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A reflection on: The definition of political economy based on Vincent Mosco’s book “Political Economy of Communication”
A reflection paper for my Political Economy of Media class, submitted Aug. 18, 2019
This reflection paper presents the definition of political economy based on Vincent Mosco’s book “Political Economy of Communication.” According to Mosco, political economy is “the study of the social relations, especially the power relations, that mutually constitute the production, distribution, and consumption of resources.”
The way I understand this definition, political economy examines the complex interactions between the citizens and the systems in place and how those in power control the social dynamics
in order to serve their own interests based on the consumption of resources. It probes into the corporate systems, cultural movements, and government policies and how economics and politics impact power relationships and class struggles. To keep resources under control, those in power utilize political and economic strategies , no matter how manipulative they become, to satisfy their needs and wants in a capitalist society.
Mosco’s definition remains unbiased when it comes to the effects of political economy on the society. At some point, I found myself asking about having a more real sense beyond this neutrality. As I re-read my explanation of how I understood Mosco’s definition, I readily felt political economy’s impact based on how I view the society, which reflects my personal experiences and how I see the world, considering where I am in the status quo. Being a member of the middle class and as a media professional focused on telling stories using the audio-visual medium, my engagements with and my observations of the different social classes allow me to put myself not just in the shoes of the different people in the middle class, but also those in the working class and the upper class. I cannot say that my thoughts about the different social classes are all-encompassing when it comes to fully understanding the dynamics of economic and political relationships, but they undoubtedly continue to shape my perspectives and my mean s of examining the world at large. I opted to cross out two phrases in my explanation of Mosco’s definition of political economy upon realizing how they readily suggest a negative connotation of how those in power exploit others. At this point, especially with my still relatively limited understanding of political economy, I believe I am not in a position to generalize that all those in power are either “good” or “bad.” Certain theories would probably support my insights with Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” on top of my head right now, but clearly, I need more objective judgment supported by further critical studies to be more credible.
After careful introspection, I would say that Mosco’s definition of political economy here works for being neutral and easily digestible. It focuses on studying the vast playing field where those in power and those down the line interact and how their relationships affect the resources around them. Moving forward, I believe I should see political economy as a whole system interconnecting society, culture, politics, and economics, and how I, as a socially responsible member of the society, can more effectively contribute to public good.
Mosco, Vincent. The Political Economy of Communication. SAGE Publications, 2009.