1. A phrase originally coined in 1922 by the American journalist Walter Lippmann (1889–1974) to refer to the management of public opinion, which he felt was necessary for democracy to flourish, since he felt that public opinion was an irrational force.
2. For Herman and Chomsky, the acceptance of government policies by people in the USA on the basis of the partial picture of issues offered by the mass media, denying them access to alternative views which would lead them to oppose such policies. They present this as a propaganda model in which the mass media select material in relation to the values of those in power.
3. The concept found in Gramsci and Althusserian Marxism, in which the dominant class sustains its hegemony through engineering assent: see also ideological state apparatus.
4. (sociology) The notion associated with functionalism that society is dependent upon the engineering of a consensus: see also consensus; legitimation.
5. An allusion to the concept of ‘the engineering of consent’ defined in 1947, by the Austrian-American public relations pioneer Edward Bernays (1891–1995), as the art of manipulating people without them being aware of it. Bernays, a nephew of Freud, argued that people can be enticed to want things that they do not need if these are linked to their unconscious desires, a notion pursued by Dichter, the ‘father of motivation’.