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Theoretical analysis - Research Paper Example

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The media, once termed the Fourth Estate due to the unique role it plays in society, is supposed to be the conscience of the First Estate, namely the government. Yet, a simple analysis of…
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Theoretical analysis

Download file to see previous pages... For example, Structural Functionalist Theorists, such as Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton, proposed that deviation from social norms will lead to retribution and ostracizing, which would prove to be a powerful deterrent for such behavior. And in the context of the near monopoly of the mainstream media, alternative viewpoints (deviation) are suffocated through lack of financial viability or the risk of criticism. In this manner strict social control is established. (Edgley, 2000, p.23)
In any critical discussion of modern geo-polity, the word ‘propaganda’ finds recurrent mention. This is nowhere truer than in discussions about the policies and actions of the world’s only superpower, the United States of America. In his book, ‘Managing Public Opinion: The Corporate Offensive’, Alex Carey says that in the United States, “great progress had been made towards the ideal of a propaganda-managed democracy, whose principal aim was to identify a rapacious business state with every cherished human value" (Pilger, 2005). If the objective of this propaganda framework is met, then notions of democracy and individual franchise will be overwhelmed by constructs of the public relations industry in the form of advertisements and business-controlled news. In essence, Alex Carey is suggesting that in the United States, the media has become subservient to the state (Pilger, 2005). Again, we see overtones of Structural Functionalist theories in Carey’s assessment. It is then natural for ‘anomie’ to set in and lead to greater dissidence to state authority. As anomie grows, society will reach a point of high conflict between the power elite and the general population. With elite media having state authority and financial resources at its disposal is more likely to quash any social uprising, leading to a consolidation of dominance and control over the population. (Goodman & Goodman, 2004, p.41)
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