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American Media Culture

As a source of shared experiences and icons, such as Kermit the Frog, the universally recognized Muppet star of Sesame Street, television has helped create a national American culture. Perhaps no force more powerfully reflects and shapes American identity than the mass media. Radio, television, movies, and other media supply a stream of ideas, information, and images that we draw upon to define ourselves as individuals, as members of communities, and as a nation. The mass media bring individuals and communities to national attention and provides a distinctive voice for America in the world. But it can also downplay, simplify, or ignore American diversity. Some media images perpetuate stereotypes, while others submerge individual and group identities into a homogeneous national commercial culture.

 



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