Television for many years has been looked at as a source for entertainment for many. Hard workers, mothers, children and teenagers can all find enjoyment in watching TV and its become widely used form of media in large parts of the world. When thinking of TV its usually happy thoughts that would come to mind, but if TV were to be looked at through the the eye of someone analyzing it, there would be a lot more to basic TV viewing than meets the eye.
Mimi White is a scholar who does research into media theory and history, and particularly focuses on the relationship between TV and social structures. Mimi white lays out a theory that looks at television through ideological criticism. This theory is about it’s about multiple parts of the television viewing experience. Mimi White looks at television critically and exposes the way it is used to influence viewers in numerous ways.
The theory is concerned with, ” the ways in which cultural practices and artifacts— in the present case, television— produce particular knowledge’s and positions for their users— in the present case television audiences. ” The knowledge’s and positions that link viewers together are done by having specific forms of media that are geared towards them as an individual or as a group. This being the case, Mimi White connects to the Marxist theory.
The Marxist theory is, “the system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, especially the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society.
White connects this theory to hers because things aren’t always what they seem, profit rules, and the media that is being produced will reprogram people into accepting the way things are around them such as economically, socially, and politically. With that happening, people develop a “false consciousness” which misleads people and have people buying into beliefs that don’t correlate with their own self interest. White than goes on to discuss other types of use of ideology and all and all have the consumer being made who they are by what they’re watching and support a system that views them as a commodity.
White shows that what consumers watch on TV dominates our thought process, our values and beliefs, and our ideas. In order to more understanding Mimi Whites theory, it will be applied and analyzed through the television series known as the vampire diaries. The vampire diaries is a television series based off of a popular book series written by author J. L. Smith. The vampire diaries is a large part of the large growth of young adult paranormal romance that took the world by storm over the past few years.
This ideological analysis will explore have White’s Theory being applied, how the characters in the show are a reflection of changes in society, and the influence it has had on its audience. Vampires for as long as history goes back, has been a source of fascination for people in numerous ways. Vampires have been used in stories and film to be scary, sexy, something people want to be like, and a source for PR entertainment. Most recently, vampires have risen and grown in popularity in novels and on television, mostly geared towards women and the romance it brings forth.
Due to the high demand by consumers for paranormal romance, movies like twilight, TV shows like true blood, became huge and it shall like the vampire diaries was made possible. Mimi white uses the Marcus Siri to connect to her theory which easily correlates with the vampire diaries. The vampire diaries premiered in September 2009 during the height of vampire popularity and had the largest premiere on The CW with 4. 9 million viewers. This show reached a lot of people and kept around 2. million through its seasons.
This clearly was the perfect time to premiere and would become an obviously large profit for The CW. In relation to the Marxist Theory, the vampire diaries was used at a time where many people could become easy viewers, driving profits and also driving ideologies. Vampires in today’s day and age are different from how they were sold to consumers years ago. Instead of the old Dracula type character that’s scary, vampires are now sexy love interests.
I change and vampires to fit into today’s standards, this influences the minds of yours on who and how they should be. The vampire diaries is set in the town of Mystic Falls. Mystic Falls is your typical small Southern town where everyone knows each other and everything about one another. In a sense that is true to reality, but the problem with this town on the television series is that it promotes a false reality that shows very little racial or economic variety. The main part of the show which are vampires, are usually white and Rich.
The vampires are given a higher class in the shell by having them being a part of the founding families who are a group of people who founded Mystic Falls. The vampires are also shown in flashbacks to have been in multiple wars, fighting for their country. These vampires are made out to be sent to an impossibly high standard that if you were would have quite a hard time relating to. The vampire diaries is composed of three main characters, Elena, Stephen, and Damon. Elena is the human sweetheart with a tragic past and Stephan is the good vampire brother of a bad vampire brother Damon.
In the show, there are a lot of high School like situations such as sex, drugs, and breaking rules. These high school situations are realistic and can be relatable to some, but the issue is that in the show character see more like adults rather than young teenagers and that is because they rarely if ever have consequences to their actions. Many whites ideology and narrative states that, quotation character see more like adults rather than young teenagers and that is because they rarely if ever have consequences to their actions.
Many whites ideology and narrative states that, “The ideological analysis perspective assumes that television offers a particular construction of the world rather than a universal, abstract truth. ” This statement couldn’t be more true. The vampire diaries has constructed itself to make it the norm for teens to be partaking in sex, drugs, and parties with no consequences because that holds the viewers attention rather than watching the characters be grounded for half of the season. This “norm “on the show will most definitely have a negative impact on young viewers who act out and expect no repercussions.
Mimi white speaks of the view of ideology known as the uneven development which is differences in levels and rate at which things are developed. She states that social transformation is a constant but inconsistent process. Ruling classes and tress may dominate the mode of production and the rate at which things get done. In the vampire diaries there is an uneven development in the town of Mystic Falls. Some of the towns people know there are vampires and withhold this information from the large majority of the town in order to reduce chaos.
This relates to the upper-class having their interests be the dominant force as in the people who know of the vampires are higher ups but this benefits the lower-class, “unknowing towns people” as it protects them. Another view of ideology is hegemony. Hegemony is so greatly scene in the TV show the vampire diaries in almost every episode. Each vampire has the power known as compulsion, which is the power to have complete control over A persons mind just by looking at them. The vampires are able to influence people to do what they want and I doing this they have complete control over anyone who isn’t a vampire.