Ideology in the Media


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This presentation looks at how media institutions use ideology to gain audiences. This is a good resource for A-Level Media Studies, key concepts. Also BTEC Level 3

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Ideology in the Media

  1. 1. Studying the Media Key Concepts - Ideology
  2. 2. What is Ideology?  Simply put, Ideology is the idea(s) behind the media text.  It is the secret (or sometimes not so secret) agenda of it’s producers.  It is important to identify different ideological discourses that are present in an apparently simple photograph.  So, ideology is a body of ideas or a set of beliefs that underpins an institution and leads to social relations.
  3. 3. What is Ideology?  These sets of beliefs are those held by groups within society  The prevalent ones are those held by the ruling/ dominant groups.  This is usually done by those in a position of wealth.
  4. 4. Dominant ideology or hegemony?  What is dominant ideology?  Held by the majority group (Ruling Class)  Keeps other ideas (Minority) hidden  Uses hegemony  What is hegemony?  Occurs when a majority decide to 'fit in' with the cultural values and ideas of their time and place and the minority keep their objections quiet.
  5. 5. Dominant ideology or hegemony?  Dominant ideology Christianity is the main historical example.  Think of how many legal systems take Christian moral values as their basis.  What about a modern day equivalent?  Football currently has a hegemonic status in the UK.  Glance through the sports pages and see what coverage other sports get?  Everyone is expected to understand and accept its national importance.
  6. 6. Hegemony  Hegemony is not a forced political movement.  For example, no one is forced to watch/listen to/read about football.  It just seems like sometimes there are few alternatives.  This is how hegemonies take hold.  A majority decide to ‘fit in’ with the cultural values and ideas of their time and place and the minority keep their objections quiet.  Hegemony is about constant…Us and Them
  7. 7. What part does the media have to play in developing and maintaining hegemony? Institutions, language, news/information, regulating output, representations, ownership, authorship
  8. 8. What part does the media have to play in opposing/altering the hegemony? Challenging all of the previous examples by presenting the alternatives in a positive light.
  9. 9. Ideological discourse  These are the issues/attitudes debated over in the media which form part of the everyday ideological discourse in our society.  The views on these subjects form the basis of our social rules and practice.  What subjects do you think are covered by this?
  10. 10. Ideological discourse  Education  Feminism  Employment  Nationalism/ National Identity  Gender  Youth/Age  Sexuality  Left/Right Wing Politics  Racism  Environmentalism  Crime and Punishment  Public/Personal Reality
  11. 11. Preferred Reading  Producers of media text design it with a certain meaning in mind  They hope that audiences will decode their text in a certain way  Preferred reading are those which tie in with hegemonic beliefs…  For example…The idea of beauty and the ‘ideal’ female shape propounded in western magazines.  It is accepted as ‘natural’ that models in magazines should be young and drastically underweight.
  12. 12. Preferred Reading  Since the 1960’s the preferred reading has been that these women are beautiful  However, recently there are signs that the hegemonic belief has adapted to the concerns of many that this body shape is actually unhealthy.  Preferred reading starts to shift.  For example. Editors of magazines such as Marie Claire spoke out about the actors of Ally McBeal for their overly gaunt appearance.