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An emergent paradigm for propaganda analysis resulting from a comparative study of the allied re-education projects with German prisoners of war

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An emergent paradigm for propaganda analysis resulting from a comparative study of the allied re-education projects with German prisoners of war

Muckenfuss Caldwell, Susan (2000) An emergent paradigm for propaganda analysis resulting from a comparative study of the allied re-education projects with German prisoners of war. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Between 1942 and 1949, the Soviet Union, United States and British military conducted re-education projects with the German prisoners of war in their custody. This dissertation, by examining these Allied political re-education projects, develops the ground for a more comprehensive approach to the interpretive frameworks--the paradigms and perspectives--operating within the fields of propaganda analysis and curriculum development. These re-education projects do not easily fall within conventional academic areas of inquiry and therefore compel us to look further and develop new ideas or hybrids of theory. Historically, the seven-year period of 1942-49 covered the shift from the WWII alliance of the capitalist governments of the British Empire and the U.S. with the communist Soviet Union to the beginning of the categorical anti-communism of the Cold War, with Germany as a central arena of the action. The political re-education projects with the German prisoners of war reflected this changing dynamic. Re-education is a mixture of propaganda and education. Thus the interpretive frameworks in these two disciplines are summarised and compared. Doing so highlights the role of ideology to both the philosophy of science and to the concepts underlying an Enlightenment rationalist approach to representative government. This dissertation proposes the use of Wolf's 1 ethnography based definition as the most appropriate for a social science analysis. Multiple competing ideologies are understood to exist within each society, impacting both the education and propaganda created at the various levels of societal power, from individual to the national levels. National myths are seen to play a critical role in both the curriculum of humanities and social science education and governmental propaganda. A critical analysis of the concept of brainwashing is used to elucidate the logical limits of the concept of propaganda as exclusively external manipulation. A description of the Allied re-education projects emphasizes the complex considerations of governments regarding propaganda towards foreign nationals, temporarily detained in a conflict situation, as well as the limited achievements of such projects. These projects are analysed using the interpretive frameworks from both propaganda analysis and curriculum development in education. A lacuna is noted in the propaganda paradigm and this dissertation provides a new hybrid--an Existentialist propaganda paradigm. These inter-related assumptions concerning the nature of ideology, the functioning of multiple ideologies within each society, and the role of the individual free choice within the propaganda situation provide the basis for a more comprehensive framework for the analysis of both propaganda and education. 1 Wolf, Eric R. Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis . Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Wolf defines ideology as "a complex of ideas selected to underwrite and represent a particular project of installing, maintaining, and aggrandising power in social relationships". Such ideologies are the product of particular social groupings and individuals.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Muckenfuss Caldwell, Susan
Pagination:iv, 221 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Murphy, Dennis
ID Code:1164
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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