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12 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Media literacy: Ideology of manipulation

Dr. Sabahudin Hadzialic
Media literacy: Ideology of manipulation

Concept of ideology1, just for an example, forces readers to notice that all cultural texts have a certain bias, interest, and embedded values and represent the opinion or attitude of their producers and often the values of a dominant social group. Today, unlike the times that the Marxists have been addressing (XIX century), in the time of high technology and global capitalism, ideas that promote globalization, digital technology, and the market society without any limitations of action have become the prevailing ideas – in other words, concepts that follow the interests of ruling elite in the global economy.

How does this reflect in such small, but extremely divided societies as Bosnia and Herzegovina is? Sociologically, the examples are innumerable. In addition to the prevailing attitudes of those in power2, there are also the inability to express the attitudes of the “others”, whether they are anything other than Bosniaks (Muslims), Serbs (Orthodox) and / or Croats (Catholics), but also a certain group of multiculturalists, feminists, LGBT populations and a wide range of the subordinate groups.

That is eo ipso – ideologies are the ones that produce relationships of domination within the arena of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality … The feminists, again – examples work, criticize sexist ideologies that they enhance the dominance of men over women in the way of propagating the male superiority.

Racist ideologies and their advocates have been criticized for speaking and working for the goal of subverting one race to another. In a broader sense, as a logical sequence of this, ideologies produce social domination by enacting the right of prevailing groups in society to be above the “subordinate” groups, and by doing that helps to repeating of the existing inequalities and establishing of the hierarchical control within that empowered power and decision-making.

Lately, and especially in Western countries3, an understanding of Marxism is growing precisely within the concept of ideology and the relationship between media and cultural studies

For classical Marxism, ruling classes employ intellectuals and cultural producers who produce ideas that glorify the dominant institutions and way of life, and propagate their dominant ideas within cultural forms such as literature, press, or, today, through film and television, as well as over the Internet.

Modern capitalism, in my opinion, although I myself was the part of those who wrote an article back in 1986 – in that non-people, single-party system – “Gulliver’s Prediction, the Lilliputian Realization”8 – in the simulation of assumed self-imposed taxes and never realized for orientation towards helping those who are needed is nothing more than a realistic awareness of the power of authorities, capital, and manipulation that is implemented at the expense of the weak and insufficiently educated world. Those who defend global capitalism – globalization marks the triumph of capitalism and its market economy (who mentioned the 2008 crisis? – I recommend Michael Moore’s movie “Capitalism, Love Story”). When we look at the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, perhaps the best example of a BOSNALIJEK affair that depicts all the unscrupulousness of the new tycoons in the country, of which the portal well-spoken within the analysis in their documentary on YouTube on 26.3.2014.

Discourses of globalization were initially polarized with pros-cons of pleadings and assaults. For critics, the term globalization covers the concept of global capitalism and imperialism and is accused of being a different form of cover for global capitalism and markets on a much larger area of the world and the sphere of life. In other words, capital does not know the boundaries and wants to multiply by expanding, at the expense of the logic of respecting the societies and the concepts of the societies they focus on. For those who defend it, globalization is a continuation of modernization, and it is the power of progress, increase of wealth, freedom, democracy, and happiness9, and the champions of globalization represent it as the benefit of everyone and that it generates fresh economic opportunities, political democratization, cultural diversity and opening up towards a thrilling new world.

I do not think it would be bad to contact the underdeveloped countries to confirm or deny the “libelist” theory that globalization is perceived as damaging that leads to increased domination of developed countries over the poor, underdeveloped countries where hegemony increases „of those who have” over “those who do not.” At the same time, globalization critics point out that globalization undermines democracy, cultural homogenization and increased destruction of the natural environment and species on the planet Earth.

Although, it has to do everything with all above plus with the try to be under the control (or even some parts to become a part of those) surrounding countries (Croatia and Serbia) who are like predators, waiting for the small political “cough” within it, to come and offer there “good will” help which always (in the past) was everything else but not “good will” hand of help.

So, how to overcome it?

With the easy three steps:

1.    Establishing of independent higher education commission (for all level of political establishments in BiH – entity and cantonal) under the control of High representative (to use Bonn powers) that will shape up a curriculum in primary and secondary schools which will be of common interest and not of the interest of so call “parties and people” (but in reality – “groups of interests”) but exclusively of the interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the whole.

2.    Introducing media literacy into the primary and secondary schools as separate module thought by professionals.

3.    Complete reform of judicial system where the rule of law is on power and not law of rule.

Again, my proposal is for those who will do as mentioned, after being elected. With deadlines and responsibilities for it. People should try to recognize them prior to the elections…At least to try.

Again, the question raises: “What is older? Chicken or the egg?” How they would recognize it without being media literate?

Yes, that is a question of million $ US dollars?

Although, I still think that there is a critical mass to start doing that and it is those 46 % of population eligible to vote and not going to the voting process. They are the solution, because those on power now will continue to run BiH with only 20% of elected votes. So, those 46 % should come and vote.

Otherwise, we will make the next step on our walk towards the “bright” future. The future that will lead us with that next step (if vote and elect differently) over the cliff into to abyss. Although, we might be in it, but we do not know that yet.

So, to be able to recognize the abyss we need those three steps to be able to build a bridge of hope over it. Without any further delay.

The writer specialises on the changing trends of media



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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