Ideology Critique: how to do one!
how ideology is practiced.
always identifying political ideas or bias
I-C is to show how it WORKS upon an audience: how the images, language,
graphics, typography pull in the punter.
the ‘materialist’ (rather than the ideational) theory of Ideology: that
Ideology is not only a system of ideas that imply or show a coherent line of
thinking and picture of the world, BUT that IT IS PERSUASIVE.
affects in getting us to believe the values embodied in the image/text. It has
ideology is not a group of ideas dumped en
bloc onto an audience: it must be done slowly and carefully by the language
and images appealing to the audience partly because they are familiar or have
familiar meanings already.
Power of Ideology works best when it draws you in slowly to seeing the picture
of the world as the producer would wish you to (Hall’s preferred reading). It
can do this by using ideas you share with the text/programme but put them into
a set of relations (a narrative) not of your choosing but of theirs.
that you share most of the unit ideas or views constituting the ‘media text’
tends to lead to you going along with the whole story as it has been organised
and told. It helps you to see how things hang together - gives you a version of
a story that you might not have thought of. “See the world like this”: and
because you agree with all the individual statements, you tend ‘inevitably’ to
go along with the story told to you by the media – ‘of course, I see …it must
hang together this way.’
‘…Its natural…You must like doe eyed puppies, and here’s a picture of one’…and
he did what to the puppy?…hang ‘im…cut
his ears off…bah blah blah’ (add any ‘Sun-speak’ you
doe eyes + puppy = both loved by all. We live in a ‘doe eyed puppy’ liking
culture and this plus pretty picture pushes us into going aah!
Even puppy pictures are ideological: they
engage us - they draw on our already constructed emotions and push them further
etc. Yes, culture/socialisation
‘constructs’ our emotions (they are not natural), but media manipulates and
extends them as well as circulating emotional-reactive images in mass
society…to get us going. So the cycle of audience/media interaction suggested
here is: culture – media – culture. So does media shape culture which then shape media
and so on, OR, does culture shape
media which then shapes culture and so on?
ideology: getting us to go along with the story line crucially works through
ideology is not always about political ideas, but can be found in all kinds of
stories, texts, and images. Doing Ideological analysis is about identifying how
values and beliefs are drawn together in images, or verbal stories, or say, TV programmes AND how they
persuade us to share to those beliefs and values. Thus there are at least. 2
major functions in ideological analysis.
1) against/with the assumed social/political views of the audience.
2) ‘The Now
Show’: Car ad. Right v left wing narratives. Inndividualistic versus collective
3) using an implied argument of the on the one hand this, on
the other hand that…but pushing you in the right direction. See ‘Taking a beating’. The equivocal nature
of Guardian articles versus the ‘in-your-face’ style of the Sun wich often tells us what to think rather than negotiating
with its readers.