COMS 361 - Lesson 1.docx - COMS 361 Lesson 1 Introduction...

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COMS 361 - Lesson 1: Introduction: What is Propaganda? Propaganda builds up on what we already know Doesn’t make something new Reading Chapter 1 - Why Study Propaganda? - In Latin countries, where “propaganda” means advertising, the word is less connected to the idea of sinister manipulation, although it is, of course, likely to be affected in time by one’s perceptions of what is propagated. In more recent years it has been taken to mean, according to Webster’s Third International Dictionary, “dissemination of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person.” - Although stipulative definitions are not true or false, they may be good or bad, advisable or inadvisable, helpful or confusing. They may also be deliberately used for the purpose of confusing people and for furthering propaganda aims. - When hotly disputed matters are at stake, people often make use of definitions that tend to favour their side of a given argument. Two major propaganda theorists: George Orwell and Jacques Ellul Orwell: 1984 and Animal Farm Ellul: There is probably no other thinker who has thought as deeply about propaganda in all its dimensions and ramifications as Jacques Ellul. What sets him apart from other analysts is his rare if not unique combination of expertise in history, sociology, law, and political science, along with careful study of biblical and Marxist writings. He lived through some of the century’s most pervasive propaganda periods, from the call to arms from Spain in the late 1930s, to the phoney war, the years of Nazi occupation, the rise of liberation movements, and the Cold War. In other words, propaganda is itself a technique, resulting partly from the application of the social sciences, including psychology, to technology Ellul has been credited with inventing the phrase “Think globally, act BV-Propaganda-Interior- 04.indd 24 9/5/13 4:52 PM chapter 1: why study propa ganda ? 25 locally.” In order to act effectively, people must understand the influences operating on their consciousnesses, influences often generated from sources that seek to benefit their own, private interests, which often have little to do with the public good. Lesson Intro - Marlin asks us to think about propaganda in broad terms - Propaganda has been popularly thought of as a tool of war or a phenomenon confined to the past - Propaganda happens around us all the time - Propaganda related to war has continued - Remember that as we speak, wars continue to rage in the world
Mass Persuasion - Marlin points to alarmist tendencies associated w propaganda, especially related to world war II or the cold war - Propaganda should be viewed as not only related to war, alarm or fear - Propaganda should be viewed as a vital part of normalized communication messages - Propaganda can also be positive for society Media and Propaganda Mass persuasion is an embedded part of contemporary societies - Techniques are central to most forms of public mass messages -dominant mass media messages -public relations messages -

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