Each culture and society have own common sense of social norm and ideology, and medium definitely has been one of the most important part of shaping its social norm and ideology. In the book of media and cultural study, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels mention about ‘forms of self-determination’ with Hegel’s message “all the relations of men can be derived from the concept of man, man as conceived, the essence of man, Man.” (Durham and Kellner, 2006, p11). Regardless our perspective of the Man, What kind of idea has shaped us as the concept of Man, and how to conceive who we are as own identities? I’ve choose one example of a video below for my discussion, so let me talk about it.
First of all, focus on the ideology of the USA. The message in the video ‘Love has No Labels’ represents one of aspect of US ideology which is strongly related to US history. US history has always been with diversity in terms of immigration and it is more visible diversity culture compared to other countries. The video is made 2015 whose the idea is almost current existing ideologies in not only the USA, but also in many countries. Interestingly, the message from the video is easy to understand without so much consideration for many, at least for me whose background is highly influenced by the USA culture and ideologies, yet never live in the USA.
Why It is easy to understand the massage behind the video is that receiver could decode the message as Dominant hegemonic position or Negotiated position which are defined by Stuart Hall. He defines that there are three type of receiver as dominant hegemonic position, negotiated position and oppositional position. Interesting point is that encoder and decoder use same cultural background in order to understand the meaning with connotation meanings, otherwise we can’t understand the meaning at all. Moreover, receiver decodes the message to different way with own knowledge, understanding, experience and so on, so many people have negotiated the message, but as I mentioned, many have accepted the ideologies as almost own thought as natural ability and media has gradually developed the ideology in our thought.
However, One question is whether the ideologies which we admit are actually own our thought or not. I would say these are our own ideologies already, even though media has shaped our thought without so much consciousness toward certain ideology. Barthes points out that each communication around our environment are the fragment of the ideology (p169). Yet media industries have become apparently more accessible and diverse in terms of participation culture in digital, media position are still at dominant position, therefore media has a power to shape our thought somehow. However it is also positive way to change the ideology as ‘Love ha No Labels’ approves.
Durham, M. and Kellner, D. (2006). Media and cultural studies. Malden, MA: Blackwell.