MTV: 360° of the industrial production of culture

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A political economic analysis of mass media and culture is conspicuously absent in geography. The symbolic or textual emphasis of most materialist media theories presents media simply as a struggle over images, omitting space from the equation altogether, except in metaphorical terms. This paper presents a framework for understanding the conditions under which culture is increasingly produced by media corporations for the global accumulation of capital. The paper first discusses the importance of thinking about the production of culture as the ‘industrial production of culture’ and its relationship to the media as part of the capitalist division of labour. Second, it explores more fully the spatial and material limits to the industrial production of culture through mass media. Lastly, it uses MTV and its ‘360°’ initiative as a critical case study to describe the role of a particularly successful industrial cultural producer within the spatial division of labour, as an advertising platform for international marketing.

Keywords: alienation; culture; geography of media; political economy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Telecommunications, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403 USA, Email:

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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