Principles of capitalist enterprise
- Profit motive
- Merging of capitalist enterprise and technological development makes a continuous revolutionising of 'the screen'
- Who/ what owns media?
Media concentration - "as a result of mergers, takeover, deregulation, privatisation, globalisation and technological change, a substantial amount of mainstream media ownership increasingly rests in fewer hands" (Devereux, 2009, p. 91)
Mass (consumer) culture 1920 - 1970
- Cinema, radio, TV, newspapers, magazines
- Marketing, advertising and 'sales cultures'.
- The massification of media
- Large scale - can reach most people
- Homogenised -standardised products
- Centralised - controlled from one place
- Collective - identity and coping with modern life
- Mars Attacks - H.G. Wells, 'War of the Worlds' broadcast as radio programme in US (1938); 6 million people listened; Narrated in style of real news broadcast; 1 million people panicked
'Mass' turns from 'potential' to 'problem'
- The masses' = the 'miltitude', 'mob' - revolutionary potential of numbers (French revolution and overthrow of capitalism)
- Why was revolution not happening? - the rise of fascism; persecution of Jews; growth of 'visually dazzling' media and consumer culture.
- The problem of 'the mass':
- Thoughtless crowd
- Easily manipulated by leaders
- No connection with others (alienated)
- Only thing in common: message in the medium
Neo-Marxist interpretations of capitalist media
During the expansion of media in the first half of the 20th century, Marxist scholars elaborated different critiques of what they termed mass culture
- Frankfurt School = critique of mass culture
- Althusser = ideology
- Gramsci = hegemony
- Habermas = democratic potential
Karl Marx's base-superstructure model
Suggests economic domination and ideological domination
The Frankfurt School
Institute for Social Research, University of Frankfurt, Germany established in 1923
New York (Columbia University, 1933)
Returned to Frankfurt in 1949
- Mass Culture Industry
- Creative art - created for its instrinsic worth and that makes you think
- Mass produced media - created to make moeny and that stops you think
Standardisation and pseudo-individualisation
- Media content is repetitive and formulaic
- Songs are all the same; musicials are all the same
- Also in production - promotion, distribution
Veneer of individuality and creativity (pseudo-individualism)
Media Globalisation: what is happening?
- Concentration in media business - fewer and larger media corporations
- Movement of various media products (e.g. film, news) from 'the West' to 'the Rest'
- More, but selevt media content on 'the world' (national, local and international)
- The US is the largest producer and exporter of media products
- EU exports and imports
- Mexico and Brazil produce and export in Latin America.
- Cultural imperialism (homogenisation, Americanisation)
- Cultural mixing (hybridisation and creolisation)
Development of local/ regional media markets
- In 1980's, 80% of US products went to West Europe, Japan and Australia
- Brazilian TV 'Globo' exports to 178 countries
- Satellite - Egyptian Space Channel
- Bollywood - Al Jazeera
National/ cultural diasporas increasingly look to (spiritual) homeland for media entertainment and news.