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How might theories of economic power prove limited when exploring the relations between media forms and claims of cultural imperialism - Assignment Example

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This paper analyzes questions in two parts. It explores what the relationship between ‘media forms” and ‘cultural imperialism’ is, and whether the latter actually exists. An attempt will be made to place this relationship within present theories of economic power…
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How might theories of economic power prove limited when exploring the relations between media forms and claims of cultural imperialism
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How might theories of economic power prove limited when exploring the relations between media forms and claims of cultural imperialism

Download file to see previous pages... Within the definition of imperialism, a deliberate act is visualized in which one country seeks to extend its power over one other or many other countries. The Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the German Third Reich are perhaps classic examples of imperial power, and it is from such systems that most models of economic power in which one nation asserts control over another have been built. But within the 21st Century world can a deliberate kind of cultural imperialism be identified? Within what might be termed as the hold-overs from the Twentieth Century system of Imperialism there clearly are deliberate attempts at cultural control through the power of the mass media. One example is the “Voice of America”. Started during the Cold War as an attempt to counter what was perceived as a propaganda machine being created by the USSR, the Voice of America was transmitted into eastern Europe, Cuba and whatever countries were deemed as needing the service. Financed and supported by the US government, VOA claims to be “a trusted source of news and information” on its internet homepage. The move from pure radio transmissions to the internet shows how while the media may change, its basic nature does not. VOA seeks to present the American view of the world to the populations of countries that might not necessarily hear it otherwise. The move to the internet, with written news available in more than sixty languages, represents the growth of VOA into what is termed “the information age”....
Like road maps, models or theories of economic phenomena come in various degrees of detail - but all models describing the same set of phenomena are consistent with each other. No map or theory will be perfectly complete in every detail... So ask not, "Is the theory accurate" but rather "Is the theory good enough for our purposes" 2

So, to put it succinctly, are any theories of economic power "good enough" for the purposes of explaining the relationship between media forms and cultural imperialism. What degree of detail is needed in an economic map of media/cultural imperialism Can such complex and ambiguous a relationship be explained by the simplified model of reality that a theory implies
This paper will analyze these questions in two parts. First, it will explore what the relationship between 'media forms" and 'cultural imperialism' is, and whether the latter actually exists. Second, an attempt will be made to place this relationship within present theories of economic power. Some initial definitions are in order. Media is defined as "a means of mass communication . . . the communications industry or profession."3 Culture is defined as "the behavior patterns, arts beliefs, institutions, and all other products or human thought at work; especially as expressed in a particular community of period."4 Imperialism is "the policy of extending a nation's authority by economic and political means over other nations."5 'Media' is then, at least superficially, quite easy to define. In the modern age media includes books, newspapers, films, TV programs and, perhaps, the Internet. Yet professional sports6 and education7When looking at the definitions of "culture" and "imperialism", problems start.
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