Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Jacques Ellul's major contributions to the understanding of propaganda, including psychological, sociological, ethical, and political dimensions of the phenomenon. These include his definition linking propaganda to power seeking, his challenging description of categories of propaganda, and his reference to the psychological needs of the propagandee in a modern, mass-mediated world. Propaganda of integration, sociological propaganda, horizontal propaganda, and rational propaganda are among his novel ideas. His concept of total propaganda, linked to his idea of the dominance of technique in modern society, lies at the heart of his analysis, but it needs to be reconciled with more conventional understandings of propaganda, according to which genuine propaganda does not have to be total. Relations between propaganda and truth, timeliness, pre-propaganda, and myth are explored, along with ethical problems and the paradox involved in using fundamentally undemocratic propaganda methods to preserve democracy.

Keywords: Jacques Ellul, propagandee, total propaganda, pre-propaganda, categories of propaganda, sociological propaganda, horizontal propaganda, rational propaganda, propaganda and myth, mass media

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.