Media's impact on educational policies and practices: Political spectacle and social control

Gary L. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

To understand the role of the media in schooling and school reform, it is necessary to examine how the media collude in the construction of the political spectacle, which Edelman (1988) called a meaning machine of alternative realities. The media uses spectacle to generate points of view, perceptions, anxieties, aspirations, and strategies to strengthen or undermine support for specific education policies, practices, and ideologies. This article explores the mechanisms through which spectacle is constructed, with a particular emphasis on the role of the media and school reform policies and practices. These mechanisms include those laid out by Edelman, Lakoff's (2004) exploration of the cognitive frames that underlie media reporting, and Cohen's (1980) discussion of media's role in the promotion of "moral panics." Finally, implications for how power operates in the context of the media spectacle are reviewed, as well as implications for school practitioners and school reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-120
Number of pages18
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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