Marxism and the Media
Karl Marx, the founder of Marxist theory believed that the media and its messages could be used for good in the right hands. However, in the hands of what he called the dominant ideology the message could have a dangerously influential and controlling effect on the masses.
The Dominant Ideology
The ideologiacl forces that determine how society functions. Marxists believe that all powerful institutions subtly control how we, the masses, conduct our lives within society.
The Media's Message
Marxists believe that the media plays a significant part in controlling the massesand some would say as an institution it is a greater influence on society than religon, politics and the family (nature over nurture). The supposed subtle dominance with which the media control the masses is also known as hegemonic control.
Hegemony- was an ideological concept first introduced by italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. He believed that the media message could perform a subtle indoctrination, influencing the manner in which society viewed the world until the message becomes 'common sense', unchallenged by the masses. Hegemonic contol is acceptance of the 'status quo'.
The amount of coverage football gets in the media (espicially compared to other sports) suggests that people should like it. During the world cup we are encouraged to get behind and support our country.
Lifestyle shows / magazines make it seem normal to own high-end appliances and therefore support the captilist economic system.
Micheal Moore's documentary Farenheit 9/11 can be seen as counter hegemonic as it questioned the Bush administration, an administration that was supposdly elected by the majority of U.S voters.