Useful Quotes by Theorists

These will help to clarify some key Media Studies concepts, you should try to memorise a few, thinking about how you could include at least one of them in each of the Section B essay questions (although they are just as useful for Section A too).


“The systems of power cannot be maintained by force alone. People have to do things, willingly and happily to keep the powerful people on top.” Gramsci

“[Hegemony means] …subordinated groups accept the ideas, values and readership of dominant groups.” Strinati

“[Hegemony is] …a process of moral and intellectual leadership through which dominant or subordinated classes consent to their own domination by ruling classes.” Rockler-Gladen

“All over the place, from popular culture to the propaganda systems, there is a constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless – that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” Chomsky

“The US is unusual among the industrial democracies where the rigidity of the system of ideological control and indoctrination is exercised through the mass media.” Chomsky

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.” Richard Salent (former CBS News President)

“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.”Chomsky

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” McLuhan

“Consent must be constantly won and re-won, for people’s material social experience constantly reminds them of the disadvantages of subordination and thus poses a threat to the dominant class.” Gramsci

“In history, in social life: nothing is fixed, rigid or definitive.  And nothing ever will be.” Gramsci

“[Hegemony is] …the dominance or leadership of one social group or nation over others.”



“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling the material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” Marx  

“The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production. ” Chandler

Cultural Imperialism

“Western nations dominate the media around the world which in return effects on third world culture by imposing on them western views and therefore destroying narrative culture.” Schiller

“[Cultural imperialism is] …the dominance of one culture’s media.” Tolinson


“[Globalisation] …results from deliberate human choice by a powerful group of nations, transnational corporations and international organisations.” Castells

” The new communications and information technologies have provided methods for large corporations to maximise profits by entering foreign markets.” Castells

“The Global Village.” McLuhan

” Globalisation has been largely driven by the needs of the developed world.” Grieco & Holmes 

”’Globalisation’ is often portrayed as a positive force which is unifying widely different societies, integrating them into a ‘global village’ and enriching all in the process.”

Liberal Pluralism

“There are multiple independent, sometimes competing sources of authority over our lives.” Galston

” Liberal democratic theory and the media are crucial to pluralism and a public sphere in which public opinion may be independently formed.” Galston

“Pluralism pervades our lives. We find ourselves in a world in which there is a plurality of different ethical, philosophical, religious and cultural beliefs.” Baghramian & Ingram

“There are multiple, independent, sometimes competing sources of authority over our lives.”

New Media

“[Web 2.0 is] …the second generation of the web, which enables people with no specialised technical knowledge to create their own websites, to self publish, create and upload.” O’ Reily

“The medium, or process, of our time – electric technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically, every thought, every reaction.” McLuhan

“The medium is the message.” McLuhan

“Alone Together.” Turkle

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