Monday, 20 September 2010

Does the mass media have a significant amount of power over its audience, or does the audience ultimately have more power have more power than the med

One of the main arguments today with the public is who has more power is it the media or the actual audience themselves. Two key theorists who are often used to illustrate both sides of the argument are theordor Adorno and John Fiske. Adorno believes that the media has more power over the audience and Fiske believes that the audience have more power the media. They are from quite different backgrounds which goes some way to explaining why they have adopted these view points.

Adorno was born in Germany in 1903 where high art was valued and popoular culture was not. Only 66 years later he passed away, but whilst he was alive he brought a great argument to the world. Adorno was a member of the Frankfurt school for social research, the group was made up of mainly German, Jewish intellectuals who fled from Frankfurt to New York and Los Angeles when the Nazis rose to power in the 1930’s. when Adorno went to New York this is when his career kick started. America were a happy nation although their jobs weren’t fancy, they still enjoyed there day to day life. In 1947 Adorno and Horkheimer published their book called dialectic of enlightenment. There book is all about the media power, they referred to the mass media as the ‘culture industry’. It says in the there it’s a well oiled machine, meaning that they create the entertainment in ways to create more money which means bigger profit. This is where John Fiske comes into the equation, he made this statement, ‘popular culture is made by the people, not produced by the culture industry. All the culture industries can do is produce a repertrioure of texts or culture resources for the various formations of the people to use or reject in the ongoing process of producing their popular culture’.

Adorno and Horkheimer believed that everything of the culture industry are exactly the same. Some things may have seemed different, but this is not true as they believed everything was pretty much the same. They believe that record and film company’s make the same movie over and over again just with different actors and different titles. It’s a win situation for the film companies as people like certain genre’s and it means they will watch the same film over and over again. It all comes down to identity in what films and music genre’s people like. But friske believes that this is a load of rubbish.

To back this point up, a band named axis of Awesome is a prime example of the argument that im debating at the moment. So horkheimer and adorno points about the media and film and music have all been relevant. Axis of awesome are an Australian comedy band. They were at a gig where they sung many songs with the same four chords over and over again. This also works on the films in Hollywood today as you can work out the ending of the film within the first few minutes of the film, the director’s job is too easy.

Fiske rebelled against this he wants to show that the people are not drones and that they don’t come under as a mass audience, and they are different in every kind off way with different tastes which comes under their identity and how there brought up within which culture and which area of the world.

When Adorno was in Germany he realized what hitler was doing to the media in there country, he got people to twist the truth in the country so that the citizens would believe it, as all the citizens believed what the papers or radio said. Adorno witnessed all of this, and saw the jews pain, this is the main reason to why I believe that media have more power than the people power.

From my own research I found that John fiske was born in 1939, and was educated in Great Britiain, from then onwards he went to Cambridge university and graduated from there onwards. Adorno and fiske both have different believes but this could be to how they were bought up, and what era they were bought up in, as the world has changed a lot from the 1930’s-40’s.

1 comment:

  1. Well done George. Needs a little tidying up here and there but generally demonstrates a satisfactory understanding of the two arguments. You need to refer to Karl Marx and the revolution of the people that never happened. PASSIVE/ACTIVE audience and the idea that the audience don't even realise they're being affected by the media.