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Propganda Essay

1263 words - 6 pages

Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare.
While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative ...view middle of the document...

It also focuses on why the media might have powerful effects on society. Propaganda identifies the personal, social, and cultural factors that can enhance media’s power to have effects as well (Baran & Davis, 2013). Lastly, it focuses attention on the use of campaigns to cultivate symbols.
On the other hand, the propaganda theory does have its weaknesses. First, it underestimates the abilities of average people to evaluate messages. Those who employ the propaganda theory believe that it is difficult for an average person to figure out the ulterior motive of a message. Second, the theory ignores the social, personal, and cultural factors which limit media effects (Baran & Davis, 2013). Not all propaganda can bypass those factors that do not make it as powerful as someone might think it may be. The third weakness is that it overestimates the speed and range of media effects.
A first example of a situation in which the propaganda theory can be applied is World War I. During the early 1900s a new era of warfare emerged as governments began to employ all economic, technological and psychological resources available to defeat their enemies.
Throughout World War I, propaganda was widespread in most countries. Propaganda took on many forms and the primary function was to reinforce to the citizens of a nation that war was intrinsically heroic, and conversely to destroy the morale of the enemy. Propaganda at this time encouraged enlistment in the armed forces. It encouraged sales of war bonds, food rationing, and other contributions. It influenced common political thought, elections, and social ganged, as well as urged disaffected populations to cooperate with war policy.
Another instance in which the propaganda theory can be applied is World War II. America, just coming out of the depression, stuck to its isolationist policy. Most citizens, especially those who remembered World War I, thought that getting involved in a costly and expensive war was not a good decision for America. The majority of people thought that the war beginning in Europe and Asia was far removed from them and their lives in America. Most believed that America's resources should be spent rebuilding the country in the aftermath of the depression, and not fighting a war overseas about causes that didn't concern them. Sooner or later America would become involved. A major case of propaganda was geared towards the women of the United States. Because more men were going overseas to protect America from outside forces, women were needed to step fill in for the men in the workforce.
In terms of increased female participation in the labor market, the time between 1941 and 1945 held massive recruitment campaigns aimed at women. In 1942, the Magazine Bureau prepared an information booklet for magazine editors, titled War Jobs for Women, which...

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