By Douglas Kellner

Pt. 1. Theory/context/methods -- pt. 2. Diagnostic critique and cultural stories -- pt. three. Media culture/identities/politics

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Topics in this area included analysis of the political economy of the media, audience reception and study of media effects, media history, the interaction of media institutions with other domains of society and the like. Some contributors to the 1983 JOC symposium suggested a liberal tolerance of different approaches, or ways in which the various approaches complemented each other or could be integrated. 21 Their studies dissected the interconnection of culture and communication in artifacts that reproduced the existing society, positively presenting social norms and practices, and legitimating the state capitalist organization of society.

Thus, resistance to social authority by the homeless evidenced in their viewing of Die Hard could serve to strengthen brutal masculist behavior and encourage manifestations of physical violence to solve social problems. Violence, however, as Sartre, Fanon, and Marcuse, among others, have argued, can be either emancipatory, directed at forces of oppression, or reactionary, directed at popular forces struggling against oppression, or arbitrarily exploding in any direction. ” Audiences are taught to get pleasure out of seeing “bad guys” violently eliminated and Fiske’s homeless men are simply reacting to the codes and conventions of Holly wood entertainment.

Postmodern nihilism enunciates the experience of defeat, of disappointment, of despair, over the failures of the 1960s movements to more radically transform social and cultural life. Yet there is a more positive version of postmodern theory that translates some of the progressive tendencies and gains of the 1960s into theoretical discourse and cultural practice. What Hal Foster (1983) has termed the “postmodernism of resistance” attempts to develop oppositional theoretical and cultural practices within the present moment, against the more oppressive features and practices of contemporary culture and society.

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