By Redouane Amezoirou
By Redouane Amezoirou
Morocco World News
Meknes, September 27, 2012
Since the mid-twentieth century, new ways of looking at and perceiving what had always existed emerged. It has been like a war of theoretical perspectives and views. Concepts like culture, identity, art and society in addition to their media of communication started to take ground in the international social, political and economic spheres. These concepts do overlap and they are in a constant interchanging process. They influence our perceptions, meanings, and experiences of the world around us. We have been creating the media to communicate our ways of life but unfortunately we have fallen in the trap of enslavement. This means that we have become slaves to ourselves and of course to our different types of media.
Media culture remains one of the necessities in today’s world and society. The subject deals primarily with how society and its components are influenced–or rather manipulated by–what is reported daily by different news outlets. As a result, people have become reified, commoditized and objectified to serve the agendas of great media empires in the world. Most of the shows on TV and radio programs are meant to sell and influence people. This idea is purely considered capitalist. I should mention in this context how the Frankfurt school in Germany has seen the culture of the people. Proponents of the school confirm that it is something extremely beneficial to analyze the social processes and how people’s identities are produced and reproduced. The school sees culture from a capitalist view, which means that culture with all its aspects is a product to sell.
The question of identity in this respect is very crucial. First, we should look at how identity has been in the past and how it has tremendously changed over time. With the emergence of technologies mainly in the Western world, people have started to look for pleasure, comfort and enjoyment with more than two optical eyes. They have been bombarded by too many images, films, shows as well as software and hardware. People are living in an ‘electric age’ where everything is fused and melted. Identities in the postmodern age are multiple, diverse and ever-changing. The identity has become a three dimensional situation–holding the past, living and experiencing the present and seeking the future. In fact, there are multiple examples to state this in context like the example of the celebrity Madonna, the American singer. Through her video clips, there are many meanings and messages, sometimes she is pro-feminist and in others she is giving a message that women are subject to become like commercial objects.
In the Moroccan context, there are many aspects where we can find the true meaning of the consumer society. The Moroccan society is purely consumerist. They consume visual, audio and material objects because of media illiteracy and because of the wide spread manipulating of media outlets like TV channels, radio stations, the easy access to Internet etc… Take for example the controversial case of the Moroccan new singer Dounia Batma. Since music plays a key role in consumption and because the Moroccan society is deviated towards entertainment and enjoyment, the national telecom operator Maroc Telecom has ceased the right opportunity to use the singer Batma in its advertisements on TV to promote consumption.
Media outlets around the world are said to be hegemonic. Media corporations constantly produce what can entertain and create new worlds for viewers, listeners and print buyers. They dominate the public and the private spheres. They are also unlike printed materials that could be modified in the content. The content of new media is worth thousands of interpretations and meanings, and people should be aware of and have a critical eye to understand and decipher its codes. But, it is clear that media muddle us instead of illuminating.
However, media in some instances can, to some extent, be making change or balancing nonequivalence. The example of some women in the virtual world who write and express themselves is a good instance of how media–mainly the Internet–could be a good alternative for unheard or marginal people. There is the example of the Saudi woman who writes her diaries on a daily basis, this woman calls her diaries “Spinster Diaries.” To study this case, we can infer that women spinsters are suffering marginalization and no one hears their social suffering in many traditional societies.
Many essays and books have been published on media and culture and among them is Douglas Kellner’s book Media Culture published in 1995. It is a very interesting explanation of how media is shaping our views, perceptions and experiences. Media culture with its aspects is ubiquitous and it impacts our life and culture. It is in radios, TVs, films and other products that seek benefit rather education. It does not actually educate but it rather manipulates and impairs realities.
The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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