Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © 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: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In an effort to reorient the field of propaganda studies, this essay offers thirteen interrelated propositions about propaganda. The concept is defined as a mode of mass persuasion with a distinct historical genesis predating its modern use strictly as a term of disrepute. These propositions address the moral and affective dimensions of propaganda, as well as the relation between propaganda and other kinds of public information and institutions such as advertising, teaching, and religion. Offering a functionalist and contextual approach to studying propaganda, the propositions shift attention from content analysis to emphasize how information flows through various media networks. The essay regards the targets of mass persuasion not as passive dupes, as customarily assumed, but rather active consumers who play a part in shaping the meanings and effects of propaganda—past, present, and future—both in totalitarian societies and more democratic ones.

Keywords: Iraq invasion, Catholic Church, French Revolution, propaganda, ideology, institutions, World War I, public opinion, information, 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.