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Marxist Approach to Media

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Marxist Approach to Media

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  • November 2012
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Describe the Marxist approach to the media and discuss its strengths and weaknesses

(In modern society the main influence over the population comes from the state, which forms its understandings and beliefs.)Nowadays society is influenced by the state which forms its understandings and beliefs. However, a few decades ago the state was more insignificant and the control of people's ideas and perceptions belonged to the so-called capitalists (or dominant class) who exercised their power over a subordinate class (or proletariat). The idea that society was developed through the struggle between two classes belongs to an ideology called Marxism.

In general, Marxism is a combination of social, political and economic theories developed in the 19th century (Chandler,D. And Munday,R. , 2011, p.252). It is mainly based on the work of Karl Marx who plays a very significant role in social science. Marx discovered the principle of the development of human society in history like Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature (WWW document, Engels, 1883). Marxist approach can serve as a basis of understanding the relationship between society and media. As in every ideology we have to look in the very foundation of the theory in order to see its strengths and weaknesses.

Marxist approach explains that society consists of two classes, two main layers, namely, the higher class and the lower class. The higher class, or also called bourgeoisie, are the people with power, the people who own enterprises, i.e. banks, factories, etc., people who have wealth, people who employ, people who are worked for. On the contrary, the lower class, the proletariat, are those who have to work for the owners of the enterprises, those who are employed. According to Marx, the ruling class oppresses the working class and he calls this conflict 'the motor of history' (The Media Student's Book, Branston and Stafford, p.174). The capitalists have the wealth and power but they need...