Social praxis is the unity of though and action. What you believe is what you do. Political economist sees research and action inseparable. Theorist must intervene in light of social anomalies. Political Economic Theory is characterized by three social processes. This process is a starting point in understanding how power and wealth constrains the production, distribution and consumption of media.
- Commodification. This is the process of turning goods and services into a marketable product. Media has often been commodified.
- Spatialization. These refers to the process of overcoming the constraints of space and time. In business it involves out sourcing labor. This is most evident on how large corporations build factories in other countries to take advantage of cheap labor. Spatialization also refers to the extension of corporate power through acquisition and strategic alliances. It extends a company’s reach to a wider audience and gives them an advantage in distributing their media. Because who owns the company says a lot of what they produce. Political economy theory considers this when interpreting messages.
- Structuration. This is based on the view that people make history but not on their own terms. They are forced to function a category that social functions within a category that social institutions have placed. An important activity in structuration is the process of creating Hegenomy. This is defined as a result of a process of transforming contested ideas into a naturalized way of thinking about the world. Political economic theory evaluates how elites dominate the culture, values and ideology of a society. Ceratain norms about social class, race, gender and other social divisions are deeply engrained in the social structure. Political economic theorists must analyze how the media portrays these categories in order to understand societies and address injustice. The importance of these theory is that it encourages us to be reasonably skeptical of the media we consume. It makes us aware of the social forces that shape media and invites us to keep the profit oriented system in check.