Media Sociology Concept

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The presented paper will focus on the contemporary media, its features, stories and relate it to one of the media sociology concepts. The chosen article is headlined Sweden’s subtly radical ‘feminist’ foreign policy is causing a stir. It was written by Adam Taylor and published by The Washington Post on October 7, 2015. The article is primarily about the new foreign policy of Sweden. The concept that would be discussed in regard to the article is limited-effects theory. It basically provides that people choose what to watch or read on what they already believe in or are interested in. 

The article under consideration deals with the news in the field of foreign policy of Sweden (Taylor, 2015). Few months ago its government has officially recognized the independence of Palestine. Recently, there have been few maneuvers that allow one suppose that Sweden might soon recognize the Western Sahara as independent state regardless of the fact that it is the territory with disputed status. The author of the article suggests that such steps of Swedish government would have an enormous influence over the resolutions and statements in regard to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Swedish government states that it has recently opted out for the feminist foreign policies and, therefore, it is supposed that similar decisions would be passed in the future. The author also stresses that Swedish foreign policy has never drawn as much attention as it does now due to its harsh decisions. The article is extremely interesting for those who are concerned with the issues of the international relations and resolutions of territorial conflicts. 

The article has been definitely not chosen by random. In fact, it is a long-read that is frequently read till the end. So what were the motivators for opting out for it. The limited effects theory has an explanation for this. Its supporters consider that the choice as what to watch or read depends on the preferences and interests of the person. The latter, in its turn, are rooted in the experience of the person (Craig, 2005). The supporters of this theory also consider that the media has a negligible effect. The theory was introduced in 1940s (Keppinger, 2008). In order to prove it the national poll was carried out. The voters made their choices based on their experiences, personal feelings, prior knowledge, etc, but not on the information transmitted via media. The critics of this theory state that it ignores the fact that media often frames the issues and limit the discussion of them (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005). Secondly, the theory was developed when the media was less widespread. 

Reflecting on my own experience of choosing article, I should confess that my conclusion lands with the theory than with its opponents. Basically, I did not choose the media and the article due to its source, headline, appearance or because it tracked me. Instead, I was looking for the article on the issue that interested me the most and found the one I needed. The underlying reason for my choice was the desire to find out new information in the field of international relations, as I am interested in it. 


In conclusion, it should be stated that in accordance with the limited-effects theory the media usually has little effect on the choices made by the readers or watchers. It has been proven by the choice of media and article I did, as I was particularly interested in the foreign policy of Sweden and nothing else attracted my attention. Yet, one should recognize that the concept of media and its effects evolves in the era of smartphones and ongoing online presence.

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