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April 24, 2018 / C H Thompson

Postmodernism and the Media

  • Postmodernists recognise media pluralism. They argue globalisation has provided the global population with more choices about life-style choices bringing with it opportunities for fulfil new identities
  • Baudrillard argues we live in such a media saturated society that media images dominate and distort our perception of the world around us to the extent it’s become difficult to distinguish between media images and reality
  • Baudrillard termed this hyperreality – a world defined by media images to the extent media images are seen as reality
  • For example Baudrillard argues the images in computer games look as real as images on newsreels, to the extent it’s hard to identify which is the reality
  • He went on to say this ‘pretend’ images or reproductions are so perfect that computer games appear to represent what’s real when in fact they have no basis in reality – he termed this simulacra
  • Another example of simulacra is Disneyland where a world, full of cartoon characters, has been manufactured as if it’s real when it has no basis in reality
  • Another example would be adverts which have cartoon characters interacting with real people as if the even is real – think of Halifax Scooby Doo advert
  • For Baudrillard our media saturated society continues to form the basis of our reality
  • To the extent the media creates wishes, desires and desire to consume as means of constructing our identity – links to Uses and Gratifications model
  • To the extent we’re more concerned about the whether products conform to media-induced labels (representations) than the quality of the product. So people by iPhones because of what they represent rather than the quality of the product
  • This causes us to live lives which are media led virtual lives rather than real ones

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