Contribution of Literature in Development Aspects of Society

Literature is derived from the Latin word , “litterae”. Literally translated, the word literature means ‘acquaintance with letters’.
The simplest definition of society is a group of people who share a defined territory and a culture. In sociology, we take that definition a little further by arguing that society is also the social structure and interactions of that group of people. Social structure is the relatively enduring patterns of behavior and relationships within a society. Thus, a society is not only the group of people and their culture, but the relationships between the people and the institutions within that group.
Literature means something that is written for refreshing and  inspiring the mind. It records the thoughts  and  feelings of great minds. It attracts in two ways through its matter and through its manner. The matter must be such that those who read it are interested in some way. The manner must be such as will be pleasing to the reader and adds to his fund of knowledge.
Robert Merton introduced a form of functionalism in his 1949 book Social Theory and Social Structure ,.. His “functional analysis” detailed how the study of social artifacts (such as media use) could lead to the development of theories explaining their “functions.” Merton derived this perspective from earlier forms of structural-functionalist theories that were used in anthropology and sociology. Functional analysis argues that a society can best be viewed as a “system in balance,” consisting of complex sets of interrelated activities, each supporting the others. All forms of social activity play a part in maintaining the system as a whole.

In today’s society, mass media, including television, radio and newspaper or magazines have become very dependable sources to so many people. Today people spend many hours everyday reading about celebrities in the tabloids, watching biased news channels, or participating in violent videogames. Mass Media is communication- whether written, broadcast, or spoken that reaches a large audience. This includes television, radio, advertising movies and so forth. Mass media is a significant force in modern culture. Sociologists refer to this as a mediated culture, where media refelects and creates the culture. Communities and individuals are bombarded constantly with messages from a multitude of sources including t.v., billboards and magazines. These messages promote not only products but moods, attitudes and a sense of what is and is not important.
What role does mass media play? Legislatures, media executives, local school officials, and sociologists have all debated this controversial question. While opinions vary as to the extent and type of influence the mass media wields, all sides agree that mass media is a permanent part of modern culture. Three main sociological perspectives on the role of media exist: the limited-effects theory, the class-dominant theory, and the culturalist theory.

Culturalist theory

The culturalist theory, developed in the 1980s and 1990s, combines the other two theories and claims that people interact with media to create their own meanings out of the images and messages they receive. This theory sees audiences as playing an active rather than passive role in relation to mass media.

Limited-effects theory

The limited-effects theory argues that because people generally choose what to watch or read based on what they already believe, media exerts a negligible influence. This theory originated and was tested in the 1940s and 1950s. Studies that examined the ability of media to influence voting found that well-informed people relied more on personal experience, prior knowledge, and their own reasoning.. This theory came into existence when the availability and dominance of media was far less widespread.

Class-dominant theory

The class-dominant theory argues that the media reflects and projects the view of a minority elite, which controls it. Those people who own and control the corporations that produce media comprise this elite. Advocates of this view concern themselves particularly with massive corporate mergers of media organizations, which limit competition and put big business at the reins of media—especially news media. Their concern is that when ownership is restricted, a few people then have the ability to manipulate what people can see or hear. For example, owners can easily avoid or silence stories that expose unethical corporate behaviour or hold corporations responsible for their actions.

The Marriage of Advertising and Media

“Advertising and mass media marched hand in hand into the modern world”, write advertising Sociologists  Leiss, Kline and Jhally. The Print media could not grown to its contemporary size without advertising. Neither would  radio or television be as important  in our daily lives as they  are now  without advertising. Already in 19th century  the news papers and magazines got a part of their revenue by selling advertising space. During the first decades of 20th century print  advertising became more common, and further  more advertising grew along the development of electronic media.  Soon it became  the main financing source to radio and television that matured to be the dominant media.   Contemporary commercial media market is run by three institutions: media organisations, advertisers(goods and services producing companies) and advertising agencies. They all share the interest  to unite the audiences(viewers, listeners, readers and users). Media Institutions produce news, programs, articles, films, internet sites and other media products that allow access to audiences. Advertisers are companies producing goods and services for consumers. And advertising and media organisations work as intermediaries between the goods producers and media audiences.

Before Modern Advertising
In the American colonial period, advertisements were primarily signboards on inns, taverns, coffee houses, and the like, basically for travellers. The first newspaper to appear continuously, the Boston News Letter, which was established in 1704. It contained advertisements like Real estate advertisement ,rewards for runway apprentices, sale of wine, cloth. These advertisements were limited to text, they contained no photographs or drawings. Benjamin Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1729 which included more advertisements than did any other colonial newspaper. Over the next century, there was little subsequent change in advertising. Advertisements provided information about goods for sale, arrivals and departures of ships and stagecoach schedules. In the 1860s,newspaper circulation increased and magazine and periodical advertising began, and Multicolumn display advertisements were designed.

Industrialization and Advertising  Co- related with  Society
Increased mechanization paved the way for a wave of technological change in the 1870s and 1880s.  Manufacturers created brand names and sought to familiarize buyers nationally with their product. Where a housewife  had once ordered  a pound of generic baking powder, now she was encouraged to insist on  known quality by requesting only Royal Baking Powder. By 1900 advertising in newspapers was supplemented on streetcars, on billboards and in magazines. Full-page advertisements, especially in women’s magazines, sought  to influence women’s choices. Until the 1890s, conceptualization and preparation of advertising copy were the responsibility of the firm placing the advertisement . But as companies followed, Advertising agents, soon came to be known as advertising agencies took on their modern form: writing copy, creating trademarks, logos and slogans and overseeing preparation of art work.

ADVERTISING is a form of communication used to persuade an audience( viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action with respect to products, ideas or services, although political and id ecological advertising is also common. Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media, including mass such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail or new media such as websites and text messages. Types of Advertising Virtually any medium can be used for advertising. Commercial advertising media can include wall paintings, billboards, street furniture components, printed flyers and rack cards, radio, cinema and television adverts, , mobile telephone screens, shopping carts, , bus stop benches, human billboards, magazines, newspapers, , sides of buses, , in-flight advertisements on or overhead storage bins, taxicab doors, roof mounts and passenger screens, musical stage shows, subway platforms and trains, audio and video, posters, and the backs of event tickets and supermarket receipts. Any place an "identified" sponsor pays to deliver their message through a medium is advertising. Digital advertising Television advertising / Music in advertising
The TV commercial is generally considered the most effective mass-market advertising format.  The majority of television commercials feature a song or jingle that listeners soon relate to the product.

An infomercial is a long-format television commercial, typically five minutes or longer. The main objective in an infomercial is to create an impulse purchase, so that the consumer sees the presentation and then immediately buys the product through the advertised toll-free telephone number or website. Infomercials describe, display, and often demonstrate products and their features, and commonly have testimonials from consumers and industry professionals.

Radio advertising
Radio advertising is a form of advertising via the medium of radio. Radio advertisements are broadcast as radio waves to the air from a transmitter to an antenna and a thus to a receiving device..

Online advertising
Online advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for the expressed purpose of delivering marketing messages to attract customers. Online ads are delivered by an ad server. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads that appear on search engine results pages, banner ads, in text ads, Rich Media Ads, Social network advertising, online classified advertising, advertising networks and e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam.
Covert advertising, also known as guerrilla advertising, is when a product or brand is embedded in entertainment and media. For example, in a film, the main character can use an item or other of a definite brand, as in the movie Minority Report, where Tom Cruise's character John Anderton owns a phone with the Nokia logo clearly written in the top corner, or his watch engraved with the Bulgari logo. .

Press advertising
Press advertising describes advertising in a printed medium such as a newspaper, magazine, or trade journal. This encompasses everything from media with a very broad readership base, such as a major national newspaper or magazine, to more narrowly targeted media such as local newspapers and trade journals on very specialized topics. A form of press advertising is classified advertising, which allows private individuals or companies to purchase a small, narrowly targeted ad for a low fee advertising a product or service. .

Billboard advertising
Billboards are large structures located in public places which display advertisements to passing pedestrians and motorists. Most often, they are located on main roads with a large amount of passing motor and pedestrian traffic; however, they can be placed in any location with large amounts of viewers, such as on mass transit vehicles and in stations, in shopping malls or office buildings, and in stadiums. Global advertising Advertising has gone through five major stages of development: domestic, export, international, multi-national, and global. For global advertisers, there are four, potentially competing, business objectives that must be balanced when developing worldwide advertising: building a brand while speaking with one voice, developing economies of scale in the creative process, maximising local effectiveness of ads, and increasing the company’s speed of implementation. Born from the evolutionary stages of global marketing are the three primary and fundamentally different approaches to the development of global advertising executions: exporting executions, producing local executions, and importing ideas that travel..

In-store advertising
In-store advertising is any advertisement placed in a retail store. It includes placement of a product in visible locations in a store, such as at eye level, at the ends of aisles and near checkout counters (aka POP --Point Of Purchase display), eye-catching displays promoting a specific product, and advertisements in such places as shopping carts and in-store video displays. Street advertising
This type of advertising first came to prominence in the UK by Street Advertising Services to create outdoor advertising on street furniture and pavements. Working with products such as Reverse Graffiti and 3d pavement advertising, the media became an affordable and effective tool for getting brand messages out into public spaces.

Celebrity branding
This type of advertising focuses upon using celebrity power, fame, money, popularity to gain recognition for their products and promote specific stores or products. Advertisers often advertise their products, for example, when celebrities share their favorite products or wear clothes by specific brands or designers. Celebrities are often involved in advertising campaigns such as television or print adverts to advertise specific or general products. The use of celebrities to endorse a brand can have its downsides, however. One mistake by a celebrity can be detrimental to the public relations of a brand..

A Critical Theory of Advertising
Since the emergence of critical media studies in the 1970s a substantial literature has developed that examines and questions the role of mass communication and advertising within the institutional structures of contemporary societies. Hereafter, ‘ Social Communication in Advertising ‘ related with Persons, Products and Images of well Being, works powerfully in the field of advertising. The  ‘debates on advertising and society’ provides a concise survey of the controversies surrounding advertising and of the various analytical frameworks used to address these controversies. This points out to conceptualize advertising as a form of social communication which plays a complex set of roles within consumer societies. This approach provides insights into how commodities mediate social relations and focuses attention on the cultural impact of advertising and its multifarious social functions.
The Leiss/Kline/Jhally(sociologists) text locates advertising within the larger structure of a ‘market-industrial economy’ where the institutions of media, industry and advertising converge. The substantial portion of the book involves tracing the historical development of each of these key institutions and how they formed a constellation making advertising an institution with a privileged form of discourse. In a study of ‘The Theatre of Consumption’ the authors examine the structure and context of advertisements and their social and cultural impact. The first study, derived from Jhally’s dissertation, involves an analysis of television commercials sampled from sports programming targeted to males, and prime time programming targeted to females. Jhally’s goal was to illuminate “the differentiated codes used by advertisers in their messages directed at male and female audiences”. The study   reveals that advertisers utilize different codes and strategies to appeal to different  audiences and genders. For instance, “beauty” , “family relations” and “romance” are codes used to address female audiences while “ruggedness”, “tough” and “fraternity” are primarily male advertising codes. The second study conducted by Leiss and Kline, involves the historical examination of magazine advertising for the trends and uses  of audience codes. Following  Leymore’s  semi logical analysis in Hidden Myth-Structure and Symbolism in Advertising(1975) they analyze magazine ads for their use of ‘person’, ‘product’ and  ‘text’. There was steady decline in the use of text or copy in ads but but there was increase in display and illustrations. In studies of “Goods as Satisfiers”, the consumer society has caused a profound transformation in social life, involving the change in the function of goods from being satisfiers of wants to being primarily communicators of meaning. Hence marketers and advertisers generate systems of meaning, prestige and identify by associating their products with certain life styles, symbolic values and pleasures.      Leiss, Kline and Jhally have expanded the category of ‘ information’ within advertising to include not just functional product  information, but social  symbolic information as well, telling individuals, what they must buy to become fashionable, popular and successful while inducing them to buy particular products  to reach these goals. According to the analysis presented in SCA, about the significance and power of advertising, is not much economic but is cultural, “Advertising is not just a business expenditure undertaken in the hope of showing some merchandise off the store shelves, but is rather an integral part of  the modern  culture.”  Consequently, the  ‘market place’ should be seen as a cultural system and not  just as a mechanism for moving commodities and money. Furthermore, it is cultural symbolism and images that provide crucial insights into the nature and functions of advertising  plays  a key role in the transition to a new image culture and thus in the transition from a discursive book/print culture to a figurative media culture.

Critique of Commodity Aesthetics: Appearance and Advertising in society
Advertising in capitalist society Wolfgang Fritz Haug, examines mass communication and advertising as key elements. He further explains his task,’was to derive the phenomena of commodity aesthetics from their economic basis and to develop and present them within their systematic connections. Haug  argues, “ commodity aesthetic “ shape the values,perceptions and consumer behaviour of individuals in contemporary society to integrate them into the lifestyles of consumers. Commodity aesthetics involves the promise of happiness engineered by advertisers through the consumption of images which appeal to human needs and sensuality.
Judith Williamson, in a study of advertising combined semi logical  and ideological critique in close reading of individual ads. She argued for the importance of incorporating mode of address and the ways that ads engage audience in ideological forms. Goldman’s studies, show how  Levis’s ads utilize populism to sell its jeans, while Reebok campaigns incorporate postmodern imagery to sell shoes. These  ads combine analysis of specific marketing and aesthetic strategies with analysis of contemporary social trends, using advertising as a prism to read contemporary social trends while using sociological analysis as a means of interpreting contemporary advertisements. Above all, advertising theory viewed from a historical, developmental perspective, advertising must be viewed against the erosion of traditional social structures of meaning which it replaces with ideals and images of privatized commodity consumption. Democracy requires that its citizens express concern about public life and actively participate in efforts to reform and improve society. GROWTH OF LANGUAGE-LITERATURE-SOCIETY
The most famous example of Middle English is Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales", aollection of stories about a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury, England. The portraits that he paints in his Tales give us an idea of what life was like in fourteenth century England. Modern English (1500 to the present): Modern English developed after William Caxton established his printing press at Westminster Abbey in 1476. Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in Germany around 1450, but Caxton set up England's first press. The Bible and some valuable manuscripts were printed. The invention of the printing press made books available to more people. The books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Printing also brought standardization to English.
By the time of Shakespeare's writings (1592-1616), the language had become clearly recognizable as Modern English. There were three big developments in the world at the beginning of Modern English period: the Renaissance, the Industrial
Revolution, and the BritishColonialism.

It was during the English Renaissance that most of the words from Greek and Latin entered English. This period in English cultural history (early 16th century to the early 17th century) is sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or "the Elizabethan era”. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I there was an explosion of culture in the form of support of the arts, popularization of the printing press, and massive amounts of sea travel.
England began the Industrial Revolution (18th century) and this had also an effect on the development of the language as new words had to be invented or existing ones modified to cope with the rapid changes in technology. New technical words were added to the vocabulary as inventors designed various products and machinery. These words were named after the inventor or given the name of their choice (trains, engine, pulleys, combustion, electricity, telephone, telegraph, camera etc).

Britain was an Empire for 200 years between the 18th and 20th centuries and English language continued to change as the British Empire moved across the world - to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, India, Asia and Africa. They sent people to settle and live in their conquered places and as settlers interacted with natives, new words were added to the  English vocabulary.English continues to change and develop, with hundreds of new words arriving every year.At the beginning of the 21st century, it is beyond question that the English language has become the lingua franca, the language used for communication between people living in different countries in the world. The famous British linguist, Professor David Crystal in his book "English as a Global Language" states that English has become a global language because it has been at the right place at the right time.
Today, English is considered the universal language for business, international communications, entertainment, tourism, trade and technology. The majority of all resources on the internet are in English, affecting people to learn English to take full advantage of it.. Evolution of the mass media The mass media have changed their function over the past few centuries, mainly as a consequence of increased competition within-and between-media. In traditional societies  the Mass Media  essentially functioned as an instrument of ideological control, producing heavily censored ‘propaganda’ on behalf of the ruling powers who controlled the media – and this situation continued through the earlier stages of industrialization before the evolution of the modern mass media. This was possible because the MM faced little or no competition: books were expensive and copying text was technically difficult, while early broadcast media comprised only a handful of channels. Therefore, mass media of feudal, totalitarian and theocratic societies were essentially monolithic in their communications and manipulative in their intentions But the modern mass media are different. Although printing was invented in the Middle Ages and had a massive impact – allowing much larger and more complex societies to be administered.
Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th century. Thus as the economy expanded and the growth of industrial revolution the advertising field grew alongside with literature production and the development of society around us.

literature and Advertising
Scholars and literary critics differ over what constitutes literature. The once revered canon of texts (such as The Canterbury Tales, The Merchant of Venice, and Wuthering Heights) has given way to the study of a much broader range of texts (including popular romances, soap operas, and advertisements) and voices (especially kinds of voices that had not been included among canonical texts such as African-, Asian-, and Latin-American writers). Some definitions of literature specify criteria that a text must have in order to qualify as literature whereas others emphasize acceptance by a reading community as the primary marker. There is a widely shared sense that literature stands apart from more ordinary texts such as telephone books, shopping lists, operating instructions, and advertisements. A practical approach to understanding literature might enumerate some widely shared characteristics:



  • Sociological theory en theory

  • Introduction to Sociology /Sosciological Theory

  • Sociology:literature www.cliff

  • Sociology:the role of Mass media

  • Towards a theory of Advertising

Assistant Professor, P. D. Pandya Mahila Commerce College,Ahmedabad


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