"Mass Mediation of Leisure" is primarily the "Entertainment" role of Mass Media. But as we have seen, the more time spent consuming media, the greater impact media has on "establishing values" and creating "linkage".

Exercise Belts
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©2002, Gorrell

In Module 5, we'll study in depth the impact of advertising on our culture. We'll also study exactly how advertising is designed to influence us.

The 1901 print ad on the right would be considered inappropriate for today's "women's" magazines.

Mass Mediation of Leisure

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