Thompson offers a concise and critical appraisal of major contributions to the theory of ideology, from Marx and Mannheim, to Horkheimer, Adorno and Habermas. He argues that these thinkers - and social and political theorists more generally - have failed to deal adequately with the nature of mass communication and its role in the modern world. In order to overcome this deficiency, Thompson undertakes a wide-ranging analysis of the development of mass communication, outlining a distinctive social theory of the mass media and their impact.
1. The Concept of Ideology.
2. Ideology in Modern Societies.
3. The Concept of Culture.
4. Cultural Transmission and Mass Communication.
5. Towards a Social Theory of Mass Communication.
6. The Methodology of Interpretation.