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Discourse and Representation (Critically assess the relevance of Marxist theory to the study of Media Texts) - Essay Example

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Between the most happening decades of 1960s and 1980s, Marxist Media theories and neo-Marxist approaches were rampant all over in the Western world. Important Marxist concepts were used as tools to analyse various aspects of mass media. After the 1980s, the popularity diminished to a considerable extent, but did not vanish completely…
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Discourse and Representation (Critically assess the relevance of Marxist theory to the study of Media Texts)
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Download file to see previous pages No doubt, they are based on his concept; but the way they have spread their tentacles far and wide today, Marx himself would have found it difficult to recognise them and the relationship between the media and Marxism is one such field. Liberal pluralism and freedom of speech come distractingly closer to Marxist theorists in this field. "Marxist theorists tend to emphasize the role of the mass media in the reproduction of the status quo, in contrast to liberal pluralists who emphasize the role of the media in promoting freedom of speech," (Daniel Chandler).
To Marxists, capitalistic society is one that is dominated by the dominant class and media is a part of such a society. It also represents a pluralist view and diverse values from various classes in the society. Graham Murdock spoke about 'political economy' and according to such thinkers, economic foundation is much more important than the ideology. These ideologies are mainly dealing with the construction of ownership and control at different stages of media production. "The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. ...
Marxist theory applies the same owner-worker yardstick to every eventuality without fail. Worldviews and ideas are coming from the ruling class and naturally, according to Marxist theorists, most of them are biased, as the ruling class is in charge of presenting those ideas in their own way. It does not allow workers to send the clearer ideas and this makes the Media a region for class struggle.
Existing power relations are usually maintained and promoted by media for decades now. Developing alternative theories in the place of what is always taken for granted is a comparatively recent approach opening new ideas for Marxist theorists. 'From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs' is the main rule of Marxism. Information stretched and spread for common consumption shows a comparative consistency.
When the unprecedented 9/11 attacks took place, mass media and Marxist theories worked with great bonhomie. Theorists could see Marxism in the attacks on capitalism. Even though Marxism never facilitated plural voices, and the media is awfully restricted in Marxist rules, Marxist theorists applied various theories to the media presentation of the incident on the aftermath of the attacks. Theories and media texts revolutionalised the entire social structures of the world after this event. "A social formation consists of three practices: the economic, the political and the ideological. The relationship between the base and the superstructure is not one of expression, i.e., the superstructure being an expression or passive reflection of the base," Storey, (p.110).
Academy Award Winner, Michael Moor's film, Fahrenheit 911 has been one of the most controversial movies in recent years, based on the disastrous ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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