Marx and Gramsci

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  • Consider the current take over bid by Murdoch for BskyB
  • Marx and Gramsci

    1. 1. Marxist Media Theory
    2. 2. Karl Marx• Karl Marx was a 19 th century philosopher, socialist and economist whose ideas have had a huge impact on cultural theory• Marx believed that the most powerful force in society was – “the economic self interest of the dominant social class and the struggle with ‘up & coming’ subordinate classes” (basically, the rich get richer while the rest get left behind to struggle)
    3. 3. Classic Marxist Theory & The Media• The classic Marxist theory approach to the media is based on the assumption that the media are tied to capitalism• The owners of media companies/corporations use their control over cultural production to maintain the status quo (those in power stay in power)• The media reinforces the ideological messages of those in power – the views of this group are given a privileged position over other viewpoints
    4. 4. Classic Marxist Theory & The Media• How is the status quo reinforced?• Concentration of media companies – placing power in the hands of an elite few• http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart• For example, TimeWarner have an annual income of $29bn and own Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO and DC Comics• By controlling so many outlets they gain control over huge, diverse audiences and can shape entire cultures and belief systems.
    5. 5. Antonio Gramsci & Hegemony• Hegemony is the theory that a wealthy, powerful elite maintain control over the lower social classes and project their own ideologies until the lower classes come to accept them as normal, and even desirable• This can be seen today as we are taught to want things like a car, designer clothes, iPads and smartphones, weightloss, and in many cases, hair.• Modern hegemonic theory states that as the wealthy elite control our media, the media is used to control us and maintain status quo
    6. 6. Antonio Gramsci & Hegemony• Hegemony is the theory that a wealthy, powerful elite maintain control over the lower social classes and project their own ideologies until the lower classes come to accept them as normal, and even desirable• This can be seen today as we are taught to want things like a car, designer clothes, iPads and smartphones, weightloss, and in many cases, hair.• Modern hegemonic theory states that as the wealthy elite control our media, the media is used to control us and maintain status quo

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