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To Sense
To Sense

To Sense

Graduate students write papers every week that we share with our professors and a small group of colleagues. We're lucky if we get 10 sets of eyes on work that we put hours, sometimes weeks of effort into. To Sense is an outlet where I'll post my past and future Communication and Cultural Studies essays that would otherwise never be read again. For my friends, family, professors, fellow scholars and the generally curious - enjoy. Maximilian Brichta


Agenda Setting Theory and the Hostile Media Effect

14 May 2021 2 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

Agenda-setting is “the ability to influence the salience of topics on the public agenda” (McCombs and Reynolds 1). Rather than telling the public what to think, mass media curates which issues to think about. As Walter Lippmann would have it, the med...

Epistemic Violence

20 Apr 2021 2 minute read 1 comment Maximilian Brichta

States can exercise violence over their people in at least three ways: Instrumentally (through police, military, corrections), structurally (through social organization that grants power and privilege to some while depriving others), and epistemicall...

Cognitive Dissonance: An Introduction

5 Apr 2021 13 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

The theory of cognitive dissonance, introduced by American social psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957, proved to be pivotal in how we generate research on human behavior (Cooper, 2007; Harmon-Jones & Mills, 1999). Ironically, this groundbreaking theo...

Plato, Foucault, and Dewey On Education

4 Apr 2021 15 minute read 1 comment Maximilian Brichta

The role of the teacher has without a doubt been in discussion since emergent efforts to systematically treat education. This discussion began to amplify in Western world as far back as ancient Greece and remains a widely examined topic to this day....

Porn and Stigma: A Brief(less) Consideration

3 Apr 2021 2 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

From the viewer to the doer, porn is stigmatized. Given its abundance and presumably large audience, why does this remain so? Larry Gross highlights multiple unique dimensions of porn productions, from the concept stage to the VCR (read: laptop, toda...

Institute of Oratory as Practical Philosophy

3 Apr 2021 5 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria is hard to define in terms of genre. It can be read as a justified curriculum for teaching oratory, a philosophy of education, or even a handbook on pedagogy in general. I contend that Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria...

Nefarious Nonsense: Postmodernism from Sokal to Peterson

2 Apr 2021 32 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

“We’ve been publicly funding extremely radical, postmodern leftist thinkers who are hellbent on demolishing the fundamental substructure of Western civilization. And that’s no paranoid delusion. That’s their self-admitted goal,” proclaims University...

Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture (Summary: Ch 1-3)

31 Mar 2021 5 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

In the first three chapters of Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture, Skidelski offers a contextualization of Cassirer’s philosophy by outlining the tensions that the Marburg school (which Cassirer was trained) and the prevailing philosophi...

The Spiral of Silence And Intellectual Politics

30 Mar 2021 3 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

        Noelle-Neumann's spiral theory starts with the assumption that social belonging is more important than the perceived ability to express one’s own judgment. A sense of fear or insecurity about one’s own capacity to make judgements can arise fr...

Parasocial Interaction: A Short Lit Review

30 Mar 2021 3 minute read 0 comments Maximilian Brichta

Para-social interaction is the simulacrum of having a transactional face-to-face encounter with someone who appears in media, in the form of audio and especially video (Horton and Whol, 2006). The mediated persona, in such cases as reality TV shows a...