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Radio and Culture

Updated on April 7, 2015

Read “Radio Sports Talk and the Fantasies of Sport” and watch “ABC News: Hip Hop and Violence.” You may also want to review the video “Ron Della Chiesa on Radio and Culture.” Create a new post in which you identify at least two ways radio has affected culture, and analyze whether radio will be more likely or less likely to affect culture in the future.

Culture is “the integrated and dynamic social system of behaviors, characteristics, customs, language, artifacts, and symbols that distinguish one social group from another” (Sterin, 2012, p. 461). Radio has affected culture through its three major genres of music, talk, and sports. The “ABC News: Hip Hop and Violence” video demonstrated how radio’s music genre has affected the hip hop culture. The video showed how radio allowed feuds between hip hop performers to be broadcasted and how it influenced many listeners to take sides for the feuds. Radio affected hip hop culture by pulling listeners into feuds and causing a cultivation effect. In this case the cultivation effect was the way the listeners projected themselves into situations they would hear about on the radio to the point where they would take the social realities portrayed on the radio and believe them to be fact.

Radio’s second genre, talk, has affected culture through numerous talk shows. Jack Lule (2012) wrote about how “Vox Pop” was a radio show based on person-in-the-street interviews. The “Vox Pop” radio show was one of the early attempts to quantify the United States’ growing mass culture through radio shows to the public. The show was based on asking average everyday random people questions about current events. The idea behind the show was to demonstrate different aspects of American culture to listeners.

Radio’s third genre, sports, has affected culture through offering the means for fans to get involved with their favorite team. According to the article, “Radio Sports Talk and the Fantasies of Sport” by Zagacki and Grano (2005), radio has given sports fans an arena in which they can speak their minds to other sports fans and become involved in an interactive community of sports fans. Radio has affected sports culture through the use of fan interactions. Radio has inflamed the hype around referee calls and plays; radio also offers ways for fans to win free tickets to sports games. All of this has caused sports culture to grow and expand through fan interaction.

While radio has greatly affected culture in the past and will continue to be a viable mass communication platform because of its huge audience; its effect on culture will fade over time as people continue to use new media for their entertainment. Music fans can go to YouTube for their music needs, fans of talk shows now use their TV and electronic device to watch their programs, and sports fans can voice their thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. New media will take over affecting culture from the radio as time goes on.


Lule, J. (2012). Radio’s Impact on Culture. In Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication (Vol. 10). Flat World Education.

Sterin, J. (2012). Mass media revolution (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Zagacki, K. S., & Grano, D. (2005). Radio Sports Talk and the Fantasies of Sport. Critical Studies In Media Communication, 22(1), 45-63.


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