BLURB FOR TOTAL PROP MAILER................ "Total Propaganda"
moves the study of propaganda out of the exclusive realm of world
politics into the more inclusive study of popular culture, media,
and politics. All the participatory functioning elements of the
society are aspects of membership in the popular culture. Thus, the
values of popular music, media, politics, debates over social
issues, and even international trade become everyday propaganda to
which everyone may relate.
To emphasize the necessity for new thinking about propaganda,
Edelstein creates the concepts of the "new" propaganda and the
"old," and he devises a language of "uninyms" to convey their
meanings more quickly. "Oldprop" is characteristic of mass cultures
and utilizes totalitarian methods of conflict, hegemony,
minimization, demonization, and exclusiveness to achieve its goals.
By contrast, "newprop" is created by members of the popular culture
to allow them to engage in accomodation, enhance the individual,
and promote inclusiveness. Shifts in the "old" and the "new"
propaganda are tracked across social issues such as race, religion,
sexuality, gender, gun control, and the environment, as well as in
fashion, politics, advertising, sports, media, and politics.
Central to the concept of total propaganda is that it is not
simply additive; it is the product of new energies that are
produced by the fusing of propaganda in such related forums as
music, art, advertising, sports and politics. It is these
synergies, and their production of new energies, that make total
propaganda greater than the sum of its parts.
Edelstein concludes that the most important distinction that
should be drawn between mass culture and popular culture is its
text; i.e., its propaganda. In a popular culture, everyone creates
and consumes propaganda; in a mass culture almost everyone consumes
it but only a few create it. This formulation offers new ways to
discuss power and ideology in media texts. As an example, where
once the least informed and the least educated were the most
subject to propaganda, now the most informed and most educated
often are the first to create propaganda and the first to consume
FORMER BLURB COPY.......It is widely recognized that the mass
media provide us with ample information which we use to construct
some sense of the world around us. It is not as widely recognized
that consumers of media messages are "active" in this constructive
process, making meanings that are sensible to them in particular
life circumstances. The media target a younger, more media savvy
generation who are more likely to be participants in the messages
than members of any previous generation. This participatory aspect
of new media is central to what the author defines as the "new
propaganda." Although critical and cultural theories are often
prohibitive for undergraduate students, the author's formulation
offers an accessible way to discuss power and ideology in media
texts. Without using the critical discourse, he provides compelling
arguments that power and ideology are created and maintained
through the active participation of audience members.
The conceptualization of the "old" and "new propagandas" helps
move the study of propaganda out of the realm of world politics
into the study of popular culture. The author views all of the
participatory functioning of the society as aspects of membership
in a more embracing popular culture. This point of view recognizes
that the mass media are extremely important forces in the
consumer's construction of reality and that they are no longer
exclusive channels for disseminating the messages of the powerful
elites. Instead, the media -- particularly the new media -- are
accessible to and used frequently by less powerful members of
society -- children, ethnic minorities, and marginal members of
society -- to create realities that more satisfactorily fulfill
NEW BLURB COPY FOR GENERAL CATALOGS... "Total Propaganda" is a
fresh answer to the question of the inclusiveness of the popular
culture. It demonstrates how the values of popular music, media,
politics, debates over social issues, and international trade have
become everyday propaganda to which everyone relates in some way.
Edelstein demonstrates that the most important distinction that
can be drawn between mass culture and popular culture is its text
(i.e., its propaganda). In a popular culture, everyone creates and
consumes propaganda, whereas in a mass culture, almost everyone
consumes but only a few create it. This book presents a new
language of propaganda that makes it possible to draw comparisons
between mass and popular cultures. The language is used to observe
shifts in propaganda across various social issues -- race,
religion, sexuality, gender, gun control, the environment, print
and broadcast media, new technologies, and politics. It also
examines fashion, advertising, sports, and lobbying. "Total
Propaganda" is not defined only quantitatively; it mirrors the
synergies that have come about in every social and political realm
and the energies that these synergies produce. As such, the sum of
total propaganda is greater than the sum of its parts.
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