Analyzing Media and Culture

Interpellation is a process in which person’s acknowledge and are responsive to ideologywhich fundamentally makes them subjects. The concept of interpellation was developed by Althuser who asserted that ideology functions as a mediator between systems of power and the individual person. Interpellations thus makes possible for hegemonic power to be reproduced through covering up conventional forms of oppressive regimes and bringing people to participate in the power structure. According to Althuser the interpellation process is not governed by cause and effect but rather by simultaneous action. The instance of ideology and the interpellation of persons as subjects are thus two sides of the same coin (Nelson and Susan 9-20). Framed in another way, ideology, subjecthood, and interpellation enhance each other in a manner that ideology has always interpellated people as subjects, this means that persons are always pre interpellated through ideology as subjects, and subsequently the conclusion that persons are always pre subjects (Nelson and Susan 9-20).

Intepellation is a common aspect in media texts in terms of advertising. Cultural theorists such as Adorno Theodor and Horkheimer Max have asserted that similarity of mass media is responsible for the interpellation of passive subjects who have the desire for repeated tropes and conventional story lines which in turn lead to a further stultification (Campbell et al, 45-67). The masses give in to the cultural industry offered to them by the media and insist on such ideology which they do not know keeps them in perpetual slavery. Interpellation is evident when the mases interact with media text; an uncritical consumption of media text usually indicates a situation in which the masses have been interpolated into certain assumptions and perspectives (Nelson and Susan 9-20). A good example is the text by CNN which asserts itself as the leading international broadcaster thereby viewers are interpellated into believing that everything from CNN is reliable and right.

In order to get a good understanding of the author function it is important that it is defined. An author is a word which belongs to both the verb and the noun parts of speech. Both of these aspects of language are an important aspect in the definition of author function. The author may refer to a person who writes pieces of work pure plain and simple. On the other hand however, to author may mean the production of a piece work. Managers usually author managerial reports and the same for engineers, auditors and accountants (Nelson and Susan 9-20). Taken from this perspective the word author is a verb. The author function however has come to have more meaning than simply the production of works or simply a person who writes.

In addition to the general classification of the term author, there is also an instance of the classification of the author function according to the type of work produced. In this regard there is a classification of authors according to the content of their writing. While different writers use the world as their sources of inspiration for their work, some are considered authors while others are deemed to be merely writers. A good example is Stephen King who is deemed to be merely a writer while Charles Dickens is deemed as an author. The most significant aspect that determines author function is the instance of whether their work is fit for further scholarly study or is simply for pleasure or other reasons such as religion. The works of Charles Dickens are deemed worthy of scholarly study and they are relevant to a wide demographic and timeline. The work of Stephen King on the other hand is not fit for scholarly study being mainly a book focused on emotional rather than sociological, philosophical or economic benefit across time (Nelson and Susan 9-20).

The current media environment is influenced by several factors such as the audience and the need to make profit. The ownership of the media is a component of the media which has for a long time been a matter of controversy. This is because the ownership of the media usually determines the direction of the media and the perspectives that will be taken. It is important to note that ownership and leadership of the mass media that is conservative will result into the dissemination of conservative ideas and vice versa (Campbell et al 87-103). Issues of economics and politics are also an important aspect in the determination of the media culture in any given country. This is so because politics play a particularly important role in the determination of policy with regard to the media in the nation (Nelson and Susan 51-92). These factors will thus be an important factor in the determination of the environment in which the media operates.

Given the enormous influence that mass media has in the determination of not only the cultural orientation of the masses but also the political economic and social perspectives, media ownership becomes an important aspect of life. In the increasingly globalised world environment it has been left to the media to disseminate information with regard to what is happening not only within a country’s borders but also outside it. This is what has led to the growth of international media such as Reuters and CNN. The prevailing media culture can as such be said to be an important aspect in the determination of not only perspectives but also an important part in the interpellation of not only the domestic population but a global audience (Campbell et al 123-140). Issues of economics and political are given to the masses according to certain preset notions and perspectives since international media has made the audience to gradually become only a consumer of information. The present day audience of mass media is thus only fed with perspectives and notions that the owners and controllers of media determine.

While there are several aspects of daily living which impact the environment of mass media, there are none which are more poignant than the political and economic spheres. In the recent past the media has been accused of not being a tool which caters for the needs of its audience. Marshall Mcluhan assertion that the media is the message is clearly evident in today’s mass media. In the present political and economic environment it does not matter what perspective someone has what matters is the media through which that perspective is disseminates (Nelson and Susan 51-92). Ownership of mass media today is controlled by a few companies which have international reach and global audiences. The ownership of these media may thus adopt certain perspectives in order to push for certain agendas they may have. The instance of the control of the mass media by a few conglomerates makes them the main opinion shapers in the society. Media houses have utilized this means of exclusivity and means of reaching large audiences in order to influence global perspectives on issues of politics and economics.

While there is some diversity in the media with regard to their content, mainstream media is focused on setting of certain perspectives which influence economic and political objectives. In some instances media houses may have differences in their opinion with regard to economic and political issues. A good example is CNN and Reuters which in most instances seem to have similar opinions with regard to political and economic issues affecting the globe. While they may have different authors who contribute to topics discussed it is surprising that most of the international media has similar opinions on most issues (Campbell et al 67-76). One of the major cases in point is the Arab Spring in which most Western media supported the rebellion against the governments of the affected countries. Another case in point is the economic crisis in Europe whose direction is mainly determined in the mass media. Since the mass media has global audiences it is very effective in shaping economic and political perspectives of their audiences.

One of the most important issues to be raised with regard to the media is the instance of negatively influencing the democratic culture. The media has bee accused of not allowing for the free dissemination of information since they are controlled by politics. It has been documented that politicians and political parties or other related political institutions have huge stakes in the mass media hence making mass media an ineffective means for the transmission and dissemination of information. The fact that there a few media houses which have global audiences is also a matter which has raised concerns of distorting democratic processes in a nation (Nelson and Susan 51-92). Studies have established that since the media commands a lot of respect among the masses, it has the potential of being used as a propaganda tool. With the few number of media houses controlling a huge chunk of global and domestic audiences, it is very easy for such media houses to be manipulated by politicians who own or control them


Media culture and the influence of the media thus present a very real potential for abuse by politicians on both the economic and political fronts through either ownership or control. The media has increasingly become a preserve for the major conglomerates which shape opinion thus threatening democracy through shaping perspectives according to preset notions. It is thus important for the media culture to be made more inclusive such that more space is given to the non mainstream media to also offer information and different perspectives. Issue of ownership and control also ought to be addressed in order top avoid manipulation of the masses by the political class.

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