Foucault-phobia and the problem with the critique of neoliberal ideology: a response to Downey et al.
(2016) Media, Culture and Society, 38 (2), pp. 284-293.
[Editor’s note: I have posted details of Downey et al’s article below for easy consultation]
Among a spate of recent articles addressing the legacy of Stuart Hall’s work on ideology and the media, John Downey, Gavan Titley and Jason Toynbee have recently argued for the urgent need to recover the key dimensions of Hall’s ideology critique. While affirming the need for an effective critique of neoliberalism, this article takes issue with two aspects of Downey et al.’s article: first, their principal claim that ideology critique has been marginalised within the neoliberal academy, and second, their flippant dismissal of the benefits of a Foucauldian approach for critiquing neoliberalism and thinking more reflexively about ideology.
critique; governmentality; ideology; Michel Foucault; neoliberalism; Stuart Hall
Downey, J., Titley, G., Toynbee, J.
Ideology critique: the challenge for media studies
(2014) Media, Culture and Society, 36 (6), pp. 878-887.
Taking our bearings from Stuart Hall’s essay from 1982, ‘The rediscovery of “ideology”: return of the repressed in media studies’, we argue in this discussion piece for the need to pick up the tools of ideology critique once again. Quite simply, the contemporary moment where accelerating inequality is masked by blame of the poor and of migrants demands it. The case is made first through a critique of ideological responses to the economic crisis after 2008. Then in the final section we examine advocacy of ‘social mobility’ in the public sphere, an ideological project if ever there was one. © The Author(s) 2014.
crisis; critique; ideology; inequality; media; public sphere