Why Anti-Realist Views Persist in Communication Research: A Political Economic Reflection on Relativism’s Prominence

Yigal Godler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The article seeks to explain why denials of reality are tolerated and go largely unchallenged in communication research. It proposes that the acceptance of anti-realist views is related to communication theorists’ general hostility toward radical political economic critiques of media institutions and coverage. Unwilling to undertake research which lucidly exposes the central power relations in society, communication scholars sympathetic to corporate ownership and elite opinion resort to a particular form of obscurantism. This form of obscurantism does not only misrepresent uncongenial work, but espouses an apparently abstruse – though rather vacuous – anti-realist philosophy, which pre-empts consideration of ideas that threaten to expose the workings of existing institutional structures and communication scholars’ role in defending them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Sociology
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • media bias
  • news
  • political economy
  • propaganda model
  • realism
  • relativism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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