Postmodernism – Media

Lesson objectiveTo explore the postmodernist perspective
Lesson outcomes• Compare it to other perspectives
• Evaluate the perspective
• Explain what the postmodernist perspective is

Postmodernists believe that our reality and view of the world comes from the media’s depictions. This is what Baudrillard (2001) calls media-saturation. Simulacra’s are created, which is when the media depicts what life is like, when in fact, it isn’t. Take a look at the following example of childbirth:

The findings suggest that birth is portrayed in the media as an unusual and dangerous event. The drama required for television programmes means that birth is often shown as being risky and requiring medical intervention. Normal birth is rarely seen in the media. It is suggested that women seek out television programmes to add to their knowledge about childbirth because of a cultural void on this topic.

Hundley, V.Luce, A., Cash, M., Van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. and Cheyne, H. (2013) Does it matter how childbirth is portrayed in the media? Accessed digitally on [03/06/2020] from

This depiction in general creates a hyper-reality. A false reality which often can become true. E.g. if a woman is scared of birth, she is more likely to develop complications. The media has changed its purpose from recording news in a factual way to instead creating hyper-realities in an attempt to make profit. The result is a world in a state of confusion about its own reality.

Strinati (1995) highlights how globalisation has impacted our identity by shaping what we buy and who we are. Globalised media has created greater relations with other cultures e.g. duel hybridity. People have greater exposure to different ideas, thoughts and customs.


(Bad) – Postmodernist assume that all people interact with the media passively. This is not the case. People can be active and disagree with media representations.

(Bad) – The media do not reflect individuals honestly or accurately. E.g. homosexuals are often stereotyped to be feminine. It could be argued that this, therefore, does not open people to more culture (globalisation), as many cultures are still stigmatised.

(Bad) – Postmodernists overestimate the significance of the media. Not everyone, especially those in the working class, do not have access to New Media, therefore, are not exposed to its messages.

(Bad) – Marxists still highlight that transnational conglomerates are owned by rich, wealthy individuals and therefore still promotes dominant ideologies. Media is not a force for good.

(Good) – Globalisation and Postmodernistation do raise issues of the medias impact that other perspectives overlook.

(Good) – There is some evidence to support the theory based on Americanisation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: