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Bell Hooks on Mass Media Essay

Pages:3 (1026 words)



Topic:Bell Hooks

Document Type:Essay


Cultural Criticism

Bell hooks notes that “popular culture is where the pedagogy is, is where the learning is” (2006). This statement sums up her views rather well and gets right to the heart of what hooks is up to in her Cultural Criticism and Transformation talks. I agree a lot with what hooks says about popular culture and it lines up well with what cultural critics in the past have said. The Frankfurt School, for example, was very critical of popular culture and its effect on the mass of people. Horkheimer and Adorno (1944) were very critical about what popular culture was doing and how it was achieving a kind of hypnotic effect on people.

However, I tend to be a bit more traditional in my thinking when it comes to roles and I think having clearly defined gender roles in society is not a bad thing at all. I think that the feminist ideology that pushed for equality among the sexes was politically driven and not really driven by familial concerns. The leading feminists of the time were not really interested in families; many of them, however, interested in promoting abortion, which is essentially the destruction of life, whereas procreation is the basis of the family. So I see feminism as somewhat destructive socially speaking and I do not find the argument about equality to be very convincing. On the other hand, a lot of what bell hooks points out about the power of popular culture and the issues that are communicated about race and class and power are ones that need to be discussed. I agree with her that there is a deep element of racism that runs through the country and that this goes back to the white power structure that has dominated the country for a long time.

Sociologists like Weber have tried to explain the structure of classes in society and show how they all benefit from one another. In Germany…

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…image; people want to be YouTubers and enjoy the shrine that they build to themselves. It is a very narcissistic culture and it is not a very healthy one.

That is one of the reasons I feel that the media’s nod to equality and diversity is really just a lark and is not genuine. The mass media will promote only equality and diversity by promoting the LGBTQ community (Yahoo! Entertainment is always posting articles celebrating this community), yet mainstream media will also promote wars overseas and promote the ongoing imperialistic aims of the American Empire by vilifying everyone and anyone the State Department wants vilified in its quest to gain public support for its overseas ambitions. Today’s target is Venezuela. Yesterday it was Syria. Before that Libya. Before that Iraq. I do not view anything that comes out of the mass media as legitimate because I am of the opinion that the Frankfurt School is correct when it comes to the culture industry—and bell hooks…

Sample Source(s) Used


Bell hooks. (2006). Cultural criticism and transformation. Retrieved from

Bendix, R. (1974). Inequality and social structure: a comparison of Marx and Weber.  American Sociological Review, 149-161.

Horkheimer, M. & T. Adorno, T. (1944). The Culture Industry. UK: Routledge

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