Ideology, Alienation and Reification: Concepts for a Radical Theory of Communication in Contemporary Capitalism

  • Leila Salim Leal Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Keywords: contemporary capitalism, communication, alienation, ideology, class struggle


Contemporary capitalism and its dynamics increase the material and ideological role played by the media, building a kind of sociality in which symbolic production becomes abundant. The critique of contemporary capitalism and the praxis to build alternatives to this form of society need to be put in the centre of debating cultural production. Cultural production interacts with the media and the market so that this symbolic field constitutes an increasingly predominant factor in the processes of the formation of consciousness. This instigates us to think about resistance as being necessarily linked to communication and culture. This article discusses the role of Marx’s concepts of ideology and alienation for the constitution of a contemporary critique of the processes of the formation of consciousness.

Author Biography

Leila Salim Leal, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Leila Salim Leal is a journalist who holds a PhD in Communication and Culture (2017) by the Post-Graduate Programme in Communications and Culture of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She conducts research on the interfaces between communication, culture and postmodernity in contemporary capitalism and its expressions in the culture industry; the crisis of capitalism, the project of capital for the reordering of cities and contemporary social movements in the context of the media and culture. She was substitute professor at UFRJ’s School of Communication between 2015 and 2017 and is a researcher in the Group of Marxist Studies in Communication and Culture (Gemccult) at UFRJ.

Karl Marx @ 200: Debating Capitalism & Perspectives for the Future of Radical Theory