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Theory & Research Traditions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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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 l.jpg
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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Normative Theories

Guiding principles operate system

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Authoritarian & Soviet


  • Dictatorial

  • Closes limits to media freedom


  • Political ideology of communism

  • Value of a just and equal society

  • Cultural media information provided

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?