Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
- Arthur Ashe
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Since the early years of life, privilege took place in defining people and sorting them in classes. Privileges gave some people the power to control and shape the community into their advantages. According to Allan G. Johnson’s theory, being in a privileged group is to have the power to change society, make decisions, and oppress others for your advantages. On the other hand, oppression is what privileged groups practice on others, giving them limited choices and fewer opportunities. Moreover, Johnson held the discussion of whether the privilege is a matter of a social construction or something else. Noam Chomsky wrote about mainstream media controlling the ideas being published by having huge resources that others seek information from. Media is a very wide field that effects people from different classes and it contains motion pictures, printed papers, and the internet. Chomsky mentioned that the mainstream media is so powerful that no one would be against them. Chomsky’s examples of media illustrate Johnson’s ideas of privilege and power. Chomsky suggests that mainstream media control people’s minds, control the media, and oppress the minority in media.
Chomsky suggests in his text that the mainstream media has a huge effect in forcing people to focus on specific angles of every topic, which is explained in Johnson’s text as the effect of privilege groups. As Chomsky wrote, “There is another sector of the media, the elite media, sometimes called the agenda-setting media because they are the ones with the big resources, they set the framework in which everyone else operates. The New York Times and CBS, that kind of thing. Their audience is mostly privileged people.” (Paragraph 6). The author suggests that the largest mainstream media has the ability to guide the rest to follow their lead. As a result, the public will have to believe whatever is said in the media as long as they are using the same sources. Having this privilege in media is extremely dangerous as it can manipulate and change the public ideology in different topics. Moreover, privileged people in our community are mostly the audience of these mainstream media, which mean that they are taking their side most of the time. In other words, their audiences are those people who have the power to change our society. By the same token, Johnson mentioned in his text, “privilege increases the odds of having things your own way, of being able to set the agenda in a social situation and determine the rules and standards and how they’re applied. Privilege grants the cultural authority to make judgments about others and to have those judgments stick.” (33). Mainstream media are the privileged group in media, they have the power to limit others resources and make them do it their way. Mainstream media can claim that they are telling the truth and the rest will support them. Mainstream media can turn the public opinion about almost anything because they have the power, credibility, and audience!
Chomsky wrote that mainstream media has the power to control what other media publish, which is according to Johnson a typical behavior from privileged groups. As Chomsky mentioned in his text, “If you get off line, if you’re producing stories that the big press doesn’t like, you’ll hear about it pretty soon … So there are a lot of ways in which power plays can drive you right back into line if you move out. If you try to break the mold, you’re not going to last long. That framework works pretty well, and it is understandable that it is just a reflection of obvious power structures.” (Paragraph 7). Chomsky believes that if some media decided to go against the mainstream media, they will be destroyed and rejected. It is one of the privileges the mainstream media have. You publish what they want whether you agree or not. Otherwise, you will be attacked and eliminated from their field. Chomsky refers that as an ideal power structure. According to Johnson, “Privilege means being able to decide who gets taken seriously, who receives attention, who is accountable to whom and for what.” (33). This explains Chomsky text in many ways. The privilege of power that mainstream media has allowed them to draw the lines that media should follow; it allow them to question and penalize whoever cross the lines or go against the flow. In other words, media has no choice but to follow the mainstream media lead in order to survive.
Chomsky mentions that the topic of mainstream media controlling everything is taboo to be questioned itself, which is explained well by Johnson as the oppression that privileged groups practice on others. “The next thing you discover is that this whole topic is completely taboo. If you go to the Kennedy School of Government or Stanford, or somewhere, and you study journalism and communications or academic political science, and so on, these questions are not likely to appear. That is, the hypothesis that anyone would come across without even knowing anything that is not allowed to be expressed, and the evidence bearing on it cannot be discussed.” (Chomsky Paragraph 18). It is not only following the mainstream media role, yet it cannot be questioned. Since ones start the journey in this field, they will be trained not to ask questions in certain subjects, nor to investigate the truth behind the closed doors. Even having evidence to disprove something, is not going to prove anything! Johnson says, “For every social category that is privileged, one or more other categories are oppressed in relation to it. The concept of oppression points to social forces that tend to “press” upon people and hold them down, to hem them in and block their pursuit of a good life. Just as privilege tends to open doors of opportunity, oppression tends to slam them shut.” (40). Being privileged is not only about having the power over the rest to overcome them, but to oppress them and keep them away. The oppression can be well seen by mainstream media, which make the rest follow their lead silently. However, Johnson explains it as a normal relationship; wherever there is a privileged group, there are oppressed groups.
Privilege and power are two faces of one coin, and that coin plays a huge role in media. As Chomsky believes that mainstream media controlling the media itself, controlling people minds, and oppressing other media; Johnson’s theory explains the role of privilege and power in media. Mainstream media use their power and privileges to change everything to their advantage, regardless of others position.
Johnson, Allan G. “The Trouble We’re In: Privilege, Power, and Difference”. Privilege, Power, and Difference. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2001. 15-41. Print.
Chomsky, Noam. "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream." The Noam Chomsky Website. 1 Oct. 1997. Web. 21 May 2015.>http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199710--.htm<.
#Essay #Free #Article #Research #College #Paper #Education #Writing #Tips #English #Skills #Assignment #Homework #Thesis #Proofred #University #EssaysForFree