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MDSA01H3 Study Guide - Medical Drama, Narrowcasting, Egalitarianism

Media Studies
Course Code
Ted Petit

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Media Studies
Chapter 2
Marxist Analysis
Marxist Media Scholars
effects of ownership and economics on the production and distribution of media content
media content = product (shapes the way it looks and circulates)
Contemporary Patterns of Media Ownership
industry moves toward increasing consolidation and incorporation which diminish competition and encourage standardization of
the mass media
Marxism: An Overview
theory & social / political movement
rooted in the idea: “society is the history of class struggles”
central premise: mode of production in society (or underlying economic structure) determines the social relations of production (or
class struggles)
prevailing ideology: profit-motive (continuous desire to increase capital)
Historical Materialism
the material world (i.e. Natural phenomenon and processes) precedes human thought
material conditions of societies change over time, and thus must be viewed in historical context
is materialist: the external, concrete, material conditions of social existence determine or ground consciousness (“it is not the
consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness)
not idealist: ideas determine social existence
Base / Superstructure Model = (social) superstructure / (economic) base
Superstructure: social consciousness: encoded in institutions (culture:art/media, religion, education, politics, judicial system)
Economic Base: Material conditions of society
Ruling Class
Ruling Ideas (ruling material force + ruling intellectual force)
has the means of material production at its disposal + controls the means of mental production
Aspects of a Mode of Production
1. Forces / Means of Production
land, natural resources, technology (needed to produce material goods)
2. Relations of Production
labor practices & ownership (of property, company shares, the way goods are distributed)
Capitalism: exploitive (creates two classes: working/proletariat class + ruling/bourgeoisie class)
ruling/bourgeoisie class: owns + controls the means of production
exploits economic value of the working class to: increase surplus value / profits
working/proletariat class: labour = only commodity it has to sell
petty / petite bourgeoisie: middle class
small business owners
white collar workers (lawyers, doctors, professors)
Patterns of Media Ownership
Marxist analysis of mass media
examining the: means of production under contemporary capitalism (late capitalism)
Capitalism: changes over time:
industrial based manufacturing economy (19th + 20th centuries)
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