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    • Abstract: Teori komunikasi/media dimaksudkan sebagai landasan konseptual dalam menghadapi ... Sebutan teori komunikasi biasanya mencakup seluruh konsep. yang dapat digunakan dalam ...

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Bagian ini sebagai bahan pembahasan tentang peta permasalahan dalam kajian
budaya dan media, yaitu dalam aspek: perspektif budaya atas realitas media,
dan pendekatan atas budaya media.
Teori adalah perangkat kerja dalam kegiatan akademik.
Therefore, I use the term theory n its broadest sense as any organized set of
concepts and explanations about a phenomenon. (Litteljohn, 2002: 19)
Mengenai keberadaan teori dapat merujuk pandangan McQuail berikut:
If theory is understood not only as a system of law-like propositions,
but as any systematic set of ideas that can help make sense of a phenomenon,
guide action or predict a consequence, then one can distinguish at least four
kinds of theory which are relevant to mass communication. These can be
described as: social scientific, normative, operational and everyday theory.
The most obvious kind to be expected in a text Like this consists of social
scientific theory -- general statements about the nature, working and effects
of mass communication, based on systematic and objective observation of
media and other relevant factors.
The body of such theory is now large, although it is loosely organized
and not very clearly formulated or even very consistent. It also covers a very
wide spectrum, from broad questions of society to detailed aspects of
individual information sending and receiving. Some `scientific' theory is
concerned with understanding what is going on, some with developing a
critique and some with practical applications in processes of public
information or persuasion.
A second kind of theory can be described as normative, since it is
concerned with examining or prescribing how media ought to operate if
certain social values are to be observed or attained. Such theory usually stems
from the broader social philosophy or ideology of a given society. This kind
of theory is important because it plays a part in shaping and legitimating
media institutions and has considerable influence on the expectations
concerning the media that are held by other social agencies and by the
media's own audiences. A good deal of research into mass media has been
the result of attempts to apply norms of social and cultural performance. A
society's normative theories concerning its own media are usually to be
found in laws, regulations, media policies, codes of ethics and the substance
of public debate. While normative media theory is not in itself `objective', it
can be studied by the `objective' methods of the social sciences (McQuail,
A third kind of knowledge about the media can best be described as
operational theory, since it refers to the practical ideas assembled and applied
by media practitioners in the conduct of their own media work. Similar
bodies of accumulated practical wisdom are to be found in most
organizational and professional settings. In the case of the media it helps to
organize experience on many questions such as how to select news, please
audiences, design effective advertising, keep within the limits of what society
permits, and relate, effectively to sources and audiences. At some points it
may overlap with normative theory, for instance in matters of journalistic
Such knowledge merits the name of theory because it is usually
patterned and persistent, even if never codified, and is influential in respect of
behaviour. It comes to light in the study of communicators and their
organizations (for example, Elliott, 1972; Tuchman, 1978; Tunstall, 1993).
Katz (1977) compared the role of the researcher in relation to media
production to that o the theorist of music or philosopher of science who can
see regularities which a musician or scientist does not even need to be aware
Finally, there is everyday or common-sense theory of media use,
referring to the knowledge we all have from our own personal experience
with media. This enables us to understand what is going on, how a medium
fits into our daily lives, how different genres are intended to be `read', as well
as how we like to read it, what the differences are between different media
and media genres, and much more. On the basis of such theory is grounded
the ability to make consistent choices, develop patterns of taste, construct
life-styles and identities as media consumers. It also supports the ahilir to
make critical judgements. (McQuail, 2000: 7-8)
Teori komunikasi/media dimaksudkan sebagai landasan konseptual dalam menghadapi
fenomena komunikasi/media. Sebutan teori komunikasi biasanya mencakup seluruh konsep
yang dapat digunakan dalam menghadapi media.
The term communication theory can refer to single theory, or it can be used
to designate the: collective wisdom found in the entire body of theories
related to communication. Much disagreement exists about what constitutes
an adequate theory of communication. (Littlejohn, 2002: 3)
Dalam kegiatan akademik kajian media kemudian dikenal teori inti (core theory),
sebagaimana disebutkan Liuttlejohn berikut:
Core theory is especially significant because it helps us understand
communication in general. Core theories provide insight into processes that
operate whenever communication takes place. The following list illustrates
the types of elements included in core communication theories.
First, core theories tell us something about the development of
messages. How do we create what we write, say, and express to others?
What mental processes are involved? To what extent and in what ways are
messages created in interaction with others? How does the process of
message development differ from culture to culture, and what are the
cultural mechanisms that enter into the message development process?
Second, core theories address interpretation and the generation of
meaning. How do humans understand messages, and how does meaning
arise in interaction with other people? How does the mind process
information and interpret experience? To what extent and in what ways are
meaning and understanding products of culture?
Third, core theories discuss message structure, which consists of the
elements of messages in writings, the spoken word, and nonverbal forms.
How are messages put together, and how arc the~' organized? In what ways
does the organization of a message create meaning? How are com-
municators' messages in a dialogue organized, and how do the participants
in a conversation mesh their talk?
The fourth element addressed by core theories is interactional
dynamics. This involves relationships and interdependency among
communicators and the joint creation of discourse and meaning. It addresses
the give and take, the production and reception, between parties in a com-
munication transaction, whether those parties are individuals or groups.
Finally, core theories help us understand institutional and societal
dynamics, or the ways power and resources are distributed in society the
ways culture is produced, and the interaction among segments of society.
(Littlejohn, 2002: 15)
Dari kerangka pemikiran mengenai teori sebagai diuraikan di atas, kajian dalam
perspektif budaya atas media dikembangkan. Untuk itu dapat dimulai dengan dengan titik
tolak pandangan Kellner berikut:
...The major tradition of cultural studies combine at their best social
theory, cultural analysis, history, philosophy, and specific political
interventions, thus overcoming the standard academic division of labor by
surmounting specialization which bifurcates the filed of study of the media,
culture, and communications. Cultural studies thus operate with a
transdisciplinary conception that draws on social theory, economics, politics,
history, communication studies, literary and cultural theory, philosophy, and
other theoretical discourses.
Transdisciplinary approach to culture and society transgress borders
between various academic disciplines. In particular, they argue that one
should not stop at the border of a text, but should see how it fits into system
of textual production, and how various texts are thus part of system genres or
type of production and have an intertextual construction. (Kellner, 1995: 27
Lebih jauh mengenai keberadaan media sebagai suatu kajian, DeFleur dan Ball-
Rokeach menyatakan sebagai berikut:
1. What technological elements or other cultural traits accumulated in
what pattern to be combined into new culture complexes such as the
mass newspaper, film, radio, or television industry?
2. What were the social and cultural condition of the society within which
this accumulation tokk place and how did these conditions create a
climate favorable for the emergence and widespread adoption of the
3. What have been the patterns of diffusion of the innovations through the
society, and what sociological conditions have been related to their rates
and patterns of growth? (DeFleur, Ball-Rokeach, 1982: 30)
Kajian media/komunikasi dapat dikembangkan dengan perspektif yang bertolak dari
sudut pandang kontekstual sebagai berikut:
Dari sini sudut pandang atas kajian komunikasi dapat dikembangkan dalam 4 aspek
yang bersifat kontekstual. Lebih jauh McQuail menguraikannya:
1. A media-culturalist perspective involves giving primary attention to
content and to the subjective reception of media message as influenced
by the immediate personal environment.
2. A media-materialist approach emphasizes the structural and
technological aspects of the media.
3. A social-culturalist perspective emphasizes the influence of social
factors on media production and reception and the functions of the
media in social life.
4. A social-materialist perspective sees media and their contents mainly as
a reflection of political-economic and material condition of the society
(e.g. class differences) as factors. (McQuail, 2000: 7)
McLuhan, pemikir kefilsafatan dalam Ilmu Komunikasi, antara lain menyatakan:
The mass media are extensions of the mechanisms of human perception;
they are imitators of the modes of human apprehension and judgment.
(McLuhan, 1960: 180)
Sering pengkaji Ilmu Komunikasi dibikin bingung dalam mencari kejelasan dan konteks
pragmatis dari tesa yang dipopulerkan McLuhan. Kalau diingat posisinya sebagai pemikir
filsafat sosial, tentunya signifikansi teorinya dapat ditempatkan dengan lebih proporsional.
Semangat dari pencariannya adalah tataran humanitas, mencari nilai kehidupan manusia
melalui media modern. Seperti juga dinyatakannya pada kesempatan lain:
Let us return to electric light. Whether the light is being used for brain
surgery or night baseball is matter of indifference. It could be argued that
these activities are in some way the "content" of the electric light, since
they could not exist without the electric light. This fact merely underlines
the point that "the medium is the message" because it is the medium that
shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.
The content or uses of such media are as diverse as they are ineffectual in
shaping the form of human association. Indeed, it is only typical that the
"content" of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium. It is
only today that industries have become aware of the various kinds of
business in which they are engaged...
The electric light escapes attention as communication medium just because
it has no "content". And this makes it an invaluable instance of how people
fail to study media at all. For it is not till the electric light is used to spell
out some brand name that it is noticed as a medium. Then it is not the light
but the "content" (or what is really, another medium) that is noticed. The
message of the electric power in industry, totally radical, pervasive, and
decentralized. For electric light and power are separate from their uses, yet
they eliminate time and space factors in human association exactly as do
radio, telegraph, telephone, and TV, creating involvement in depth.
(McLuhan, 1964: 8 9)
Tantangan dalam pengembangan Ilmu Komunikasi adalah dalam menghadapi
perkembangan teknologi media yang pesat dan gencar merasuki seluruh tipe media. Pada
tingkat analisis karakter media boleh disebut sepenuhnya masih bersifat sebagai Studi
Sosial.Tetapi begitu masuk ke dalam media, yang dihadapi bukan lagi hanya pesan yang
memiliki konteks sosial, tetapi juga perangkat lunak dan perangkat keras yang berkonteks
Teori-teori yang dilontarkan oleh McLuhan perlu ditangkap semangatnya, bahwa untuk
melakukan kajian media bukan sekadar untuk kepentingan pragmatis, tetapi untuk memahami
kemanusian dalam kehidupan masyarakat. Ada yang hilang dan ada pula nilai baru yang
bertumbuh di masyarakat dengan adanya teknologi media.
Sering dikutip dari McLuhan, khususnya yang menyebutkan terbentuknya "global
village" akibat teknologi media. Bagaimana gerangan pola kehidupan masyarakat dalam
"global village" tentunya merupakan kajian yang sangat menantang bagi para pengkaji Studi
Sosial. Loncatan masyarakat desa yang mengkota, lalu berada di dalam desa dunia, proses
perubahan semacam ini tidak dapat didekati dengan model komunikasi konvensional, yang
mengasumsikan perubahan alam pikiran khalayak sebagai hasil dari efek pesan media. Model
komunikasi dengan menitik-beratkan pada efek pesan kiranya hanya populer bagi pengkaji
Ilmu Komunikasi sebelum tahun 60-an, tetapi sudah tidak sesuai untuk menjelaskan
fenomena media modern.
Tetapi pandangan McLuhan memang terlalu jauh bagi pengkaji Studi Sosial yang
umumya melakukan kajian positivisme dan bersifat pragmatis. Sementara tesa yang bertolak
dari filsafat sosial dan berpretensi menjelaskan proses peradaban, sulit digunakan untuk
menjelaskan obyek kajian. Dalam memahami masyarakat, semakin terasa perlunya
pendekatan lintas disiplin. Katakanlah melalui tesa McLuhan, bagaimana pengkaji Ilmu
Komunikasi menempatkan diri dalam menangkap fenomena sosial? Media disini dibicarakan
untuk menjelaskan tatanan dan nilai kehidupan masyarakat. Pengkaji harus bertolak
menggunakan perspektif teori-teori yang berasal dari disiplin studi Studi Sosial (termasuk
kultural) lainnya, sehingga fenomena media akan terlihat lebih luas secara kontekstual.
Begitu pula dalam Studi Sosial, spesialisasi diperlukan untuk efisiensi belajar, tetapi
saat menghadapi masyarakat, pengkaji pada hakikatnya tidak akan terpaku dengan spesialitas
disiplin studi tersebut. Tujuan seorang pengkaji Studi Sosial adalah mengenali fenomena
masyarakat (polity dan society) dan kemudian berusaha mengungkapkan makna kehidupan
manusia dari realitasnya.
Adapun kajian kultural atas media dapat dilihat sebagai media dalam perspektif kultural
maupun kultur media. Landasan pertimbangan dalam kajian kultural atas media, dapat
disimak dari pendapat berikut:
Traditionally, mass communication research has conceptualized the process
of communication in term of circulation circuit or loop. This model has
been criticized for its linearity sender/message/receiver for its
concentration on the level of message exchange and for the absence of
structured conception of different moments as a complex structure of
relations, But it is also possible (and useful) to think of this process in term
of structure produced and sustained through the articulation of linked but
distinction moments production, circulation, distribution/consumption,
reproduction. This would be to think of the process as a `complex structure
in dominance', sustained through the articulation of connected practices,
each of which, however, retains its distinctiveness and has its own specific
modality, its own forms and conditions of existence. (...) It also highlights
the specificity of the forms in which the product of the process `appears' in
each moment, and thus what distinguishes discursive `production' from
other types of production in our society and in modern media system. (Hall,
2001: 166)
Dengan titik tolak dari landasan pertimbangan di atas, perlu dipertegas bahwa
pembahasan dalam risalah ini dimaksudkan sebagai suatu upaya eksplorasi untuk mempelajari
media yang ditempatkan dalam perspektif kebudayaan/kultural, sebagai upaya untuk
pengembangan tradisi kultural dalam kajian atas media. Kajian semacam ini diperlukan
sebagai penyeimbang dengan pengembangan Ilmu Komunikasi yang bertolak dengan
pendekatan emprisisme (logico-empirical). Terlebih lagi dengan pendidikan Ilmu Komunikasi
dengan orientasi pragmatis sehingga Ilmu Komunikasi teredusir sebagai pengetahuan bersifat
teknis (technicallities). Akibatnya sekolah Ilmu Komunikasi dikesankan sebagai pendidikan
bagi komunikator dalam ruang politik dan ekonomi. Kajian media dengan perspektif kultural
membawa konsekuensi dalam cara pandang terhadap media, yaitu hubungan media dengan
masyarakat politik dan ekonomi dalam konteks makna kultural/simbolik (cultures and media),
dan kultur media yang ada dalam masyarakat (media cultures).
Kerangka konseptual Hall diilustrasikannya pada media televisi, seperti berikut:
(...) we may crudely characterize the television communication process as
follows. The institutional structures of broadcasting, with their practices and
networks of production, their organized relations and technical infrastructure,
are required to produce a programme.... Production, here, constructs the
message. In one sense, then, the circuit begins here. Of course, the production
process is not without its `discursive' aspect: it, too, is framed the throughout
by meanings and ideas: knowledge-in-use concerning the routines of
production, historically defined technical skills, professional ideologies,
institutional knowledge, definitions and assumptions, assumptions about the
audience and so on frame the constitution of the programme through this
production structure. Further, though the production structures of television
originate the television discourse, they do not constitute a closed system.
They draw topics, treatments, agendas, events, personnel, images of the
audience, `definition of situation' from other sources and other discursive
formation within the wider socio-cultural and political structure of which they
are differentiated part... (Hall, 2001: 167)
Kajian media dalam perspektif kultural dapat digambarkan dalam 2 gambar berturutan
di bawah:
Keberadaan media dilihat dalam konteks sistem industri yang melingkupi kehidupan
sehari-hari melalui ruang publik di satu sisi dan produk industri budaya. Dalam lingkungan
konseptual semacam ini maka perspektif yang diterapkan dalam kajian budaya sebagai dasar
kajian atas media (GAMBAR IX.2). Pada sisi lain, kerangka konseptual mengenai dinamika
yang menggerakkan media melalui perilaku inbstitusional maupun makna kultural teks media
yang dihasilkan (GAMBAR IX.3).
Demikianlah bahwa kajian media pada dasarnya bermuara pada 2 tujuan, pertama
menjadikan media sebagai sumber untuk mengkaji dimensi-dimensi realitas sosial suatu
masyarakat, dan kedua untuk mengenali kecenderungan nilai yang menggerakkan suatu
media. Pertimbangan dalam melakukan kajian kultur dan media sebagaimana diuraikan
There are at least four different kinds of human need that have a relationship
with culture and communications: (1) the need for knowledge about the
operation of expert cultures; (2) the need for an understanding of the desires,
demands and need interpretations of others who are distant in time and space;
(3) the need to understand ourselves as a social community; and (4) the need
for aesthetic and non-instrumentally defined cultural experiences. (Stevenson,
1995: 198)
Pada sisi lain dinyatakan pula:
...What I intend to communicate by media cultures can be summarised in
three senses. The first is the obvious point that much of modern culture is
transmitted by the media of mass communication. (...) Secondly, most of the
theorist I have discussed within this text build up a picture of the media out of
wider analysis of modern cultural processes.(...) a third dimension to media
cultures there are histories of intellectual exchange of those who have
theorised about the media to be written... (Stevenson, 1995: 2)
Sebagai perbandingan untuk kajian kultur media dapat dirunut dari pokok pikiran
mengenai media televisi dalam perspektif kultural, seperti di bawah ini:
television ( and those who operate the television system) is a part of
society and culture, and not a separate entity which impinges on society
from `without'
nevertheless, television makers and performers are placed in a special
position within society by virtue of their access to television production
culture and society are largely indistinguishable from one another: social
structures and relationships are driven by cultural values, are an
expression of these values
culture is manifested through the artefacts and the behaviours of society:
social interaction is a from of cultural behaviour: television is a form of
cultural behavior
we assume meanings, values, ideologies within these artefacts and
we construct those meanings under the influence of the very ideologies
which we are attempting to define
therefore critical detachment is a difficult mental feat: it may even be
argeued that our notions of objectivity are themselves subjective. (Burton,
2000: 15)
Pertimbangan atas kajian kultur media dirasakan pentingnya jika dikaitkan dengan
perubahan yang sangat cepat dalam teknologi yang membentuk moda komunikasi. Seperti
diuraikan berikut:
Such a transformative venture must also engage the new cultural, political,
and social form of the present era. Confronting new technologies, multimedia,
and modes of experience such as cyberspace creates a variety of challenges
for the media and cultural studies, ranging from the need to chart the
emergent cultural trains and experiences to producing new literacies to
analyze and evaluate these spheres and their forms. Since media and culture
are themselves a type of pedagogy, one needs to create a counterpedagogy to
question and critically analyze the often distorted forms of knowledge,
misinformation, deceptive images, and seductive spectacles of the media and
consumer society. Cultivating critical media literacy to analyze intelligently
contemporary forms of culture calls for advancement of a new postmodern
pedagogy that takes seriously image, spectacle, and narrative, and thus
promotes visual and media literacy, the ability to read, analyze, and evaluate
images, stories, and spectacles of media culture. Yet a postmodern pedagogy
is concerned to develop multiple literacies, to rethink literacy itself in relation
to new technologies and new cultural and practices, extending from popular
music to poetry and painting to cyberspace and multimedia such as CD-ROM.
(Durham, Kellner, 2001: 28)
Dalam prakteknya, kajian media dan kultur dilakukan atas 3 fokus seperti diuraikan
Traditionally, early twentieth century perspectives on `mass' communication
tended to emphasize a singular, mechanistic, process model. In this terms,
`message' are sent to `the mass". At its crudest, this assumes a central, unitary
`sender', technically capable of transmitting message to a large-scale `mass'
population, who react, as to common stimulus, with virtually identical
responses. The shortcomings of this notion are many, an we will suggest
throughout this book that you consider viewing mediated communication as
part of set of cultural `circuits', composed of relations between forms of
media production, media texts and media reception. In particular, it is
important to avoid the tendency to cut the media off from their social,
commercial and historical contexts. There are significant social and cultural
conditions which surround both the composition of the screen, the page, the
programme, the website, and so on, and their reception by divers audience,
their readers, their listeners and viewers. (Sullivan, Brian, Raynes, 2003: 15)
Kajian atas kultur media dengan fokus produksi media, teks media dan resepsi media
dengan demikian mengambil obyek kajian pada institusi media, muatan media dan khalayak
media. Pendekatan atas ketiga fokus tersebut berdasarkan tradisi kajian kultural sebagaimana
sudah diuraikan pada bagian II risalah ini.
Kajian mengenai khalayak media dalam perspektif kultural meninggalkan tradisi dari
pendekatan pragmatis sosial dalam konsep media effect, biasa disebut sebagai media
reception. Pokok pikiran dalam metode analisis ini dapat disimak kutipan berikut:
In more general terms, reception analysis has intensified our interest in the
ways in which people actively and creatively make their own meanings and
create their own culture, rather than passively absorb pre-given meanings
imposed upon them. As a result, the question of media consumption as itself a
locus of active cultural production has acquired a central place in cultural
studies. The thrust of the interest has been ethnographic; while most reception
studies were limited to analyzing the specifics of certain text/audience
encounters, the methods used were qualitative (in-depth interviewing and/or
participant observation), and the emphasis has been overwhelmingly on
detailed description of how audiences negotiate with media texts and
technologies. In this sense, reception analysis could very well be called the
ethnography of media audiences. (Ien Ang, 1996: 240)
Dari rujukan yang sudah disebutkan mengenai kultur diatas, dapat ditarik untuk
pengertian tentang kultur media. Untuk itu dapat dilanjutkan sebagai berikut:
Media culture is also involved in these processes, yet it is something
new in human adventure. Individuals spend tremendous amounts of time
listening to the radio, watching television, going to see films, experiencing
music, going shopping, reading magazines and newspaper, and participating
in these and other forms of media culture. Thus media culture has come to
dominated everyday life, serving the ubiquitous background and activity,
which many argue is undemining human potentiality and creativity (Kellner,
1995: 2-3)
Adapun kajian kultur media terdiri atas konteks internal dari realitas media dan konteks
eksternal mengenai realitas masyarakat, membawa karakteristik konseptual sebagai berikut:
First, the media have developed and extended large-scale systems of
public communication, linked to what has been called the public sphere,
political and corporate forms of power. At this level, newspapers and print
media from the 1850's, followed by photography in the 1880's, cinema in the
1900's, radio in the 1920's, television in the 1950's and the Internet in the
1990's, all represent important developments in, and extensions to, public
culture. Key themes here continue to concern questions of power, ideology,
access, representation and mediation.
At the same time, these developments have also had important
implications for the private sphere and everyday life `at home'. Radio and
television for example, have accompanied what one writer has called
"withdrawal into inner space', whereby leisure activities have become
progressively concentrated in `the home', the domestic sphere. While
important changes might be said to be taking place inside households in the
current phase, the private sphere is still `connected' to the outside world in
important and decisive ways via the media and their networks.
Finally, the media and mass communications have interact with pre-
existing cultures, form and values in a number of significant ways. Of these,
perhaps the most central has been in the development of popular culture, that
"site struggle and contest' which, as this discussion has noted, contains a
number of contradictory ideas: from `liked by many' to `not elite or high
culture'; from that of `the common people' to `mass-produced' culture, in
postmodern times. (Sullivan, Brian, Raynes, 2003: 18-19)
Pokok-pokok pikiran yang menjadi landasan konseptual kajian media dalam perspektif
kultural telah dibahas pada bagian IV risalah ini. Secara umum, budaya/kultur diartikan
sebagai praktik dan teks kultural dengan makna simbolik, sebagai proses produksi dan
reproduksi secara kolektif penghayatan, makna dan kesadaran, atau pemaknaan dari ruang
ekonomi (dunia produksi) dan ruang politik (dunia relasi sosial). Lebih jauh praktik dan teks
kultural ditempatkan pada konteks realitas masyarakat dalam perspektif tertentu, seperti
perspektif gender, klas, subaltern, kemiskinan, dan sebagainya.
Dalam konteks Indoenesia, terkandung dua permasalahan konseptual, pertama realitas
aktual berupa kemajemukan kebudayaan berdasarkan etnisitas/lokalitas di Indonesia, dan
kedua proses idealisasi pencitraan (imaging) berupa upaya membangun/membentuk kultur
nasional atau bangsa. Dengan begitu selalu terjadi proses sentrifugal dari kebudayaan
etnis/lokal ke pada kebudayaan nasional/bangsa, atau sebaliknya proses sentripetal pada
etnisitas/lokalitas yang menguat sehingga menjauh dari dinamika yang menuju kebudayaan
nasional/bangsa. Dalam tarik menarik lingkup entitas domestik yang bersifat sentrifugal atau
pun sentripetal ini, berlangsung pula dinamika dari proses global yang menawarkan
kebudayaan dengan cara hidup berbasis pada industri kapitalisme dunia dalam kebudayaan
massa/populer (popular culture).
Kedua, konsep kemajemukan masyarakat (pluralisme) dapat dilihat secara statis sebagai
adanya realitas perbedaan dari komunitas etnis/lokal. Ini mengasumsikan bahwa interaksi
antar komunitas etnis/lokal berlangsung dalam harmoni. Pada sisi lain disadari bahwa
dinamika masyarakat pada hakekatnya tidak dalam harmoni. Dari sini berkembang perspektif
konseptual multi-kulturalisme yang bertolak dari asumsi tentang adanya kecenderungan
dominasi/hegemoni dari kebudayaan mayoritas/lebih kuat terhadap minoritas/lebih lemah.
Lebih jauh kajian kultural atas media dapat dikembangkan sebagai upaya memahami
cara-cara produksi budaya yang diwujudkan dalam praktik dan teks budaya di dalam
pertarungan ideologi. Dari sini media di satu sisi dilihat sebagai produk budaya, dan di sisi
lain sebagai instrumen dalam memproduksi budaya dalam masyarakat. Untuk itu kajian
bersifat lintas disiplin, dengan menggunakan teori sosial serta analisis dan kritik budaya,
sebagai titik tolak untuk pengembangan kritisisme secara komprehensif atas kenyataan
budaya dalam masyarakat. Dengan menggunakan perspektif ideologis, keberadaan media
dilihat berada dalam dinamika di satu pihak adanya budaya arus utama (mainstream), budaya
dominan/hegemonis, budaya massa, budaya pusat (center), atau label mayor, yang
berhadapan di pihak lain dengan budaya alternatif/sub-budaya, budaya tanding (counter),
budaya oposisi, budaya pinggiran (periphery) atau label indie dalam kerangka politik dan
Kajian media dalam perspektif kultural dapat difokuskan pada 2 sisi, pertama institusi
media sebagai bagian dalam produksi praktik kultural dalam ekonomi-politik, dan kedua
media sebagai teks kultural. Dari orientasi dan fokus semacam ini kritisisme perlu diarahkan
kepada transformasi sosial di Indonesia, dengan memfokuskan perhatian pada budaya
alternatif yang terkandung dalam media umum atau diwujudkan dalam media alternatif.
Dengan kata lain, sudut pandang kajian adalah terhadap proses yang berlangsung dari budaya
alternatif pada media dalam menghadapi setiap arus besar budaya, dengan tujuan untuk
memahami apa yang menyebabkan budaya alternatif dapat tumbuh atau sebaliknya tidak
berdaya dalam arus besar.
Sebagai penutup pada bagian ini, dapat disimak pandangan yang diberikan oleh Douglas
Kellner berikut ini:
Theories of the media and culture are, I believe, best developed through
specific studies of concrete phenomena contextualized within the vicissitudes
of contemporary society and history. Thus, to interrogate contemporary media
culture critically involves carrying out studies of how the culture industries
produce specific artifacts that reproduce the social discourses which are
embedded in the key conflicts and struggles of the day. This involves seeing
how popular texts like the Rocky or Rambo films, rap music or Madonna, TV
cop shows, or advertising and media news and discussion, all articulate
specific ideological position and help reproduce dominant forms of social
power, serving the interest of societal domination, or resistance to the
dominant forms of culture and society or have contradictory effects.
(Kellner, 1995: 4)

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