Teaching & learning guide for: Social psychology and media: Critical Consideration

We wrote this paper because we felt there was a need for a more critical examination of the ways that media were considered within social psychology. The article was written to provide an overview of social psychological research on media and to propose new lines of enquiry, particularly into the social practices within which media technologies are embedded. In particular our arguments focus on the ways in which media permeate social life and relationships, and why we should give more attention to the study of media within the practices of everyday living. Media are pervasive in society today. Media are foundational to the symbolic landscape within which people make sense of the world and their place in it. Media also comprise material objects, such as televisions and computers that dominate many domestic realms, as well as more portable devices, such as mobile phones and MP3 players that people take with them when moving through everyday life. Human relations with and through media are complex and evolving, and provide a core focus for social psychology. In the living room of any modern home there are likely to be comfortable chairs, family memorabilia and a range of media technologies ranging from telephones, radios, books and magazines to a television, a DVD player, a digital recorder, iPod, and perhaps a networked computer. These devices are often mobile, and can be moved or relocated around the house, shifting from communal to more personal devices as family members seek privacy to consume their media products or react to different tastes in movie, musical or gaming content. Such practices open up a range of social psychological issues regarding human relations, identity, time and space. The presence of media devices in daily life has invoked concerns about the possible negative effects of exposure to media violence and broader issues around reduced civic participation, as well as more positively focused issues such as the use of media to build and maintain social ties.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Hodgetts, D. & Chamberlain, K. (2009). Teaching & learning guide for: Social psychology and media: Critical Consideration. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, 1-8.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd