1. A stance in which a small elite of powerful interests is seen as controlling the mass media. The hidden agenda in political and economic coverage is largely that of primary definers—notably authoritative and official sources (see primary and secondary definers). This is a feature of Marxist theory, in which the mass media are seen as reproducing the ideology and values of the dominant groups in society and alternative voices are filtered out. A relatively passive mass audience is seen as conditioned to accept the dominant worldview. The media thus reinforce the status quo. See also agenda setting; dominant ideology; manipulative model; manufacture of consent; media hegemony; compare pluralist model.
2. An approach to communication and gender in which power relations are seen as reflected and reproduced in everyday social interaction, conversational style, and nonverbal behaviour. For instance, men are often reported to be more likely than women to adopt an instrumental communication style, to interrupt more, to have larger personal space, and feel far freer to look at and touch women than vice versa. Less patriarchal contexts would reveal such behaviour to be about power rather than sexual difference: compare difference model.
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