Although the conception of popular culture, mass media, and various forms of information dissemination are individual concepts, there seems to be a complementary relationship between the three. That is, mediums of information dissemination exist in order to shape popular culture and mass media, and vice versa. These three concepts meld together in order to define the dynamics of society, further identifying shared culture and behavior. (Wilson & Wilson, 2001) Mass media, as a whole, is a vehicle that presents information to a wide audience.
It incorporates various forms or medium of information dissemination tools and techniques such as the television, various commercials or advertisements either in print, through radio broadcasts, etc. , movies, billboards, flyers, and such. These information dissemination tools and techniques are made available to the public, appealing to individuals. Moreover, these tools and techniques are utilized to tap into the conscious and subconscious spheres of human behavior and thinking in order to communicate a message and influence the actions and behaviors of the public.
(Wilson & Wilson, 2001) Since the volume of the population that mass media targets is sizeable, the message is sent through them possibly influencing the whole or majority of the population. With this in mind, we understand that the direct message or information sent through information dissemination tools and techniques by mass media is collective, such that the influences and changes in actions, behavior, and way of thinking are shared. If this is so, then it gives birth to cultural changes through the process of enculturation.
One real-word example would be fashion. Information dissemination tools and techniques are utilized by mass media to set trends, particularly in print advertisements or magazines. Celebrities are utilized as medium to show fashion trends. Since at present, majority of the population look into celebrities are their role models, they are obliged to follow their leads, and in this case, how they are going to dress in terms of current trends.
During the last season, Rihanna set the trend for short and cropped hair, just as Lindsay Lohan popularized wearing black leggings. Most people followed their lead by getting Rihanna’s hair cut and by wearing leggings with almost every clothing get-up they can muster. Since most people have adapted to these patterns of styles and trends, it becomes shared; thus, shaping popular culture.
Wilson and Wilson (2001) Mass Media/Mass Culture: An Introduction, Fifth Edition. Culture and Communication: How They Interact. The McGraw-Hill Company.