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SP17_Ideological Analysis Day 2 (Abridged)
Transcript of SP17_Ideological Analysis Day 2 (Abridged)
Ideological analysis raises questions of how media should function in a democratic society....
Media's Normative Goals:
Inform the citizenry for the purposes of self-government
Serve as a watchdog of government and business
Promote a diversity of ideas and creativity
Four functions of ideology in news media
Representation of sectional interests
Ideology negotiates the contradictions inherent in media and politics
* The political role of media
* The democratic functions of media
* The corporate function of media
* The entertainment function of media
Ideology naturalizes the present through reified processes
Ideology functions to maintain hegemony
Argument= Under commercial media, everything is treated as a commodity that can be bought and sold...this includes information.
All news media are value-laden...they are ideologically loaded.
Thus, the notion that news reflects the “consensus” is flawed because news defines the consensus.
"The middle ground is ideological precisely because it is a cultural site where commonsense assumptions are produced, reproduced, and circulated.” (Crouteau, p. 169)
Media affect how people think about the news, help organize the world of experience, and plays a role in telling us what to think about.
Two levels of agenda setting:
News establishes the general issues considered important,
and then determines the parts or aspects of those issues that are most important.
Ideological analysis is important because news media produce real-world effects....
...this lack of diversity shuts down the conversation and closes off alternatives.
Riots in Ukraine...and this is the front page of CNN.
....ideologies don't come from one story or text...they come from the aggregate messages we consume.
Issues and ideas that are routinely included and become part of public debate…
...through exclusion and treatment of “Other” ideas and values, they become delegitimized in public consciousness.
How is this done?
1.) In politics (news): a focus on elites and insiders
2.) In economics
News tend to focus on investor issues...less attention is payed to workers, communities, & families affected by business decisions.
3.) In entertainment...film and TV
To appeal to the masses, media often play it "safe" and present socially "acceptable" beliefs...
Because media operate under a commercial structure, they can only critique that structure (or its values) so much…they critique it while perpetuating it at the
exact same time.
4.) Through advertising and consumer culture
Tells us that happiness and satisfaction can be bought, that our value lies in our ability to consume, and that buying and selling are the appropriate forms of social relations outside of the family.
Critiques of Ideological Analysis:
*Ignores audience agency
Role of subjectivity
= we must consider how different ideological messages are understood, relative to the varying subject positions of individual audience members.
Helpful Tip (?)
Normative goals= what media was designed to to
Media imperatives= necessary for media's success
This is called attribute agenda setting
Questions for ideological analysis:
* What dominant ideologies does this media text support (or critique)? These can be related to race, gender, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, sexual desire, heteronormativity, religion, ability, commercialism, capitalism, etc.
* What ideologies are ignored (or criticized) because they are not dominant ideologies?
* What purpose(s) do these ideologies serve? How do they help keep the status quo intact?
= media privilege the political, economic, and social interests of the elite over "ordinary" members of society.
= media imperatives (what media need to do to survive) often conflict with the normative goals of media (what it was designed to do).
= Ideological constructs become reified the more people talk about them
= Media reinforce hegemonic ideologies by emphasizing (rather than contesting) "universally-accepted" beliefs.
Independent Media in a Time of War
Criticisms of Ideological Analysis:
1.) Marxist ideological analysis is too reductionist.
2.) Ideological analysis ignores audience agency.
3.) Ideological analysis too subjective.