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  1. 1. Theories and effects of Mass communication<br />Chapter 13<br />
  2. 2. MEDIA<br /><br />
  3. 3. Effects Debate – Limited Effects (circa 1938 – War of the Worlds)<br />1. Media content has limited impact on audiences because it’s only make-believe; people know it isn’t real. <br />
  4. 4. Counterarguments to 1<br />News is not make-believe<br />Most film and tv drama are produced to seem real (use documentary style techniques)<br />Contemporary TV = REALITY tv<br />Advertising is SUPPOSED to tell the truth<br />Children (EARLY EFFECT WINDOW) experience what they think is REAL through TV – they perceive it as real<br />To enjoy what we consume we “willingly suspend disbelief” and accept as real what is put before us<br />
  5. 5. Limited Effects - 2<br />2. Media content has limited impact on audiences because it is only play or just entertainment.<br />
  6. 6. Counterargument - 2<br />News is NOT play or entertainment<br />Even if media content is only play – “play” is very important to human development, it is often how we learn about ourselves and our world. Why should it be less influential if it is online or at the movies? (vs. in the classroom?)<br />
  7. 7. Limited Effects - 3<br />If media have any effects at all, they are not the media’s fault; media simply hold a mirror to society and reflect the status quo, showing us and our world as they already are. <br />
  8. 8. Counterargument – 3 <br />Media might hold a mirror, but it is a very selective mirror.<br />Do you think what you see on TV is representative of the world you live in? <br />
  9. 9. Limited Effects - 4<br />4. If media have any effect at all, it is only to reinforce preexisting values and beliefs. Family, church, school, and other socializing agents have much more influence.<br />
  10. 10. Counterargument - 4<br />Traditional socializing agents have lost much of their power in the fast-paced world of now.<br />“reinforcement” is not the same as having NO effects. If the good can be reinforced, can’t the bad be reinforced just as easily?<br />
  11. 11. Limited Effects - 5<br />5. If media have any effects at all, they are only on the unimportant things in our lives, such as fads and fashions.<br />
  12. 12. Counterargument - 5<br />Fads and fashions are not unimportant to us these things define us. <br />If media influence only the unimportant things in our lives, why are billions of dollars spent on media efforts to sway voter opinions? <br />
  13. 13. Three important dichotomies<br />Debates over media influence have been shaped by three dichotomies.<br />1. Micro vs Macro-level effects<br />2. Administrative vs. Critical Research<br />3. Transmissional vs. Ritual Perspective<br />
  14. 14. Micro vs. Macro<br />Micro-level or very personal, direct effects – are few and far between for the average person. <br />“millions don’t go out and shoot people” <br />
  15. 15. Macro<br />Macro-level or BIG PICTURE effects are more common. <br />Violence on television does contribute to the cultural climate, for example. <br />What would you call current cultural climate, based on what you see on TV? <br />
  16. 16. Administrative research<br />This kind of research asks questions to gage immediate and observable influences of mass comm. <br />Example: Did that ad campaign create higher sales? <br />Example (book): Did Mortal Combat inspire the Columbine shootings? <br />
  17. 17. Critical research<br />Asks larger questions<br />What kind of nation are we building? <br />Looks at larger, possibly more significant cultural questions.<br />
  18. 18. Transmissional perspective<br />This perspective sees media as senders of information for the purposes of CONTROL. <br />Media either have effect on our behavior, or they do not. <br />
  19. 19. Ritual perspective<br />Views media not just as the means of transmitting messages in space…but more as central to the “maintenance of society in time.” <br />It is the “representation of shared beliefs.”<br />Ritual perspective is necessary to understand the cultural importance of mass comm. <br />
  20. 20. Understanding Mass Comm theory<br />There is no ONE mass communication theory<br />Mass communication theories are often borrowed from other fields of science<br />Mass communication theories are human constructions<br />Mass communication theories are dynamic<br />
  21. 21. Changes<br />Mass communication theories are dynamic and can change, are open to evolving ideas for the following three reasons: <br />1. Advances in technology<br />2.Calls for control or regulation (of new technologies)<br />3. Democracy and cultural pluralism (protection of)<br />
  22. 22. Other theories<br />Before limited effects theory (1938 thru the 60s).<br />Mass Society theory<br />Media are a corrupting influence undermining social order<br />Hypordermic needle theory/magic bullet theory<br />Media are a dangerous drug or a killing force that directly and immediately penetrates a person’s system<br />Also insinuated that only worked on those of “average” intelligence.<br />
  23. 23. Cultural Theory<br />60s – could no longer ignore the STRONG and powerful impact of mass comm on culture.<br />Mean World Syndrome<br /><br /><br />