A Short History of Mass Communication Theory
Paradigm results is a theory that summarizes and is consistent with all known facts and this often leads to a paradigm shift a fundamental, even radical, rethinking of what we believe to be true (Kuhn, 1970). Mass communication theory is a particulary open to such a paradigm shifts due to 3 factors : 1. Advances in technology or the introduction of new media. 2. Calls for control or regulatiin of these new technologies require. 3. As a country commited to protecting democracy and cultural pluralism. These factors produced 4 major eras of mass communication theory A. The era of mass society theory
B. The era of scientific perspective
C. The era of limited effects of theory
D. The era of cultural theory
A. THE ERA OF MASS SOCIETY THEORY
During the second half of 19th century and the first decades of 20th century mass circulation newspaper and magazines, movies, talkies, and radio all came to prominence at this time. The country’s peaceful rural nature was beginning to slip further into history, Industrialization and urbanization is spread. The media needed to be controlled to protect traditional values and to prevent similar abuses at home.
The resulting paradigm was mass society theory, the idea that the media are corrupting influences that undermine the social order and that “average” people are defenseless against their influence. The fundamental assumption of this paradigm is expressed in the hypodermic needle theory or magic bullet theory. Mass society theory is an example of grand theory, one designed to describe and explain all aspects of a given phenomenon. Media did have effects, often good ones. B. THE ERA OF THE SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE
Scientist determined that different factors led some people to be influenced and others not (Lowery & DeFleur, 1995) The researcher had benefit of advances in survey research, polling, and other social scientific methods developed and...
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