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Lecture 3

CMN 3104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Manufacturing Consent, Binary Opposition, Social Stratification

Course Code
CMN 3104
Dina Salha

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Lecture 3
Epistemology: The philosophical theory of knowledge…how do we know
what we know…The question asked by Foucault – critically- is: who
determines what “knowledge” should be viewed as such and for what
!How do we know what we know in the world we live in.
!In order to intervene in what we know we have to ask the question
how come we know what we know and for what purpose.
!Those who have power to generate meanings in society generate
meanings of interest.
Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory of sexual development. The girl is seen as
already castrated and thus her early identification with her mother.
The unconditional love of mothers to their children become prohibited to
their development.
Expectations of who you should be
There’s a social code that exists
There are some sort of things that we think of as typical or normal for male
or female
Masculinity is socially constructed same way as femininity, but with
masculinity you get the power of authority.
!It creates some sort of a consent about gender categorization
!Words do categorize they have a function in the society
o!They also have a role in determining meaning
!Power is at the heart of social stratification.
o!how we place each other in society
!Max Weber defined power as the probability of particular persons or
groups carrying on their will even if opposed by others.
o!Even if you have resistance it doesn’t matter
o!The idea that you can take decisions and carry these
decisions even if you have opposition or resistance.
!Differential distribution of power leads to differential distribution of
life-chances of determining individual goals in society.
o!Those who have power can define who has access to life
o!Power when embedded in our psychology

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o!Life chances can be determined by those who can categorize
what is your access ability to certain things
!Power can be legitimated through traditional means, rational-legal
means, or charismatic means.
o!If you have charismatic leader you can follow the leader, the
way they thing.
o!You know your audience and attract their attention, use
preexisting systems to mobilize people behind particular ideas
o!Maybe you can even rationalize something that is irrational.
o!How can you motivate people to do something that’s
o!You can legitimate power through traditional means as well
!!Through punishment and reward.
!!Do what you should do you’ll be rewarded, do what you
shouldn’t do and you’ll be punished
o!Rational means: codified laws (Exercising power)
!!Legal means to do that
o!In traditional society, the legitimate power was based on
!!The law of the religion becomes the law of the society.
o!Power is mostly powerful when you don’t think of it as a
!!When you actually agree to consent to particular
practices or question these practices.
!The representation of the interests of the ruling class as universal
interests (Karl Marx).
!Gramsci identifies hegemony as manufacturing consent. It involves
the production and maintenance of ways of thinking and seeing that
exclude alternative discourses and voices. If these are included, it is
only to reinforce the status quo.
o!Consensus that is manufactured, organized knowledge
propagated by someone.
o!Something that has tactical aspect, that is not natural.
o!Its constructed consent.
o!Its about maintaining ways of thinking that exclude other
realities, excludes voices.
o!These interests that are manufactured is to actually keep the
powerful in their positions, to actually maintain the status
o!The system never works against itself.

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!!It might include opposition, resistance, but for a
particular purpose.
!The media started looking at the punk movement as a style
movement. The punk movement was actually a movement against
what the Victorian style considered beautiful.
!When we talk about women, empowerment, their sex appeal as a
source for capital gain.
!How come this idea of empowerment is still circulating?
People want to maintain power to survive. But for whose survival? Of the
society? the people with power?
Political Economy of Communication v. Mosco, 1996
!Political economy is “the study of social relations, particularly power
relations, that mutually constitute the production, distribution, and
consumption of resources “Political economy is the study of control
and survival in social life”.
!Social relations that are defined by power relations, determine or
constitute how things are produced, distributed, consumed (how
the resources are consumed).
!The political economy approach is a critical approach that look at
these power relations and how these power relations can divide,
recruit, marginalize the aspects.
!Political economy is the study of control and survival of society.
o!The means of production for e.g.
o!Those who can control the production of meaning how do
they continue to survive and maintain their control?
o!How do groups that are opposed to the mainstream, how do
they survive themselves? How do they say no or challenge
control in order to still have a voice?
o!We can apply the study of political communication to study
the process between those who have the means of control
and production and those who don’t.
How do the media mutually contribute to power relations,
hegemony, and patriarchy?
!Patriarchy: traditionally power of the father; now as the power of
the dominant.
!How does the media portray feminism?
o!In a negative way
o!The portray feminism in a particular way: as man haters
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