(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Orchestrating Everyday Consciousness

Of all the institutions of daily life, the media specialize in orchestrating everyday consciousness–by virtue of their pervasiveness, their accessibility, their centralized symbolic capacity. They name the world’s parts, they certify reality as reality–and when their certifications are doubted and opposed, as they surely are, it is those same certifications that limit the terms of effective opposition. To put it simply: the mass media have become core systems for the distribution of ideology.

Todd Gitlin, quoted by Diana Kendall, Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America (2011)

Could this serve as de facto definition of ideology? Therefore, “Ideology certifies reality and limits opposition via centralized symbolic capacity.” Ideology can do this, for example, by determining what comprises legitimate evidence for opposition.

Later in the chapter, Kendall describes how media “orchestrates everyday consciousness” by organizing experience, framing, manipulating salience. This could be described as ideological, or at least informed by it. However, this hypothesis is limited by the extent of human psychology’s effects in general on the process of framing (that is, creating narrative interpretations of perceptions/data). For instance, Kendall introduces framing as, in one theory, an unconscious cognitive aid (cf. stereotyping).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on August 12, 2015 by and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: