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Ideology & The Media


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Ideology & The Media

  2. 2. Ideology Ideology generally refers to the promoted ‘ideals’ for which society feels the need to conform to. These ideals are influenced by a number of different social institutions. One of these is the mass media.
  3. 3.  The concept of ideology is a Marxist theory, which was explored by Louis Althusser. Althusser saw ideology as being a force which shapes people’s thoughts/awareness.
  4. 4.  The ‘ideals’ ideology refers to are expressed through the media in a fair number of different ways. One of these is how the media can be seen as dictating the ideal lifestyle to its audience.
  5. 5. Media Influence If we take a look at the offerings on television we can see that there are definite ‘ideals’ being communicated. An example of this is how the media presents family units.
  6. 6.  Regardless of the programme you watch, there is a good chance that the lead character’s family is a nuclear unit.
  7. 7.  Often this is because the nuclear unit is typically believed to be the most common family structure. Writers will take note of the fact people are likely to have interest in characters that could be seen as representing them. By putting characters into a ‘common’ nuclear family unit, they will reach a large audience.
  8. 8.  This leads to programming consisting mostly of nuclear family units, given them the most media exposure. This exposure promotes the idea of the nuclear family unit as being ideal to the audience. This cycle continues, which ensures that the common belief of ideals is strengthened more and more.
  9. 9.  As we’ve seen now, the media industry uses the ideals it has already created as a basis for marketing products. Over time the industry has helped shape ideal lifestyles; which gives them a chance to sell products on the basis that they conform to said ideals.