Dominant Ideology Model - Handout from presentation

HideShow resource information

Dominant ideology model

What is the Dominant Ideology structure?

Definition of the Dominant Ideology Model taken from the Roberts book:

“The central claim of the dominant ideology model is that powerful groups in society influence the attitudes and behaviour of the public. “ - Roberts book

What is the model?

That Ideology shared by most people in society, a dominant class. The dominant class is the class in society who have a set of common values and beliefs shared by most people in a given society. This shows how the the majority think about a range of topics.

A slogan that can help you remember what dominant ideology is:



What part do the media have to play in the dominant ideology structure?

Dunleavy and Husbands (1985) argued that each individual’s choices are influenced by the media. They thought that the media misinterpreted and distort the political communication process in the newspapers and on TV.

Newspapers political influence media politics front pages headlines - the timesThe media has a heavy influence on how and who the general public vote for. The press bias is a great example of media influence.  Different news paper and television stations have the ability to limit the amount of coverage the give a particular political party (See Images 1-4 and hyperlink).

People tend to buy the same newspaper regularly, often for reasons other than its political stance. But they will be influenced by its editorial opinions. Outside election times, most readers will not realise that the Daily Record favours the Labour Party and that the Daily Mail favours the Conservative Party.

Image 1-3


Newspapers political influence media politics front pages headlines - the mirrorNewspapers political influence media politics front pages headlines - the telegraphThe media can edit and change what is really trying to be said by the political parties to the viewer/voters.  This many influence the voters to change their votes or to vote for the party that the media supports. The absentness of tradition also mean means that voters are easily swayed by the media, meaning undecided voters can be influences and the dominant class as well.

Image 4


Party support in general elections

Image 1 – 3:

Image 4:



Dominant Ideology Model – Theory that was created by Dunleavy and Husbands which have argued that individual’s choices are influenced by how the media portrays aspects of politics. They believed that newspapers and televisions distort political communication and therefore mislead individuals to what the media feel is more prominent and what should be the topic of debate.

Ideology – Is a system of assumptions, beliefs and values about public issues that are part of a broad society, this is essential for politics as every political tendency will have ideological backing. Ideology helps us to understand why certain issues and policies are being formed in certain circumstances. In terms of the dominant ideology theory, the media is seen to be reflecting the ideology, for example, if the media portrayed minority groups in society being treated harshly; many voters may get influenced by this and therefore may…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Participation and voter behaviour resources »