Slicing Up Societies: Commercial Media and the Destruction of Social Environments

  • Vicente BerdayesEmail author
  • Linda Berdayes
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


Because commercial media are basic institutions of the global order, an analysis of these institutions is key to understanding the connection between neoliberalism and broad forms of social violence. In recent decades, neoliberal policies have pared away ownership and content regulations across the globe, resulting in the growth of transnational media oligopolies. These organizations in turn consolidate global markets by manufacturing a communications environment exclusively focused on producing and training consumers. Commercial media turn to violent content as an easy way to draw audiences, and violent content plays an important ideological role that serves the interests of state and corporate elites. But another more extensive source of violence is inherent to the way media reorganize social settings in pursuit of global markets. In their role as delivery mechanisms for advertising, commercial media disaggregate and segment populations in order to reconstitute them as audiences. This commodification of populations exemplifies the complex forms of symbolic violence perpetrated on the social environment by private media. Each of these forms of violence, violent content, and the commodification of social life contributes to the overall political economy of media violence in the neoliberal period.


Neoliberalism Violence Symbolic violence Commercial surveillance Media segmentation Advertising 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationBarry UniversityMiami ShoresUSA
  2. 2.Masters in Liberal StudiesBarry UniversityMiami ShoresUSA

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