Advertisement

Ideology and Politics in the Popular Press: The Case of the 2009 UK MPs’ Expenses Scandal

  • Wei-yuan Chang
  • Jason Glynos
Chapter

Abstract

Exuberant rhetoric and stoked-up emotion are widely acknowledged to be key features of the popular press. However, there is disagreement about how best to understand and evaluate them. Some attribute to them a negative valence, viewing them as obstacles to rational debate and deliberation. Others attribute to them a necessary social function as sense-making devices that enable us to act in an increasingly complex world. And some attribute to them a potentially political role but are ambivalent as to its precise merits. Using the 2009 members of Parliament expenses scandal in the UK as our main empirical referent, and investigating how this was covered in three British national popular newspapers (Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, and the Sun),2 we deploy a psychoanalytically-inflected discourse theory to argue that an appeal to the categories of enjoyment and fantasy helps make more precise the ideological and political significance of emotive language in the popular press.

Keywords

Popular Culture Political Ideology News Story Popular Press Popular Medium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bird, S. E. (1992). For enquiring minds: A cultural study of supermarket tabloids. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chang, W. Y. (2008). Tabloidized antagonism and pervertized ideology: A Lacanian approach to tabloid discourse in Taiwan. Paper presented at the 9th Essex Conference in Critical Political Theory: Capitalism, Faith, Nature, University of Essex, June 12–13.Google Scholar
  3. Conboy, M. (2002). The press and popular culture. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Conboy, M. (2006). Tabloid Britain: Constructing a community through language. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Connell, I. (1992). Personalities in the popular media. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.), Journalism and popular culture (pp. 64–83). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Connell, I. (1998). Mistaken identities: tabloid and broadsheet news discourse. The Public, 5(3), 11–31.Google Scholar
  7. Curran, J., Douglas, A. & Whannel, G. (1980). The political economy of the human interest story. In A. Smith (Ed.), Newspaper and democracy (pp. 288–347). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dahlgren, P. (1992). Introduction. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.), Journalism and popular culture (pp. 1–23). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Dahlgren, P. (1995). Television and the public sphere. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Franklin, B. (1997). Newszak and news media. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  11. Gripsrud, J. (1992). The aesthetics and politics of melodrama. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.), Journalism and Popular Culture (pp. 84–95). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Gripsrud, J. (2000). Tabloidization, popular journalism, and democracy. In C. Sparks & J. Tulloch (Eds.), Tabloid tales: Global debates over media standards (pp. 285–300). Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  13. Glynos, J. (2001). The grip of ideology: A Lacanian approach to the theory of ideology. Journal of Political Ideologies, 6(2), 191–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Glynos, J. (2003). Radical democratic ethos, or, what is an authentic political act? Contemporary Political Theory, 2(2), 187–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glynos, J. (2008a). Ideological fantasy at work. Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(3), 275–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glynos, J. (2008b). Self-transgressive enjoyment as a freedom fetter. Political Studies, 56(3), 679–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glynos, J. & Howarth, D. (2007). Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Glynos, J. & Stavrakakis, Y. (2008). Lacan and political subjectivity. Subjectivity: International Journal of Critical Psychology, 24, 256–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glynos, J. & Stavrakakis, Y. (2010). Politics and the unconscious — an interview with Ernesto Laclau. Subjectivity, 3(3), 231–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gripsrud, J. (1992). The aesthetics and politics of melodrama. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.), Journalism and Popular Culture. London: Sage, pp. 84–95.Google Scholar
  21. Gripsrud, J. (2000). Tabloidization, popular journalism, and democracy. In C. Sparks & J. Tulloch (Eds.), Tabloid Tales: Global Debates Over Media Standards. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 285–300.Google Scholar
  22. Habermas, J. (1989). The structural transformation of the public sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hajer, M. A. (2009). Authoritative governance: Policy-making in the age of mediatization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Howarth, D. (1997). Complexities of identity/difference: Black consciousness ideology in South Africa. Journal of Political Ideologies, 2(1), 51–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Howarth, D., Norval, A. & Stavrakakis, Y. (2000). Discourse theory and political analysis. London: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hay, C. & Stoker, G. (2009). Revitalising politics: Have we lost the plot? Representation, 45(3), 225–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jones, J. (2005). Entertaining politics: New political television and civic culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  28. Jonsson, A. M. & Ornebring, H. (2004). Tabloid journalism and the public sphere: a historical perspective on tabloid journalism. Journalism Studies, 5(2), 283–95.Google Scholar
  29. Laclau, E. (1990). New reflections on the revolution of our time. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  30. Laclau, E. (1996). Emancipation(s). London: Verso.Google Scholar
  31. Laclau, E. (2005). On populist reason. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  32. Laclau, E. & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and socialist strategy. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  33. Langer, J. (1998). Tabloid television: Popular journalism and the “other news.” London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Layton, L. (2010). Irrational exuberance: Neoliberal subjectivity and the perversion of truth. Subjectivity, 3(3), 303–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lowenthal, L. (1961). The triumph of mass idols. In L. Lowenthal (Ed.), Literature, popular culture, and society (pp. 109–40). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  36. Lull, J. & Hinerman, S. The search for scandal. In J. Lull & S. Hinerman (Eds.), Media scandal: Morality and desire in the popular culture marketplace (pp.1–33). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  37. Macdonald, M. (2000). Rethinking personalization in current affairs journalism. In C. Sparks & J. Tulloch (Eds.), Tabloid tales: Global debates over media standards (pp. 251–66). Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  38. Mouffe, C. (1993). The return of the political. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  39. Mouffe, C. (2005). On the political. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Norval, A. J. (2007). Aversive democracy: Inheritance and originality in the democratic tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sparks, C. (1992). Popular journalism: Theories and practice. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.), Journalism and popular culture (pp. 24–44). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Sparks, C. (2000). Introduction: The panic over tabloid news. In C. Sparks & J. Tulloch (Eds.), Tabloid tales: Global debates over media standards (pp. 1–40). Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  43. Stavrakakis, Y. (1999). Lacan and the political. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Tulloch, J. (2007). Tabloid citizenship. Journalism Studies, 8(1), 42–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2008). Disgust, pleasure and the failure of the liberal democratic model: Tabloid talk, media capital and emotional citizenship. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 4(3), 145–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Žižek, S. (1989). The sublime object of ideology. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  47. Žižek, S. (1997). The plague of fantasies. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  48. Zoonen, L. V. (2005). Entertaining the citizen: When politics and popular culture converge. London: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Wei-yuan Chang and Jason Glynos 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-yuan Chang
  • Jason Glynos

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations