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The Propaganda Society

Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context

Gerald Sussman

The Propaganda Society analyzes the rapid expansion of propaganda and promotional activities in the leading «post-industrial» states under the regime of neoliberalism. With the outsourcing of manufacturing, these states have converted to service, selling, and speculative economies, with a concurrent rapid growth of advertising, marketing, public relations, sales management, branding, and other promotional enterprises. Aided by digital technologies and the removal – «deregulation» – of political, legal, administrative, and moral barriers to state and corporate expansion on a global scale, a group of dominant political and commercial actors have brought about a common discourse and convergent set of practices rooted in sophisticated and unprecedented levels of propaganda and promotion. Written by leading scholars in the field, each of the eighteen chapters in this book discuss the ways in which elite uses of propaganda have radically transformed media and information systems, political and public culture, the conduct of war and foreign relations, and the overall behavior of the state.
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Hitler’s Voice

The Völkischer Beobachter, 1920-1933- Vol. 1: Organisation & Development of the Nazi Party- Vol. 2: Nazi Ideology and Propaganda

Detlef Mühlberger

What did the Nazis inform the readership of their national newspaper about before 1933? How did they portray the origins and development of the Nazi Party and its specialist organisations at the micro and macro level before the Nazi seizure of power in 1933? What type of propaganda did the Nazis use before 1933 to secure support from specific elements of German society, such as the working class, the peasantry, the urban Mittelstand, and women? What were the main themes of Nazi propaganda projected in its official newspaper before 1933? This study provides the reader with a detailed insight into the content of the Völkischer Beobachter or ‘Peoples’ Observer’, through the use of speeches, reports, articles and various other types of material taken from the Nazi Party’s official national newspaper.
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Staging the Fascist War

The Ministry of Popular Culture and Italian Propaganda on the Home Front, 1938–1943

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Luigi Petrella

Historians regard the Italian home front during the Second World War as an observation post from which to study the relationship between Fascism and society during the years of the collapse of the Mussolini regime. Yet the role of propaganda in influencing that relationship has received little attention. The media played a crucial role in setting the stage for the regime’s image under the intense pressures of wartime. The Ministry of Popular Culture, under Mussolini’s supervision, maintained control not only over the press, but also over radio, cinema, theatre, the arts and all forms of popular culture. When this Fascist media narrative was confronted by the sense of vulnerability among civilians following the first enemy air raids in June 1940, it fell apart like a house of cards.
Drawing on largely unexplored sources such as government papers, personal memoirs, censored letters and confidential reports, Staging the Fascist War analyses the crisis of the regime in the years from 1938 to 1943 through the perspective of a propaganda programme that failed to bolster Fascist myths at a time of total war.
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After the Internet, Before Democracy

Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society

Johan Lagerkvist

China has lived with the Internet for nearly two decades. Will increased Internet use, with new possibilities to share information and discuss news and politics, lead to democracy, or will it to the contrary sustain a nationalist supported authoritarianism that may eventually contest the global information order?
This book takes stock of the ongoing tug of war between state power and civil society on and off the Internet, a phenomenon that is fast becoming the centerpiece in the Chinese Communist Party’s struggle to stay in power indefinitely. It interrogates the dynamics of this enduring contestation, before democracy, by following how Chinese society travels from getting access to the Internet to our time having the world’s largest Internet population. Pursuing the rationale of Internet regulation, the rise of the Chinese blogosphere and citizen journalism, Internet irony, online propaganda, the relation between state and popular nationalism, and finally the role of social media to bring about China’s democratization, this book offers a fresh and provocative perspective on the arguable role of media technologies in the process of democratization, by applying social norm theory to illuminate the competition between the Party-state norm and the youth/subaltern norm in Chinese media and society.
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God, Race, Myth and Power

An Africanist Corrective Research Analysis

Emmanuel K. Twesigye

This book represents an Africanist corrective analysis of research, in respect to the African-American historical and religious experience, beginning with Africa. The book analyzes the depressing negative impact of the domineering patriarchal Western ethnocentrism, racism and sexism on education, the media, scholarship, research and publications, religion, history and the African- American experience. The central argument is that the Western White supremacist racism both in the society and the academia has culminated in the prevailing Eurocentric, ethnocentric and racist worldview which has tragically led to imperialism, injustice, colonialism, slavery, oppression and exploitation of women and the non-White peoples, who were often manipulated and controlled through propaganda, miseducation, religious myths and negative conditioning to hate themselves.
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Terrorizing the Masses

Identity, Mass Shootings, and the Media Construction of «Terror»

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Ruth DeFoster

Why are some crimes identified as acts of terrorism, while others are not? How are critical terms like «terrorism» and «mass shooting» defined and understood in the 21st century? What are some of the causes of the unique American epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence? Terrorizing the Masses considers the invisible role that the media play in shaping the way we think about terrorism, gun violence, fear, and identity. This book explores media coverage of five mass shootings over a 20-year period, examining the role that race, religion, and gender play in framing some of the most high-profile crimes of American society. The results of this research show that the use of «terrorism» is uneven and inconsistent. Indeed, on a practical level, «terrorism» is an almost meaningless word – it is slippery and ephemeral, and its utility is largely in propaganda. This book succinctly analyzes what «terror» means in the 21st century, how news media use the term, and how journalists can cover tragedy without falling prey to the pitfalls of sensationalism, fear, and contagion. This book is a useful text for courses on media ethics, crime and public policy, political science, terrorism studies, and communication studies.

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Edited by Paul R. Carr

Why do so few people vote? What is political engagement? How does education intersect with democracy and political literacy? What can be learned from interdisciplinary studies on democracy? How do we cultivate political literacy? What is the relevance of elections in light of war, poverty, discrimination, social inequalities, etc.? What are the alternatives to the traditional electoral, representative, party-politics models that have characterized our societies? Is the mainstream media holding government to account, disseminating propaganda or fuelling the need to pacify the population? How do international systems, approaches and realities related to democracy compare, and what can we learn from others? These are some of the questions that are addressed through this book series.
Seeking to fill an important gap in the literature, this book series takes on the theme of democracy in a multi-/inter-disciplinary, comprehensive, and critical way. Some books have democracy in the title but do not make it the focus, and often books that address more directly, for example, multiculturalism, media studies, or school reform may delve into the area of democracy without fully deconstructing what it is, how it functions, how people can shape and intersect with it, and how it is used (or misused) to distort power relations, which is at the base of teaching, learning and action.
Thus, a broader range of materials specifically tailored to teacher-education and scholars within the education field is desirable. Similarly, the overlapping and interdisciplinary nature of the study of democracy bleeds naturally into the areas of media studies, sociology, political science, peace studies, multiculturalism, feminist studies, and cultural studies, etc., all of which have a natural and inextricable relationship to and within education.
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Italy Meets Africa

Colonial Discourses in Italian Cinema

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Roberta Di Carmine

Over the past few decades, Italian colonial cinema has proved to be a compelling area to explore artistic productions born during the colonial and fascist periods whose unique ideology shifted from propaganda to fiction. The films produced during the Italian colonial intervention in Africa, which lasted roughly seventy-five years, reflect cinema’s recollection of political beliefs and its aesthetic attention to colonialism while exposing its ideological contradictions. Italian colonial films mirror imperial ideology influenced by a racial hierarchy that was acted upon during the colonization of Africa.
This study on images of Italian and African identities displayed in these films today invites viewers to reflect on racially constructed images that speak of justice and loyalty, values that reflect nationalist and patriotic ideals defining but also confining the identities of both Africans and Italians. The films analyzed in this book include Attilio Gatti’s Siliva Zulu (1927); Mario Camerini’s Kif tebbi (1928); Augusto Genina’s Squadrone bianco (1936). To conclude this journey through colonial discourses in Italian cinema, two examples of contemporary cinema given by Bernardo Bertolucci in L’assedio (1998) and Cristina Comencini in Bianco e Nero (2007) expand the study from colonial national and cultural identity to interracial relationships in today’s multiethnic Italy. The representations of African and Italian identities found in these two contemporary films grow into compelling visual documents of a historical connection that does not seem to move forward from its colonial mentality.
These films’ analyses are helpful tools for understanding the growing racial intolerance which has been troubling Italian society in the past decade. The need remains crucial to explain the racial component of the relationship between Italy and Africa by looking at the imagery of national and cultural identity found in the films shot in Africa during the Italian expansionist intervention in the 1920s and 1930s.
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book addresses the crucial problem of the social attitude towards communist media efforts dedicated to manipulation with fear. All six chapters of this book offer conclusions dedicated to popular reception of particular propaganda campaigns exploiting a given threat. Analysis of these conclusions allows tracing the dynamic of social moods in relation both to propaganda activity and socio-political circumstances shaping the atmosphere within Polish postwar society. The parallel discussion of the implementation of, and social reaction towards, the propaganda fear

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table of contents Acknowledgments ix Chapter 1. Introduction 1 Chapter 2. War Culture 9 Chapter 3. The Militarization of Society 29 Chapter 4. Video Games, Digital Culture, and the Militarization of the Young 45 Chapter 5. Propaganda and Video Games 65 Chapter 6. The First Person Shooter 77 Chapter 7. The Military Habitus 93 Chapter 8. Drone Strike 121 Chapter 9. The Information Empire 143 Chapter 10. War without End? 159 Bibliography 165 Index 181