Amusing Ourselves To Death Summary

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V. Mass Media as a Major Tool to Expand the Influence of Nv-hanzi Apart from the influence of the socio-economic conditions in China, mass media also plays an important role in the rising popularity of the term nv-hanzi. In the book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman argues that "the medium is the metaphor". Our thoughts about the world could be largely influenced by what the media lets us know. "... the forms of our media... are rather like metaphors, working by unobtrusive but powerful implication to enforce their special definitions of reality. Whether we are experiencing the world through the lens of speech or the printed word or the television camera, our media-metaphors classify the world for us, sequence it, frame it, enlarge…show more content…
Epistemology is the study of how we come to know and understand what a culture believes to be "the truth". (Postman,1985,p.16-30). Postman thinks that media is not just a tool for information dissemination, but it contains the meaning beyond itself - the dominant mediums of communication within a culture could influence our "definition of the situation", "our view of reality" and what we consider to be "the truth". In another word, a culture's beliefs (e.g. their "truth") is influenced by the available means of expression or communication. (Postman, 1985, p.16-30). In this way, people's thoughts about certain social conditions are also greatly influenced by how the mass media intends us to…show more content…
The most famous example is Mulan, who disguised herself as a male soldier to take her father's place in the army and devoted all her effort to defend her motherland. There were also a great number of female heroes such as Guiying Mu, Lihua Fan and Hongyu Liang, who joined the army voluntarily and spared no effort to protect the country like a man. It can be said that all these characters like Mulan are all nv-hanzi. (Jia,2014,p.12). However, why this term just emerged recently in 2013 is worth noticing. Nv-hanzi, originally appeared as a buzzword on social media, has then gradually becomes a popular social phenomenon discussed both in the public sphere and within the academia. Although the open socio-economic environment is a key factor leading to nv-hanzi, when viewing this issue from Postman's aspect, it can be argued that such a popularity of the term nv-hanzi is also closely connected with the "framing, enlargement and coloring" of the mass media. No matter on the front pages of portal sites, on the news feeds of various social media sites, on the covers of different magazines, in TV shows, movies, and other media forms, the discussion of nv-hanzi just appears everywhere on the media. The term nv-hanzi is promoted and enlarged by various media forms, which causes an atmosphere or even an illusion that nv-hanzi is

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