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Conflict and communication in the Third World : A study of class and ethnic bases of conflict, and relationship between these and the mass media in Pakistan and Nigeria

Brynin, C.M. (1983). Conflict and communication in the Third World : A study of class and ethnic bases of conflict, and relationship between these and the mass media in Pakistan and Nigeria. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis is a study of the importance of conflict in the Third World. It stresses ethnic conflict; conflict within classes, particularly within the bourgeosie; and the role of the 'professional' component in this middle-class struggle. It looks at these in respect of Pakistan and Nigeria, both of which have suffered major civil wars. Conflict is an inseparable part of the process of 'development'. It is argued in this thesis that the nature of conflict changes as societies develop. Third World societies tend to be riven by communal, especially ethnic divisions, while the class structure is ill-defined. Conflict is therefore often ethnic in nature. As the importance of these divisions recedes and the class structure begins to develop, the nature of conflict changes. However, classes are still little more than clusters of 'class fragments', not fully fledged classes in the Western sense. Each class fragment finds itself in competition, not with 'distant'- class fragments but with similar class fragments; resources are so scarce that fragments even within a single class 'group' fight over access to them. Conflict is, therefore, 'intra-class' (i. e. within broad clusters). This competition occurs all the way through the social hierarchy but reaches its climax at the top. Because of the scarcity of resources one of the main means of access to them is through power. The struggle for power between the various 'elite' (but basically bourgeois) fragments is, therefore, intense. Business, bureaucracy, the army and politics all form bases for different class fragments in their struggle against each other to control resources. Central to intra-class conflict is the 'professional' component of the bourgeoisie. In its strugglefor supremacy over the military, the bureaucracy, and businessmen, it seeks an expansion of democracy, politics being its only source of power against these other, stronger, elites. This struggle is carried over into the mass media, which are manned largely by this professional component of the middle class. The press in particular reflects both ethnic and intra-class struggle. This thesis describes in detail the connection between the press and conflict. Only as Third World societies develop more fully is class struggle likely to become 'inter-class', i. e. between classes. Then the various middle-class fragments might combine against the rising proletariat, and unite in their control and use of the mass media. The research incorporated into this thesis did not concern itself with this long-term possibility.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Departments: City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
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