Abstract: Brett Silverstein, “Toward a Science of Propaganda”

6 Nov

New School University, Media Studies, Fall 2008

Brett Silverstein, “Toward a Science of Propaganda”, Political Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 49-59, International Society of Political Psychology

 

Brett Silverstein proposes a developing a unified structure for researching and understanding the use and effects of propaganda. The main focus of this article is to stress the importance of devising a clear and unified methodology for the science of propaganda as a subdiscipline of psychology. This article describes the various ways that propaganda can be spread via mainstream media channels, using various examples from American print journalism.

With media integrated into the daily routines of modern society, this article points out the importance of being aware of the intent behind messages. By drawing attention to censorship in every level of production and publication in American media channels, Silverstein shows the various dimensions that propaganda inhabits in modern media communications. He proposes that propaganda analysis be equally stratified and categorized accordingly in order to analyze the various forms of propaganda in the media.

While effective in conveying the relevance and impact of propaganda in print over history, this article is limited by its lack of research in other mainstream media channels. One method of improving this article would be to specify a certain historical moment in time and explore the sources of propaganda in various media channels, the context in which this media is viewed, and the subsequent affects of the forms of propaganda on the population its ideology.

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