Mass Society Theory

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History of Mass Society Theory
Comprised a vast workforce of people who lived isolated and unfulfilled lives. They were slaves to jobs, bosses and living in crowded urban settings . Their lives were consistent with Marx’s “alienated masses” Scholars blamed the media for the rise of fascism

History of Mass Society Theory
During the 1920’s, Hearst and Pulitzer changed their ways and became serious about reporting the news The American Society of Newspaper Editors formed and pledged to tell the truth about the news The ethical standards of the industry soared

In the 1950’s, the introduction of television brought with it a whole new set of issues Television led to cable television, satellite TV, and TiVo
Personal computers led to the World Wide Web and led to an entirely new brand of mass media

Assumptions of Mass Media
The media are a malignant, cancerous force within society and must be purged or totally restructured. (Marcuse, 1969, 1978) Critics proposed turning over control of the media to elites 1920’s media power went to government in Europe with disastrous results in Germany with Nazi power In the US, a free enterprise broadcasting system was put into place – The Federal Radio Commission – later called the FCC

Assumptions of Mass Media
Media have the power to reach out and directly influence the minds of average people. (Davis, 1976) Also known as the direct-effects assumption – the media, in and of themselves, can produce direct effects. Stresses the negative influence the media has and how vulnerable the average citizen is to the manipulative power of the media

Assumptions of Mass Media
Once people’s minds are corrupted by media, all sorts of bad long-term consequences result – not only bringing ruin to individual lives, but also creating social problems on a vast scale (Marcuse, 1941) Major social problems linked to media – prostitution, gambling, deliquesce, urban violence Housewives watch too many soaps and read...
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