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Analysis Of Dominant Ideology In Various Media Texts

1358 words - 5 pages

Stuart Hall has posited that the concepts of individual dream states can be brought on a macroscopic scale to media text. In particular, "nightmares" of individuals, can be related to the semiological analysis of a given media text in relation to dominant ideology and culture in general. His main points in this are twofold, first is to point out that the more horrible and "nightmarish" a media scenario (i.e. story) is, the more difficult it is to de-construct the ideological markers that serve as the basis for the text. The second, and perhaps more important, is that the ideological representation in the nightmare represents a repressed wish of society and has increased threat to the dominant class, or the bourgeois.

For example, the nightmare Alien of sci-fi fame is used as an example of the perceived overcrowding and overpopulation of America by minority groups and cultural absorption by foreign power in the 80's, specifically Japan. The repressed wish perhaps here can be the usurpation of Dominant culture. Of course, these are all very threatening to the dominant class. In this instance, it is through the analysis of signs, or semiotics that one reads a text. In "The Dis-Order of Things in Twin Peaks", J.P. Telotte also employs semiotics to analyze the text of the television series "Twin Peaks", and uses the presence and absence of signs to illustrate his point that order and disorder coincide and vie for control in this fictional universe, and in the process illustrate Ideology. Perhaps in contrast, the essay by Fisk on polysemy in television, calls for the need to deconstruct media texts on the basis of multileveled, and polysemic, meanings within the text that stem from unresolved conflicts, which is important for television to be popular. Though both essays seem to approach a similar focus, in the importance of ideology in media text, they differ in that "Dis-order..." subtly reinforces ideology, and creates a strong argument for exactly the antithesis of Fisk's article.

Twin peaks contains the most un-resolvable of conflicts in the conflict between order, and disorder. In this it stands in opposition to Fisk's argument that a television text must have multiple resolutions to conflict, to allow for the hegemonically oppressed sub-groups in the audience to find their own meanings and thus assert their unique social identity. A media text will of course be polysemic, however by de-construction, one can only find meanings one is predisposed to find due to the dominant ideology one is part of. Fisk indeed seems to assert the weakness in his essay of what "Disorder..." focuses on. It is those departures from order and dominance toward chaos that create discomfort, and surprise. This serves to illustrate those norms and cultural expectations which are in place, and are necessary to associate meaning. It is in this where Fisk fails in that "polysemy" in fact only illustrates that Dominant ideology is present, and...

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