Hegemony is a process of dialectic political control. On one side, intellectuals use political and economic channels to convey an ideology, a set of principles, to the public, and on the other side, the public accepts this ideology, thus consenting to the status quo (Boggs, 1976). Research suggests that media are hegemonic entities that reinforce ideology (Bielby & Moloney, 2008; Lewis, 1999a). Traditional news media comprise the fourth estate, while the blogosphere, often heralded as media critics, constitutes the fifth. Limited research exists on the fifth estate, which, due to the ubiquity of the internet, has emerged as a public information source. On September 17, 2011, approximately 1,000 people gathered in Zuccotti Park in New York City's Wall Street financial district to protest social and economic inequality. The Occupy Wall Street movement garnered the attention of mainstream media, and it continued to do so for a sustained period of time. The movement also had a presence in the fifth estate. The subject of the movement and its presence in both estates, make it an ideal topic for comparing hegemony in the fourth and fifth estates. This content analysis explored the existence of hegemonic frames in news and blog coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Hegemonic frames existed to some extent in both estates, especially frames that highlighted deviant aspects of the movement. Counterhegemonic frames also existed in both estates, with a tendency to call into question acts of the government. Although counterhegemonic frames were present in both news articles and fifth-estate blogs, the fifth estate was more likely to question corporations, implying that the fourth estate was ignoring corporate malfeasance, which could be a factor in organizing consent of the people to the ideological status quo.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Communication; Mass Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Turner, Anna, "Hegemony of the Fourth and Fifth Estates: Exploration of Ideology and False Consciousness in the Media" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5126.