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Cinema and Politics since 9/11: the Democratic Pardox of Media
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The question of whether cinema is democratic is a vast one, which requires research limitations of time and place to actually find an answer for. In this study, the place will be the United States, because nowhere else is the industry of cinema so powerful and generates more elements of popular culture; where also the country is considered to be democratic and practicing freedom of speech. The time will be the period following 11th September 2001: a date after which American politics has been chaotic both inside and outside the country, consequently producing a very controversial subject matter to debate in films.

However, the question still remains huge as the answer might differentiate according to the varying scope different types of cinema productions may hold. Accordingly, we will limit our focus within the field of political alternative films; and apply and seek to verify Jürgen Habermas’ theory of the public sphere in analysing their content to reach inferences on democracy. Afterwards, enlarging our perspective to the American cinema industry by and large, we will argue that the economic value of a film and the subject it deals with undermine the democratic ideals of equal representation the public sphere carries, as capitalism enters the scene. Some other dilemmas will emerge on this path: are movies being imposed by a dominant class in order to make the audience passive towards their environment? Or is it the audience, the people themselves, who create the aspects of popular culture in cinema?

Finally, we are to put the first question in other terms: does cinema socially and democratically represent its viewers’ ideology? In the limit of our empirical means, giving responses to those questions will be the heart of this thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2006. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Cinema, Democracy, Popular Culture, Marxist Theories, Public Space
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-6309ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D--06/010--SEOAI: diva2:21743
Available from: 2006-05-09 Created: 2006-05-09

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