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Chapter 10

Sociology 2R03 Chapter 10.docx

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McMaster University
Augie Fleras

Chapter 10: mainstream media: mediated inequality Introduction: mediating social inequality  Few possess the critical skills necessary to unpack media inequalities and put these skills into practice in a way that challenges and resists  Mainstream meadia are deplored as: catalysts for anti-social behaviour, distractions that dull of confuse, instruments of social control in reinforcing racism and sexism, a cultural frame of reference at odds with social goals, and discourses in defence of dominant ideology and the pursuit of corporate profit  Meadia are sites of inequality in terms of their design, organization, operation, and outputs; loaded with ideas that embody those who own and control  The founding assumptions and foundational principles of media’s constitutional order are also racialized, gendered, and classes resulting in images that are inherently racist, sexist, and classist Media matters: commercially driven, socially constructed, ideologically loaded  Ownership of media is more concentrated than ever, technology may be taking the “mass” out of the media; exposure to media may improve understanding; however, increasingly superficial levels of comprehension may intensify confusion and conflict  The attainment of thought control in democratic societies in secured through: the commercial logic of mainstream media, their status as discourse in defense of dominant ideology, and their role as institutional (soft) propaganda Commercial imperatives  Mainstream media are first and formost a business who make money by connecting audiences to advertisers  Potential conflict on interest is between corporate needs and consumer concerns  Reflects a convergence of mutual interests whose consequence may prove to be just as jolting Socially constructed discourses in defence in ideology  Mainstream media are neither neutral nor value free in design, organization, operations, and output  Consent/ consesnsus without coercion is achieved in several ways: the representation of dominant interests as universal, inevitable, and progressive rather than particular, conventional, and self-serving; denial of contradictions such as those related to capitalist production and distribution; and promotion of the prevailing distribution of power and privilege as common sense rather than constructed and concealed. Thought control as soft (institutional) propaganda  Media define issues, impose frames on them, and decide whose voices will prevail in deciding who gets heard  Propaganda is a process of persuasion by which the few influence the many  Inherent within the normal functioning of media rules, instrinsic to daily operations, and deemed too unproblematic by virtue of being unintentional rather than deliberate To sum up  Media matters because they increase the probability of something happening at individual, group, and national levels Racialized media, mediated racism in a multicultural Canada  Canada is multicultural in terms of demographics  Widely shared consensus that endorses the ideology of tolerance and respect for diversities and difference  Canada is multicultural at official levels  Canada is multicultural because of its insistence in putting multicultural principles into practice  Mainstream media constitute sites of exclusion that are racist  Media racism reflects a level of coverage that is systemically biasing in its consequences because of a onesidedness that: frames minoirities as a troublesome constituents who are problems or create problems; interpret the world from a Eu
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