Reading summaries - Duncan Gray Intro Media Studies The...

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Duncan Gray Intro Media Studies The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Those who control society’s “material force” (i.e., the money) also control production and distribution of the dominant ideas and values of the age The dominant ideas and values reinforce the status quo Examples: during the time that the aristocracy was in charge, loyalty towards one’s master was the dominant value, whereas in the age of the bourgeoisie, the dominant values are freedom, equality, etc. Other example: in the case of several forces all vying for power but none gaining total domination, domination is shared, and thus the idea of balance of power is very popular As such, the ruling class presents its own interests as the interests of all society The Idea – the dominant idea of the time To prove the hegemony, there are three attempts 1. Separate the ruling ideas from the rulers…show that what is thought of as “common sense” and dominant ideology really serves the interests of those in charge 2. Prove a mystical connection among the successive ruling ideas…show that “the Idea” at any given time is just “an idea” 3. Think of the ideas and the “series of persons” (Ideologists) who manufacture them History is too credulous…“takes every epoch at its word and believes everything it says about itself is true” History…“Ideology”…Cultural Themes – Antonio Gramsci The history of those in charge is the history of the State A social group establishes its supremacy through “domination” and “moral and intellectual leadership” (i.e., demonstrating that the people in charge are smarter and more ethical). Social groups must exercise such leadership before gaining control of the government As for ideology, one must distinguish between organic ideologies and ideologies that are arbitrarily created (i.e., the Marxist definition of ideology) Ideologies can be historically necessary because they organize the masses and provide an understanding of their place in the world Subversive ideologies create individual movements, etc., and serve to provide an example of what’s “wrong” Material forces and ideologies heavily intertwined (simply put, material force is the content, and ideology is the form in which that content is related) The ideological structure of the upper class is aimed at maintaining, defending, and developing ideologies that support them.
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The ideological structure is not just the press, but libraries, school, architecture, street names, etc….basically, the very structure of public life reinforces an ideology The “spirit of scission” (progressive knowledge) needs to be distributed from the “protagonist class” to its allies via complex ideological labor Hegemony – John Lull Hegemony – the power/dominance of one social group over others, and how such power is gained and maintained In Marxist theory, economic force is how one class maintains dominance over another, although nowadays, ideological influence plays a huge part
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course MEDIA STUD 113 taught by Professor Fitzpatrick during the Spring '08 term at Claremont.

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Reading summaries - Duncan Gray Intro Media Studies The...

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