COMS 361 - Propaganda.docx - Lesson 2: What is Propaganda?...

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Lesson 2: What is Propaganda?Propaganda as Eliciting “Yes”No matter what definition one adopts for propaganda, and Randal Marlin cites many ofthem in Chapter 1, there are two fundamental constants in propaganda.The first constant is that propaganda ALWAYS seeks to elicit a “yes” from the targetedaudienceo“Yes, this is me.”o“Yes, this is what I believe.”o“Yes, I identify with that message.”o“Yes, this speaks to my values.”The second constant is that propaganda ALWAYS necessitates some type of action for itto be effectiveIn this course, we will relate intent and effect: the intent of the propagandist and theeffect on his or her audience. In general terms, unless the intended end result is madeactual, propaganda in its fundamental form cannot exist. For it to constitutepropaganda, it must transcend the intent of the propagandist.If we examine propaganda solely according to the messages disseminated, thecampaigns devised and the media used in dissemination, we limit our understanding ofpropaganda to something conceived by a propagandist but which provides no guaranteeof successPropaganda and the Ethics of PersuasionBy Randal Marlin (Carleton University)Jacques Ellul - wrote a book on propaganda that is very relevant to today even though itwas written 50 years agoComparing DefinitionsRandal Marlino“The organized attempt through communication to affect belief or action orinculcate attitudes in a large audience in ways that circumvent or suppress anindividual’s adequately informed rational, reflective judgement.” (Marlin)oThe organized attempt:oThrough communicationoTo affect belief or actionoOr inculcate attitudesoIn a large audienceoIn ways that circumvent or suppressoAn individual’s adequatelyoInformed, rational, reflective judgmentJacques Ellulo“A set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring aboutthe active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals,1
psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated inan organization.” (Ellul)oBenefits - comes to us from a different, European perspectiveoIn North American perspective, we tend to look at the intent of things and theintentive behavioursoEllul looks at the behaviours and what actually happens, studying propagandafrom the effects of what happens around youoMarlin starts off with the organized attempt, which tells you that there is somedefinite control by an individual or some individuals in the organization - toeffect the attitudes of what already exists. Marlin also addresses a largeaudience. His definition speaks of propaganda bypassing our judgement as wereflect on it.

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Term
Spring
Professor
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Tags
Propaganda, 1984, Jacques Ellul

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