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Theory & Research Traditions. Meeting 2. Dependency Theory. Ideological role of media is part of economic relations (Marxist view) In relationship of dependency, role of culture is economic and ideological Hegemonic - elite group sets ideology for rest of the world.

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dependency theory
Dependency Theory
  • Ideological role of media is part of economic relations (Marxist view)
  • In relationship of dependency, role of culture is economic and ideological
  • Hegemonic - elite group sets ideology for rest of the world.
cultural imperialism theory
Cultural Imperialism Theory
  • Economic power in the service of cultural domination and vice versa
  • Based on social /behavioral effects of media and advertising
  • Critique of capitalism and culture of consumerism
media imperialism theory
Media Imperialism Theory
  • Similar to electronic colonialism where electronically delivered foreign norms disrupt domestic cultures
  • Focus on unbalanced media import and export relationships between nations
  • Ownership of core country media corporations in peripheral countries
world systems theory
World Systems Theory

Provides ideas for structuring international communication

  • Global economic expansion takes place from small group of core-zone nation-states to semi and peripheral zone nation-states
systems theory tenants
Systems Theory Tenants
  • Mass media are vehicles of indoctrination for semi and peripheral nations
  • Multinational media conglomerates of core nations influence and promote their own cultural products
  • Consumer spending is required in all zones
  • Advertising supports commercial media
systems theory tenants8
Systems Theory Tenants

Implies that prosperity will accrue to subordinates zones and they become more capitalistic

  • Core media require foreign customers to purchase core products
  • Core communication products displace indigenous cultural products with foreign values
pro and con for st
Pro and Con for ST
  • Labor benefits in subordinate zones from film production and media sold in shops
  • Inequality in news flow between core and periphery nations exists
  • EC theory has different applications for each zone
normative theories

Normative Theories

Guiding principles operate system

authoritarian soviet
Authoritarian & Soviet


  • Dictatorial
  • Closes limits to media freedom


  • Political ideology of communism
  • Value of a just and equal society
  • Cultural media information provided
libertarian social responsibility
Libertarian & Social Responsibility


  • Free market-based, free media
  • Ruled by capitalist money

Social Responsibility

  • Media operating within capitalist dynamic committed to serving public needs
  • Watchdog for government and business malpractice
development model
Development Model
  • Media that addresses issues of poverty, health care, literacy and education in 3rd world settings
  • Media responsible for informing the public
  • HIV campaign example
  • Fosters sense of nationhood in countries with disparate groups
participatory model
Participatory Model
  • Locally organized media involving staff and producers in editorial decisions
  • Media involves local audiences in editorial decisions
  • Public participation and democratic process central to operation
mainstream media relationships
Mainstream Media Relationships
  • Political power - lacks media credibility
  • Economic crisis - blame on scapegoat
  • Dramatic social transitions - media system neither permanent nor normal
  • Small-scale alternative media - fliers, poems, posters, videos
global village
Global Village
  • Heightened international connectivity creates new type of global economic vulnerability
  • Because of improved communication technology, people of world are interconnected on daily basis
  • Communication media shape society
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What makes Western media more plausible and attractive than Soviet propaganda?
  • How well do media explore economic realities on a global level?
  • How prevalent is citizen influence over media in the US?
  • Can citizens fight corporate control of internet costs?