John Fiske dismissed totally the view that the capitalist Essay

John Fiske () dismissed totally the view that “the capitalist culture industries produce only an apparent variety of products whose variety is finally illusory for they all promote the same capitalist ideology.” ((())) Second, he is emphatic in his refusal of any argument which depends for its substance on the claim “that ‘the people’ are ‘cultural dupes’. . . a passive, helpless mass incapable of discrimination and thus at the economic, cultural, and political mercy of the barons of the industry.” ((())) He argues that “the power of audiences-as-producers in the cultural economy is considerable” ((())) because dominant meanings are challenged by subordinate meanings; thus, the dominant class’s intellectual and moral leadership is challenged.

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The French cultural theorist Michel de Certeau also interrogates the term “consumer”, to reveal the activity that lies within the act of consumption or what he prefers to call “secondary production” ((())). Consumption, as he says, “is devious, it is dispersed, but it insinuates itself everywhere, silently and almost invisibly, because it does not manifest itself through its own products, but rather through its ways of using the products imposed by a dominant economic order” ((())).

Guy Debord’s recuperation. Ideology, mind control, distractions/ inhibiting people from thinking- other ways presented by foucault


From the above, it is clear that the ruling class in its attempt to control people uses a mixture of power, hegemony and in many cases it faces counter-moves that it contains through a mixture of negotiations/ consent or, as a final resort, force. Also, the concept of discourse and post-Marxism challenge the concept of ideology by expanding the notion to include arenas of race, gender, religions and so on.

The concept of ideology accordingly makes us (can be used as a conclusion at the end of chapter)

[q]uestion the naturalness of cultural texts and to see that prevailing ideas are not self-evident and obvious, but are constructed, biased, and contestable. This notion makes us suspicious and critical, putting into question regnant ideas which often serve the interests of governing groups. Moreover, the more one studies cultural forms and representations, the more one sees the presence of ideologies that support the interests of the reigning economic, gender, race, or social groups who are presented positively and idealized, while subordinate groups are often presented negatively and prejudicially.

Ideology is located in the mind as a set of beliefs and values but is also a product of emotions. It is closely related to political thinking and directs or influences political behavior. Politics is the “home turf” of ideology, and remains its most common referent. Ideologies function to bind individuals to a community and “provide the individual with a sense of identity and belonging” serving to achieve “social solidarity and cohesion” (Rejai 1991: 17). Moreover, ideologies are action oriented because they “furnish guides for action” (McClosky 1964: 362). In fact, it is argued that ideology forms the nexus between ideas and actions, as Mullins () states, “is not that it causes one to do but that it gives one cause for doing.

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