Society
influences individual opinions as much as it does behaviors and media. Through
the media, the opinions of society members are molded. In fact,  “the media do more than report events of
local, national, and international significance. They also actively mold public
option and project and reinforce a society’s value” (Newman, 2011, p.  32). Barry Glassner (1999) described how the
media instills fear in societal members in his “Culture of Fear”. A few of the
fears Glassner mentioned in his reading are the fear of crime, terror, and
health conditions (Newman, 2012, p. 39). Media instills these fears by making
health issues, terrorism, and crime rates seem much larger and scarier than
they are. For example, “women in their forties believe they have a 1 in 10
chance of dying from breast cancer, a Dartmouth study found. Their real lifetime
odds are more like 1 in 250” (Newman, 2012, p. 39).

Glassner
(1999) used the media-effects theory to explain the root causes of the fear
taking over many Americans. Glassner (1999) stated this theory blamed the media
for the off-base fearful stories they throw at us in order to increase ratings
(Newman, 2012, p. 39). The tactics the media used to sell these fearful stories
are “statements of alarm, glorification of wanabe experts, the use of poignant
anecdotes in place of scientific evidence, the christening of isolated
incidents as trends, and depletions of entire categories as people as innately
dangerous” (Newman, 2012, p. 43). When one takes Glassner’s (1999)
media-effects theory into consideration, it is not surprising to learn why so
many women believe they have a high chance of dying from breast cancer when
shows, such as Dr. Oz, Grey’s Anatomy, or Untold stories of the ER, make cancer
seem more prevalent than it is.  Sociological
imagination helps us discover how coincided the media and society are.

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