Citizens or Consumers? (Issues in Cultural and Media by Justin Lewis

By Justin Lewis

This ebook examines the questions of even if we've got turn into passive voters, if kids have misplaced political curiosity, and even if the media is answerable for a decline in political participation.

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Extra info for Citizens or Consumers? (Issues in Cultural and Media Studies)

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The following is one of the few examples indicating ambiguity in public opinion: The biggest holdout is Britain, which hasn’t adopted the euro, but is watching it very closely. There’s a fierce debate here about whether to join the common currency or to keep the strength and sovereignty of the pound, not to mention the picture of the queen. 30pm News, 10th December 2001) While this news item does not explicitly tell us who is involved in this debate, there is an implication here that citizens are actually debating a political issue.

ABC News, 21st September 2001) 38 CITIZENS OR CONSUMERS? The stereotype of a conservative US electorate is widely held. So, for example, after the presidential election of 2004, which President George Bush won with just 51% of the vote, Gavin Hewitt, for BBC News, was able to assert confidently: ‘this remains a deeply conservative country’ (BBC 10 O’Clock News, 3rd November 2004), and to ascribe Bush’s victory to the preponderance of conservative values in the USA. It is, in fact, fairer to say that Bush won despite holding a range of views to the right of the majority of Americans.

There are a number of instances of this, one of the more clear cut being King and Schudson’s (1995) account of how President Reagan was lauded by journalists for his popularity despite consistently poor approval 22 CITIZENS OR CONSUMERS? ratings in the polling data. Thus while the polls suggested that Reagan was, in his first two years, one the least popular presidents in post-war America, Washington correspondents – regardless of their politics – found him likeable and personable and assumed – wrongly – that most Americans shared their impression.

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