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Assess the claim that the Media works in ways that support the ideology of the ruling class

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Introduction

Assess the claim that the Media works in ways that support the ideology of the ruling class The manipulative Marxist theory of the role of the media is that the media reflects the interests of the powerful, and supports their interests, this a conformist view, although Marxists do believe that the media act to legitimate or maintain the power of those who own the media. The ownership of the media has been largely concentrated and the views expressed are essentially conservative. A known theorist is Ralph Miliband who in his book "The state in Capitalist society" argues that the owners of the media exert a direct influence over there staff, this is shown in the content of their newspapers. Marxists also think that those who control the media support their social position in dominant times by exerting their beliefs and values through the media. It's also argued that the media's effect on commodity consumption because of the commercial advertising that newspapers carry, through this it is believed that the capitalist class manages to maintain it's economic power through the advertising revenue collected. ...read more.

Middle

He aimed to unify social theory and practice and to challenge what he saw as orthodox Marxism, hegemony for him was a way in which worker's would accept leadership through processes of socialisation from which they accept the ideas of dominant groups as natural. Hegemonic Marxists argue with manipulative as they believe that it would be impossible for owners to have a direct influence in the day to day running of the organisation. People who believe in the hegemonic view believe that the owners of the media are white middle class, middle-aged men with a consensual view. Although this view is very different from the manipulative view it is still Marxist because of the prevailing ideas seen as pro capitalist, anti communist and against minority interest. However structuralists theorists do not see audiences as being easily manipulated, but as actively engaged in making sense of media communication. A statement by Lull in 1997 was; The ongoing manipulation of public information and imagery constructs a potent dominant ideology, which helps sustain the material and cultural interests of its creator. ...read more.

Conclusion

The strengths of the pluralist approach would be that it recognises that audiences are not passive recipients of media messages; and that they are able to make choices about what they watch, read and listen to. A second strength would be that the pluralist approach recognises bias in the media, but maintains that audiences are also able to recognise bias so the media loses the power to manipulate the public. The weaknesses of the pluralist approach would be that media diversity does not in reality mean wide ranging choice this is due to the concentration of the ownership of the media e.g. Rupert Murdoch taking control of Digital Television. A second weakness would be that journalists are closely vetted before they are recruited so very few dissident voices are heard. A final weakness would be that one question still remains; do we get the media we want, or do we learn to want what we actually get? ...read more.

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