The media has significantly influenced the lives of the British people. On the average, Britons spend over 5 hours each day on media services such as the internet, television, and/or the mobile phone. The European Union was established in 1973 through the interventions of Edward Heath who was a prime minister at that time. The British press, which began its operations in the early 1600s, pioneered the development of broadcasting and other forms of the communication in the 1900s.
Media interventions have significantly transformed the ways of life of the Britons. This report provides an overview of the correlation of the British society with the media by examining the Benefits of the European Union to Britain, the influence of social class ideas on the British people’s sense of identity, and change of family concepts in the United Kingdom since the 1960s.
Benefits of the European Union (EU) Membership to Britain
According to Burton (2005), Britain has significantly benefited from the European Union in a number of ways that encompass social, economic, and political dimensions. The most significant benefit that has been realised in the economic dimension is the EU’s promotion of its enormous market through the media. Socially, people are able to travel across the borders of the member nations without any strict restrictions.
The British government uses the media to promote social democracy. This strategy has been used profoundly to sway the opinions of both the Britons and foreign citizens (Burton 2005). The EU also operates under a common set of business rules that govern the member nations. Therefore, citizens of the member countries are able to run their businesses without obstruction.
Countries need foreign direct investments to boost their economic performances. Britain is one of the major economies that operate within the EU block. The media has been used widely as a propaganda tool to promote the popularity of the British economy. For this reason, it has attracted many international firms that are in search of openings in the European Union market. In turn, these companies create employment opportunities for the citizens.
In addition, they promote the maintenance of a healthy environment through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs (Dencik 2012). The introduction of the EU driving licence has enabled Britons to travel throughout the EU region by the use of their cars for both business and adventurous purposes. Any person who lives within the region can work or live in the country of his choice. This state of affairs has largely increased social integration amongst the citizens of the member states.
The extent to which Social Class Ideas have influenced the British People’s Sense of Identity
Since the beginning of civilisation, the society has always stratified itself into social classes that comprise people of different statuses because of factors such as power and/or wealth. This state of events significantly influenced the British media, which led to further division of the British society.
For instance, social classes exist amongst Britons and citizens of other countries who live in the country (Oakland 2006). There is a sense of in-group and out-group relations whereby the media enhances the self-image of the British society in an attempt to differentiate them from the other groups.
The tenets of the social identity theory provide a clear understanding of the reasons behind the identity of the British community. In this context, the role of the media is to coax the government to seek weaknesses that lead to discrimination of the immigrants. The theory holds that groups have a tendency of enhancing themselves by discriminating other social groups (Oakland 2006). This situation leads to division of people based on social lines.
Extreme social alienation results in racialism. Social classes that are based on wealth include the upper, the middle, or the lower class. The middle class is subdivided into three divisions, which include the upper middle, the middle, and the lower middle depending on factors such as earnings and closeness to the upper or the lower social classes. Although there is some mobility between the classes, people who fall within the same social class are identified by their average earnings (Cohen 2014).
Change of Family Concepts in the UK Since 1960s
For the last few decades, life has taken a fast lane that has greatly changed the lifestyles of people and the concepts of the family unit (Tomascikova 2010). Some pillars of the family structure that were highly regarded in the past are quickly disappearing. However, this tendency has been linked to the interventions of the media on issues that pertain to marriage. The use of the media to characterise various gender roles has significantly affected the functioning of marriages.
This situation has led to a shift in family concepts. Various researchers attest that constant change of the family concepts in the United Kingdom poses a likelihood of more divorces in the near future (Cohen 2014). Media discussions on matters that pertain to marriage relationships have influenced the rational thinking of many individuals.
This situation has led to simplification of divorce processes. However, in the past, the process of divorce was lengthy and difficult. As a result, many couples opted to solve the family issues and remain in marriage.
The government of Britain used the media largely to foster education in the UK. Tomascikova (2010) reveals that career pursuit is a crucial factor that has led to disruption of the family system. Some individuals regard career objectives as their top priority. As a result, they leave little time for their families. The media constantly reminds the citizens about the need to continue climbing the ladder of personal development.
This situation has significantly increased dependency on house care services to take charge of children. Interestingly, children have adopted this culture and they do not see the importance of spending time with their parents. Postponement of marriage age is a habit that has gradually developed among the people of the UK. Many Britons decide to stay unmarried for the rest of their lives in a bid to seek freedom (Burton 2005).
In conclusion, the British fraternity has radically transformed to a mass media society. The strong correlation of the media and the Britain society has led to social, economic, and political stratification. For instance, media campaigns have significantly transformed the Britain economy through creation of propaganda to attract foreign investment in the UK.
However, this correlation has also affected the social statuses of diverse societies in the United Kingdom. This situation has largely contributed to discrimination, formation of social classes, and change of the usual family concepts. With the current position of the media in Britain, it is difficult to change the role of the media in shaping the society and vice versa.
Burton, G 2005, Media and Society: Critical Perspectives, Open University Press, Berkshire.
Cohen, N 2014, ‘Our suicidal media: Civil war within the British press threatens a free society’, Spectator, vol. 326 no. 9711, pp.15.
Dencik, L 2012, Media and Global Civil Society, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Oakland, J 2006, British Civilization, Routledge, New York.
Tomascikova, S 2010, ‘British Situation Comedy and the Consciousness of New Class Differences in Slovakia’, European Journal of English Studies, vol. 14 no. 3, pp. 207-20.