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See also: "Media culture and "Sensationalism

Increased business competition and the introduction of "econometric methods changed the business practices of the "mass communications media. The business monopoly practice of "media consolidation reduced the breadth and the depth of the "journalism practiced and provided for the information of the public. The reduction of operating costs (overhead expenses) eliminated foreign news bureaus and reporters, in favour of presenting the "public relations publications ("news releases) of governments, businesses, and political parties as fact.

Refinements in measurement of approval ratings and audience size increased the incentive for journalists and TV producers to write "simplistic material, diminishing the intellectual complexity of the argument presented, usually at the expense of factual accuracy and rationality. Cultural theorists, such as "Richard Hoggart, "Raymond Williams, "Neil Postman, "Henry Giroux, and "Pierre Bourdieu, invoked these effects as evidence that "commercial television is an especially pernicious contributor to the dumbing-down of communications. Nonetheless, the cultural critic "Stuart Hall said that the people responsible for teaching critical thinking – parents and academic instructors – can improve the quality (breadth and depth) of their instruction by occasionally including television programmes.

In France, "Michel Houellebecq has written (not excluding himself) of "the shocking dumbing-down of French culture and intellect as was recently pointed out, [2008] sternly but fairly, by TIME magazine."[6]

In popular culture[edit]

The science fiction film "Idiocracy (2005) portrays the U.S. as a greatly dumbed-down society 500 years in the future, in which "low cultural conditions were unintentionally achieved by eroding language and education coupled with "dysgenics, where people of lower "intelligence reproduced faster than the people of higher intelligence. Similar concepts appeared in earlier works, notably the "science fiction short story "The Marching Morons (1951), by "Cyril M. Kornbluth which also features a modern-day protagonist in a future dominated by low-intelligence persons. Moreover, the novel "Brave New World (1931), by "Aldous Huxley, discussed the ways a "utopian society was deliberately dumbed down in order to maintain "political stability and "social order by eliminating complex concepts unnecessary for society to function (i.e. the Savage tries reading Shakespeare to the masses and is not understood). More malevolent uses of dumbing down to preserve the social order are also portrayed in "The Matrix, "Nineteen Eighty-Four and many "dystopian movies.

The social critic "Paul Fussell touched on these themes ("prole drift") in his non-fiction book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1983)[7] and focused on them specifically in BAD: or, The Dumbing of America (1991).

The musical groups "Chumbawamba, "The Divine Comedy, "Ugly Duckling, and "Lupe Fiasco, each have a song titled "Dumb It Down".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Algeo, John; Algeo, Adele (1988). "Among the New Words". American Speech. 63 (4): 235–236. "doi:10.1215/00031283-78-3-331. 
  2. ^ "'Irresponsible' Hodge under fire". BBC News: World Edition. 14 January 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2006. 
  3. ^ MacLeod, Donald (14 July 2005). "50% higher education target doomed, says thinktank". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2006. 
  4. ^ "Physicists protest at GCSE change". BBC News. 28 June 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c Blumenfeld, Samuel L. (May 1993). "The Blumenfeld Education Letter - May 1993: Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling By John Taylor Gatto". The Odysseus Group. "John Taylor Gatto. Archived from the original on 11 July 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Lévy, Bernard-Henri; "Houellebecq, Michel (2011). Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World. Translated by Frendo, Miriam; Wynne, Frank. New York: Random House. pp. 3–4. "ISBN "978-0-8129-8078-3. "OCLC 326529237. 
  7. ^ "Fussell, Paul (1983). Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1st ed.). New York: Summit Books. "ISBN "978-0-671-44991-9. "OCLC 9685644. 

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