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Contextual and Theoretical Studies

12/11/2009

Lecture 2. Understanding Media Ideology Ideology - Systems of ideas or beliefs (e.g. beliefs of political party.) - In marxists, critical theorists - masking distortion or selection to reinforce relations. - ʻFalse consciousnessʼ - beliefs that we get fed to mask the truth. - A philosophical approach to the social sciences, focuses on the role of society in determining human behaviour. - Karl Marx - ʻgives its ideas and represents them as the only rational, universally valid one.ʼ - Presented to us to give the impression that it benefits us all, ʻthe interest of the massesʼ. - It is presented as a common interest. Capitalism Bourgoisie - Commodity - Proletariat - Control of the means of production in private hands (Bourgoisie) - A market where labour power is bought and sold. - Production of commodities, for sale. - Use of money as a means of exchange. - Competition (Divisive) / Meritocracy. Marxism - A political manifesto - communist manifesto - theories social revolution from capitalism to utopianism. - Social politics - philosophical, critical approach to society. - Based on concept of dialectical materialism. (A way of thinking about the world.) Base / Superstructure Base - What it can make to sustain life - forces of production. - Relationships that govern peoples actions - relations of productions i.e. employer / employee. On top of this Superstructure - Ways of seeing - social institutions - legal, political, cultural. - Forms of consciousness. - Ideology. Determines content and form of

Base

Superstructure

Reflects form of and legitimizes.

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Contextual and Theoretical Studies

12/11/2009

(In reference to picture...) Pyramid of Capitalist System The State - Committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgoisie. v Ideologs - The church - Religion masks over class division - ʻas long as you work hard, you will be rewarded in heavenʼ - work for pennies and donʼt moan. v Bourgoisie - ʻFat catsʼ - the rich. v Proletariat - Keeps the system standing - The Workers. Capitilism - ʻWe rule youʼ. Marx Ideology In reference to image of woman fondling marx - The man is the thinker, the intellectual figure - The important one. - The woman ʻappearsʼ - connotes ʻto-be-looked-at-ness.ʼ ʻMen act and women appear...Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most of the relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselvesʼ Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972 - Wonderbra ad - ʻI never read the economistʼ - Quote by Linda Foster, CEO, Aged 29 - It implies that she has got a job, not through being educated, through wearing a wonderbra and having big boobs. - Dialectical Materialism. - Media is governed by men. - Men control the BASE. - Patriarchal - women Should be sexy. -Strengthens capitalism - get good job by buying things, not education. Althusser (1970) - Ideology and Ideological state apparatus. Ideology v Superstructure (politics) v Base -Ideology is a practice through what we ʻliveʼ - offers us ʻsolutionsʼ to problems in our lives. -Althussers Book - Analyses trickers who give us ideologies. -Disseminates the views of the ruling class - The media. ʻThe individual is produced by nature; the subject by cultureʼ (Fishe, 1992) Subject = the person. -Interpellation The Sun newspaper 1997 - Went from supporting Tory > Labour. 2009 - Went from Labour > Tory. 2


Contextual and Theoretical Studies

12/11/2009

-The sun is a widely read newspaper by working class. -Gives the impression that it is what is good for society. -Truth - They go by opinion polls of who they think will be voted into power. Interpellation - In reference to old adverts. -Ideology of men and woman. (Specifically in reference to the Playskool Holidays ad...) -Men are taught they should be attractive, dominant, powerful and masculine - if youʼre not that, youʼre a failure. The Times newspaper -Newspaper has coded ideological assumptions - Linguistic approach. -Letters are sent in from readers, and when published they are generally changed so that they start with ʻSir...ʼ. -Designed to connote authority, power, quality and affluence. -ʻBoarding school languageʼ Daily Star newspaper -Spoken language - abbreviations and slang used. -Not getting quality information like you do in broadsheets. -Working class ideology - mindless, moronic, yobs - shouldnʼt be educated or aware of world issues. Althusserʼs problematic -Answering questions that havenʼt been asked. -Sometimes, its easier to look at whatʼs not said, as opposed to the closed ideology that is said. -Wonderbra ad - ʻI canʼt cook, who cares?ʼ - Ideology - Servant wife, replaced with perfect, sexual wife. -Things are sold by the desire for sex. -Human relationships only exists through consumption of goods. -ʻGarbage of New York Cityʼ - Art work, basically rubbish collected in New York and put in a nice box, with nice type - Sold Very well - we are tricked into thinking we can form a ʻrelationshipʼ with New York by buying it. Commodity Fetishism Marx quote - Relationship between the producer and the product of their labour is shown to them as a social relationship between the products - This is why products of labour become commodities. Frankfurt School - Critical Theory (Institution of social research) - Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer - Reinterpret marxist theory, bring it into 20th century. -The culture industry - homogeneity and predictability. -All mass is identical - everything is ʻthe sameʼ - TV shows, films etc. -TV and film are no longer art - its just business - a way of making money. -Products of contemporary ʻculture industryʼ - depoliticises them. -Hollyoaks - Girls are sex objects - even if you go to uni, you need to look sexy. -Girls Aloud - Song ʻLove Machineʼ - basically saying ʻkiss me and iʼll do anythingʼ. -X Factor and Big brother - Easy to product and easy to consume - sells dreams. -Depoliticises because it teaches the ʻfantasy road outʼ - You donʼt need to work, just go on a TV show to determine your future. 3


Contextual and Theoretical Studies

12/11/2009

Adorno -Qualities of authentic culture - Real, european, multi-dimensional, active consumption (you need to engage with it, donʼt let it get fed to you), individual creation, imagination, negation, autonomous (self-governing) - Strives to escape from capitalist culture. -Dvorak ʻNew World Symphonyʼ - seen as authentic culture by Adorno, its now used on a Warburtons advert - working class, mass culture. -Adorno - Popular music has No negational possibility. -Standardisation -Product passivity through - Rhythmic adjustment (beat used repetitively) and emotional adjustment (haircuts, clothes etc.) -Dance music - slave to industrial noise, jerk movements, ʻthrowing shapesʼ - look like theyʼre on a production line. -Madonna - Material Girl - Donʼt go out and try and change things actively, just wallow in life. -Punk - challenges status quo -ʻYouth cultural styles begin by issuing symbolic challenges, but they must end by establishing new conventions; by creating new commodities, new industries, or rejuvenating old onesʼ Hebdige, D (1979) ʻSubculture: The Meaning of Styleʼ. -Incorporation - Goes from original punks like ʻThe Clashʼ to masses, with things like ʻPunk Volume 50ʼ - No longer a rebellious or original subculture, youʼre buying into the punk ideology of mohawks and piecings. What can we do? - Buy Nothing Day. - Adbusters. - Detournement. - Culture Jamming. - Sao Paolo have banned advertising. Quote written on Marxʼs grave ʻThe philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.

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Understanding Media Ideology