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Marxism and the Media A Level Media Studies. ***Key Terms*** Capitalism an ideology emphasises the importance for people in a society to be free to create.

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Presentation on theme: "Marxism and the Media A Level Media Studies. ***Key Terms*** Capitalism an ideology emphasises the importance for people in a society to be free to create."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marxism and the Media A Level Media Studies

2 ***Key Terms*** Capitalism an ideology emphasises the importance for people in a society to be free to create wealth by setting up and running their own businesses. Communism A belief system Considers that capitalism exploits the labour of the workers Argues that the state should own and control wealth creation and distribute it fairly among the population as a whole.

3 Marxism… Based on the writings of a 19 th century philosopher – KARL MARX. His writings were a response to the extremes of poverty and exploitation he witnessed in the years after the British Industrial Revolution. He argued that there were divisions and tensions between two classes. The PROLETARIAT – workers who have to sell their labour to survive. The BOURGEOISIE – own a range of different types of capital (wealth, factories, shares or property)

4 The Communist Manifesto “Workers of all lands unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

5 Marxism… In contemporary society, people following a Marxist world view suggest… that the BOURGEOISIE includes a middle class who (although they do not own capital) identify and serve the interests of those who do. Under capitalism, the bourgeoisie dominates and exploits the proletariat in pursuit of profit. Marxists are concerned with how and why the mass of the population accept a system they see as unfair and exploitative.

6 Marxism in media… Marx’s ideas have been applied to media in contemporary society to suggest that the view of the world constructed in most mainstream media contributes to persuading the proletariat to accept capitalism as natural and inevitable, whilst simultaneously distracting them from complaining about exploitation.

7 Antonio GRAMSCI Introduced and used the concept of HEGEMONY Popular culture contributes to the manufacturing of consent for bourgeoisie power within capitalist societies. hegemony can also be applied to the power relations found in gender, sexuality and race. how people are influenced into accepting the dominance of a power elite This elite is able to rule because the rest of the population allow it to do so. The ideological role of the media is to persuade us that it is in our best interest to accept the dominance of this elite.

8 Hegemony We all live in societies where there are power structures. According to Gramsci's theory of hegemony, these systems of power cannot be maintained by force alone. People have to do things, willingly and happily, in their everyday lives that keep the powerful people on top.

9 Every day behaviours that keep governments in power… - People hanging flags from their homes - People rising and removing their hats when the national anthem is sung - People celebrating a country's independence day with parades and picnics

10 Everyday behaviours that keep corporations in power… - People wearing designer clothing - People shopping at chains instead of local stores - Schools serving fast food in cafeterias - Women displaying huge diamond engagement rings. - People celebrating days that have been manufactured by Hallmark, like Grandparent's Day

11 Everyday behaviours that keep patriarchy in power… - Women taking their husbands' last names. - Fathers "giving away" their daughters during wedding ceremonies. - The use of words such as "man" as gender neutral.

12 Chomsky Argues that popular culture can be used to divert people’s attention from real issues such as their conditions of employment. It is only the intellectual and educated classes in society, largely the professional classes, who must be persuaded to agree with the ideological values of the ruling elite.

13 Chomsky Argues that the media manipulates populations to prevent them rebelling against the powerful or dominant classes. This is done through ‘manufacturing consent’ – by filtering available information through the media and therefore controlling the audience’s ideas and thoughts.

14 Lifestyle Television It can be argued that these programmes involve the retraining of members of the lower or lower middle class into the values, ideals and tastes of the bourgeoisie. Many of the experts on these programmes (Nigella Lawson, Trinny and Susannah) are clearly defined by accent, background and demeanour as members of the upper middle class. McRobbie argued that the denouncement of taste and behaviour of participants that is often central to these programmes, is a form of symbolic violence. In early episodes of ‘What Not to Wear’, Trinny and Susannah destroyed participants clothes by tearing them up. They also humiliated participants by criticising their clothing style in front of family and friends. Participants were often reduced to tears.

15 Pretty Woman A Marxist might see the film in terms of what it tells us about class and money in modern America. "It's all about the money" The only way for Vivian to escape from her life of prostitution is to be rescued by a man with enough money to fulfil her dream of being the princess at the top of the tower. Vivian is only offered two choices - to either carry on as a prostitute or to become Edward’s lover and in effect, a capitalist herself. This situation within the film illustrates a typical Marxist's comment on the world – capitalism limits peoples choices, forcing them into situations where they must either do a job that they do not want to do, or force other people into things they don't want to.

16 Criticisms of Marxism It assumes the audience is passive and easily manipulated by media producers. A close examination of many media texts suggests the texts are POLYSEMIC. Rather than having one clear message that supports dominant values and ideology… Text meanings are contradictory.

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