Mass media - Marxism and pluralism over view (sociology a2)
REVISION – MASS
MILLIE PRICE – SOCIOLOGY REVISION
PLURALISM & THE MEDIA
Pluralists see power as widely dispersed in democratic
they believe that no one group is dominant and that all
groups have a say In the running of society and that adults
have FREEDOM to choose who governs (power)
e.g. we have the power to vote someone off of parliament
Pluralists view on the media would be that we all have
Even if the Bougisie own the media, it doesn't’t matter as
they still have to portray proletariat views
Pluralists welcome media DEREGULATION because private
ownership is the most effective way of proving a wide range of
choices to the audiences.
Pluralists have 4 main arguments about the media:
Reflecting public demands:
The content of the mass media mirrors what the public wants.
They cater to the public as a whole by responding to the demands of the market
The media represent a range of views which allows audience freedom to choose
between them e.g. through different newspapers
All forms of communication can be coded, sorted and relayed in digital form (films,
The transfer of power is from owners to audience who choose what they want to
watch, listen or read
Concentration of ownership is essential for survival in an increasingly global market
MARXISM AND THE MEDIA
• MARXISTS AND NEO-MARXISTS would disagree with the pluralist view of
the ownership and control of the mass media.
• They would say that the bourgeois use the media as a means for them to
maintain their HEGEMONY AND DOMINANCE.
• The media ensures that the proletariat absorbs and accepts capitalist
ideology; that life is about working hard for a wage and consuming capitalist
• The ruling classes that own and control the media have a vested interest to
portray capitalism in a positive light.
• Marxists would also argue that the mass media solely reflects the economic
base and presents capitalism as normal and acceptable so that the
proletariat don’t rebel and the bourgeois stay rich and powerful
• Therefore because of this workers will never become aware of the
exploitation they are facing and fall into false class-consciousness.
MARXISM AND THE MEDIA
• Traditional Marxists argue that the owners of the media control its content by
employing managers and editors who share the same views. For example as
shown in the documentary ‘outfoxed’, news companies like Fox news that share
capitalist views wouldn’t employ a democrat.
• What is presented in Fox news mainly reflects the views of anchors and as seen
in this documentary they will bring on weak, vulnerable guests that are unable to
fight their corner or view. These owners of the media have benefited from the
capitalist system and therefore would not be critical of the system.
• Neo-Marxists such as MILLIBAND 1973 argue that the role of the media is to
shape how people think about the world. The content of the media reflects the
viewpoint of the dominant group in society (white, male, ruling class).
• The media also creates illusions and produces a feeling of well being, which
keeps the working class quite and encourages them to accept a system when the
reality is they are all being exploited
• GRAMSCI also a neo-Marxist argues that workings will see through the dominant
ideology and develop views in oppositions to it. He believes that there are
always competing viewpoints and people to challenge the beliefs which can