Social Control by Propaganda

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TOPIC- Social Control by Propaganda

“Propaganda is an organised or systematic attempt made by a person or a group to influence public opinion and attitudes in any sphere “.-Akolkar. It refers to the techniques of influencing human action by the manipulation of representations. It is a means of influencing others, often towards a desirable end.

Propaganda can affect people’s faith, ideology, attitude and behaviour. It can also be used to replace old beliefs and practices with the new ones. Propaganda may bring about positive as well as negative results.

Governmental departments such as medical department, planning department, cooperative department, customs department, income tax department, etc. make propaganda to help people to mend their ways and also to develop right habits, practices and approaches.

Every government maintains a department to influence people in the direction of accepted patterns. This department is called the department of ‘public relation’ or “publicity”. The health department may make use of various devices and techniques of propaganda to impress upon people to take precautions to control contagious diseases.

The planning department may try to appeal to the people through effective propaganda the necessity of controlling birth rate. The income tax department may try to create fear in the minds of tax payers of the consequences of evading taxes through propaganda.

Propaganda plays a vital role in both democratic and dictatorial countries. In democratic countries propaganda is mainly used to persuade people to accept some opinions or reject some others or to follow some new practices or drop out some old ones.

But in dictatorial countries it is used by the government mainly to suppress public opinion or to make people to believe what it wants them to believe. Mass media of communication are used for this purpose. Propaganda by itself is neither good nor bad. It depends on the purpose for which it is used and how it is used.

To make propaganda very effective the propagandists repeat them regularly and systematically. They present only one side of the question and furnish vast evidences in support of it. They condemn their opponents and resort to self-praise in an intelligent way. To get enduring effects they concentrate on children and try to ‘brainwash’ them. Totalitarian states normally try to do this. They even make education an instrument of propaganda.

Social Control by Propaganda

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