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By John Fiske

A accomplished creation to tv reviews. Fiske analyzes either the commercial and cultural points of tv and investigates it by way of either idea and textual content established feedback.

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Additional info for Television Culture: Popular Pleasures and Politics (Studies in Communication Series)

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This power to constitute people as subjects-in-ideology appears to be so great that resistance is almost impossible, yet without resistance to ideology, resisting or oppositional readings of texts would be unlikely, if not impossible. Gramsci’s theory of hegemony grants resistance a far more important role than does Althusser’s theory of ideology. Briefly, hegemony may be defined as that process whereby the subordinate are led to consent to the system that subordinates them. This is achieved when they “consent” to view the social system and its everyday embodiments as “common sense, ” the self-evidently natural.

Reality, the argument goes, is only accessible through the discourses we have available to make sense of it. Perception is a process of making sense, and sense is a product of discourse. Nature, or objective reality, does not “make sense” on its own - we have only to look at the vastly different interpretations different cultures make of universal nature to see evidence for this assertion. Discourse, as we have seen, is not only a product of culture, it is also, in industrialized societies at least, the product of society, and the power of political relations within that society.

This common ground is to be found firstly in a shared dominant ideology and secondly in a set of textual conventions that producers and readers share because they are part of a common history and experience. Television is a conventional medium - its conventions suit both the audiences with their needs for familiarity and routinization and the producers, for established conventions not only keep the costs of production down, they also minimize the risks in the marketplace. The economic dimension of television gives it a conventional form, even when its content is more progressive.

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