Communications and Cultural Analysis: A Religious View

By Michael Warren | Go to book overview
1. What is the history of this medium? What have been the significant shifts in it? What changes are going on now, and how do they function?
2. How does the medium actually function? What complex interests are at work here? In the instance of magazines and newspapers, how is the print medium tied to the structures of marketing and advertising? Is the printed news expected to attract advertising revenue? Do those who pay the costs of advertising influence the editorial direction? N.B.: Such questions can be asked about the functioning of any medium.
3. What judgments can be made of the value or lack of it in these procedures or their final product?

NOTES
1.
Stanley Aronowitz, "Mass Culture and Critical Pedagogy," in Stanley Aronowitz and Henry Giroux, Education Under Siege (South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin and Garvey, 1985), pp. 47-55, at 51.
2.
A 1989 study of network TV, cosponsored by the National Commission on Working Women, found that 15 percent of producers, 25 percent of writers, and 9 percent of directors were women. See Andrea Adelson, "Study Attacks Women's Roles in TV," New York Times, 19 November 1990, C18.
3.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, as quoted in Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 58.
4.
Ibid., p. 59. Though Germany Ideology is by both Engels and Marx, I will refer to the ideas as Marx's, in keeping with my (and Williams's) references to later "Marxist" theory.
5.
Other passages from The German Ideology indicate that Marx's intention was to show not the separation between the material social processes of life and consciousness, but the close connection between them.

The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men in their actual life-process. If in all ideology [Emphasis added.] men and their circumstances appear upside down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process. (p. 58)

6.
Williams, Marxism and Literature, p. 59.
8.
Ibid., p. 70. Williams makes this same point at greater length earlier in Marxism and Literature (p. 38):

Signification, the social creation of meanings through the use of formal signs, is then a practical material activity; it is indeed, literally, a means of production. It is a specific form of that practical consciousness [i.e., consciousness being acted out] which is

-86-

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Communications and Cultural Analysis: A Religious View
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Note xvi
  • Chapter 1 the Problem of Popular Culture 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 What is Culture? 23
  • Notes 39
  • Chapter 3 Cultural Reproduction Among the Young 43
  • Notes 53
  • Chapter 4 Cultural Production as an Avenue to Cultural Analysis 59
  • Notes 86
  • Chapter 5 a Theory of Images in Cultural Systems 91
  • Notes 109
  • Chapter 6 Metaphoric Images as Signifiers 113
  • Notes 124
  • Chapter 7: Hegemony and the Possibilities of Contestation 127
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 157
  • About the Author 163
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