Jacques Ellul Revisited: 55 Years of Propaganda Study


The article reviews and evaluates major categories of propaganda research as they have been classified by Jacques Ellul, using for the first time bibliometric methods. Jacques Ellul is a unique thinker who is expert in history, sociology, law, and political science who lived through the most pervasive propaganda periods of the 20th century. His classification of propaganda types is one of his most important contributions to the study of propaganda; it is not what most people typically think about propaganda, but relates to much more complicated phenomena. The question of what the most researched propaganda category is today is addressed. Our findings lead to the conclusion that although Ellul identified 8 categories of propaganda, political propaganda was and still remains the most studied category. This leads to the conclusion that in spite of the social and political impact of Ellul’s works on propaganda, his theoretical definitions and classifications have much less influence on academic research in this field.

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Further Reading

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Correspondence to Avishag Gordon.

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Tal, D., Gordon, A. Jacques Ellul Revisited: 55 Years of Propaganda Study. Soc 53, 182–187 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-016-9994-7

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  • Propaganda
  • Political propaganda
  • Sociological propaganda
  • Bibliometrics
  • Jacques Ellul