Just Sociology

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory: How Media Shapes Audience Perspectives

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory explains how the ruling class uses the media to control the content and shape audience perspectives to maintain their status quo. This article will highlight the main principles of Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, including how media owners control media content, the ideological functions the media serves, and how the audience is viewed as passive participants.

Additionally, this article will provide evidence to support Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, including Curran’s analysis of UK media and Rupert Murdoch’s control of News Corporation.

Media owners control media content

According to Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, media owners control the content relayed to the audience. Ruling class owners often exemplify conservative ideologies that influence the media’s content.

As a result, the content tends to be biased and demonstrates the ruling class’s ideological perspective. The biased content often marginalizes alternative ideologies, leaving only the ruling class’s point of view.

The media performs ideological functions

In Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, the media performs an ideological function for the ruling class, perpetuating its ideology while maintaining its status quo. The media portrays a negative depiction of alternative ideologies, while at the same time portraying the ruling class’s ideology in a positive light.

The media thus creates an environment where the ruling class is viewed as the only legitimate authority and alternative ideologies as insufficient, thereby discouraging an oppositional shift in the status quo.

The audience is passive

In Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, audiences are viewed as passive participants in the reception of media content. The audience is viewed as unthinking robots who consume the media without any critical evaluation of the content.

In this situation, the audience is fully susceptible to the media’s messages and easily manipulated.

Curran’s analysis of UK media

Curran’s analysis of the UK media agrees with Marxist Instrumentalist Theory that the ruling class controls media content.

Curran argues that the UK media comprises of press barons who own significant shares of media companies. These press barons control the media’s content, frequently excluding any opposing voices.

For example, the media coverage of the Iraq War was predominantly pro-war because the press barons were supportive of the war. Rupert Murdoch’s control of News Corporation

Rupert Murdoch’s control of News Corporation provides further evidence to support Marxist Instrumentalist Theory.

Rupert Murdoch’s company owned several right-wing media platforms, and his personal values influenced their content. Murdoch was pro-war and, therefore, ensured that coverage of the Iraq war reflected his perspectives.

This demonstrates how the ruling class uses media to propagate their ideologies; Murdoch’s right-wing perspective caused News Corporation’s content to be biased, ultimately shaping the audience’s perspectives.

Conclusion

This article has demonstrated Marxist Instrumentalist Theory’s main principles, including how media owners control media content, how the media serves ideological functions by maintaining the status quo, and how the audience is viewed as passive participants in media reception. Additionally, it has provided evidence to support Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, such as Curran’s analysis of UK media and Rupert Murdoch’s control of News Corporation.

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory thus provides insight into how media operates and shapes audience perspective, encouraging us to think critically about the media content we consume.Marxist Instrumentalist Theory offers a critical perspective on how the media operates to perpetuate the ruling class’s ideologies and maintain the status quo. While this theory has been widely embraced, it has also faced several criticisms from pluralist perspectives who argue that media content is diverse, and audiences can be active and critical.

Additionally, the rise of new media has further challenged Marxist Instrumentalist Theory as it has provided a greater range of media content, making it difficult to control. Despite these criticisms, Marxist Instrumentalist Theory remains an essential aspect of media studies in A-level sociology, highlighting the academic significance of this theory.

Pluralist perspective

Pluralist perspectives offer a counterargument to Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, rejecting the notion that media content is controlled by a single ruling class. Instead, pluralists argue that media content is a reflection of the profit motivation of media organizations.

Media organizations seek to attract audiences and generate revenue, making media content more diverse in nature. Moreover, they posit the notion that audiences are active and critical, thus able to engage with media content, evaluate it, and form their own opinions.

From this perspective, Marxist Instrumentalist Theory overlooks the active and critical role that audiences play in media consumption.

Rise of New Media

The emergence of new media has provided audiences with a greater range of media content, challenging Marxist Instrumentalist Theory’s notion of media content control. New media has allowed audiences to engage actively with media content, rather than being passive and controlled.

Moreover, the rise of social media platforms has provided a platform where audiences can share their opinions and ideas, challenging the ideological function of the media. This has led to a shift in the media’s perception, from being the sole authority to being one among many.

The sheer scale of media content available on new media platforms presents a challenge whereby it is difficult to control the content distributed on these platforms.

A-level sociology option

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory is an essential aspect of media studies in A-level sociology, highlighting the academic significance of this theory. In the A-Level sociology syllabus, Marxist Instrumentalist Theory is included as part of the media studies option.

This is because it provides a critical perspective on how the media operates, highlighting the media’s influence in shaping audiences’ perspectives. By studying Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, students develop the skills to think critically about media content and engage actively with it, contributing to their understanding of the media.

Revisesociology.com

Revisesociology.com provides resources and study materials for A-level sociology students, including a Sociology for AQA Volume 2 book and a Sociology A-Level Year 2 book. These resources cover Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, providing an in-depth insight into the operation of the media industry and how it shapes society.

Additionally, Revisesociology.com offers a sociology of media bundle that includes resources and materials covering different aspects of media studies. This indicates the importance of Marxist Instrumentalist Theory in A-level sociology and highlights the significance of studying media studies in sociology.

Conclusion

This article has provided an expansion of Marxist Instrumentalist Theory by highlighting criticisms of pluralist perspectives and the impact of new media on media content control. Additionally, this article has highlighted the academic significance of Marxist Instrumentalist Theory in A-level sociology, emphasizing the importance of studying media studies in sociology.

Despite these criticisms, Marxist Instrumentalist Theory remains a crucial aspect of media studies, providing a critical perspective on how the media operates and the influence it has on shaping society. By studying Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, students develop the skills to think critically about media content, engage actively with it, and challenge dominant ideologies, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the media.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Marxist Instrumentalist Theory provides critical insights into how media content is controlled, how it serves ideological functions, and how it shapes the audience’s perspectives. While pluralist perspectives and the rise of new media have provided challenges to this theory, it remains a crucial aspect of media studies, contributing to an understanding of how the media operates and its potential impact on society.

By studying Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, students can develop critical thinking skills and engage actively with media content, contributing to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the media’s role in society.

FAQs

1. What is Marxist Instrumentalist Theory?

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory is a theory that posits the ruling class uses the media to control content and shape audience perspectives to maintain their status quo. 2.

What is pluralist perspective?

Pluralist perspectives provide a counterargument to Marxist Instrumentalist Theory, arguing that media content is diverse, and audiences can be active and critical. 3.

How does new media challenge Marxist Instrumentalist Theory? New media provides a platform for audiences to engage more critically with media content, challenging Marxist Instrumentalist Theory’s notion of media content control.

4. Why is Marxist Instrumentalist Theory important in A-level sociology?

Marxist Instrumentalist Theory is important in A-level sociology as it provides critical insights into how media operates, highlighting the media’s influence in shaping society. 5.

What resources are available for studying Marxist Instrumentalist Theory? Revisesociology.com provides resources and study materials for A-level sociology students, including books covering Marxist Instrumentalist Theory and a sociology of media bundle.

Popular Posts