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:::: Paradigms and Communication Theory ::::



Positivist Paradigm

Interpretative Paradigm

Critical Paradigm


Critical Paradigm

Critical theories share some ideas of the interpretative paradigm, but what makes it different is that critical paradigm focuses on oppression. Critical social scientists believe it necessary to understand the lived experience of real people in context. Persons can perceive reality outside them and represent that reality with language. Also, reality is defined by the interaction between the knower and the known. Critical approaches examine social conditions and uncover oppressive power arrangements. The theories found in this paradigm critique the known structure of social arrangement, and deny the existence of any true enduring one. They suggest, instead, a certain group has an explicit political agenda, which struggles with culture and other groupsí interests. In the field of communication, critical scholars are particularly interested in how messages reinforce oppression in society. No aspect of life is interest free, even science. They believe there are some groups who benefit from oppressing others, so their main jobs are to point out the existing contradictions, in order to help people be aware of what is really going on, and create new forms of language that will enable predominant ideology to be exposed and competing ideologies to be heard. (Based on Littlejohn, S. (2000). Theories of Human Communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth)

For a better insight of Critical Theory Today, read the text wrote by Douglas Kellner.

Want to know more about the Marxist Media Theory? Click here to be directed to the web site.

Information about The Frankfurt School, its history, and and the principal thinkers which represent it, is found here.

There is a very interesting web site about a non-profit organization  which promotes NO TV WATCHING!! Visit the TV-Turnoff Network.

A funny anti-TV site is Kill your Television.



Created by Danna Carballo, Fall 2003

New Media and New Markets @ Suffolk University