• 1940s: Functionalism
• 1960s: Effects Studies
• Cultivation Theory
• 1960s: Marxist & Psychoanalytic
• 1970s: Uses & Gratifications Theory
• 1970s: Media Ecology
• Paul Lazarsfeld & Bureau of Applied Social
Research BASR at Columbia University.
• Mass Media:
1. Increases status for selected issues &
2. Increases the idea of “normal” by spectacle of
3. Decreases public action while increasing
4. Propagates social issues by Monopolization,
Canalization, & Supplementation.
• Lazarsfeld’s famous study The Peoples
• Does the media influence the American
• Observed a sample for 6 months & found
that media reinforced a preexisting political
view in 95% of subjects.
• Only 5% of subjects were “converted” by
1960s: Media Effects
• “Mass” replaced by social groups.
• Two step flow model: Audience
leaders & audience followers.
• Audience is capable of accepting or
rejecting media messages.
• Mass media reinforced existing public
opinion through leaders & opinion
1960s: Media Effects
• Effects of violent media
• Mass media lowered cultural standards
• Frist TV study in UK: Himmelweit
looked at 1,854 UK viewers &
nonviewers of TV.
• TV influenced only in areas where no
previous position was formed & was
most effective when dramatic.
• George Gerbner began Cultural Indicators
research within Media Effects studies.
• TV has long-term effects which are small &
gradually accumulate into significance.
• Gerbner analyzed 450 NJ school children.
Heavy TV viewers saw the world as a more
1970s: Uses &
• Elihu Katz advocated a more active
role by the audience. NEEDS OF
PERSON ARE FULFILLED BY MEDIA.
• The viewer uses the media in a self-
• Media is used for: diversion, personal
relationship, identity, surveillance
(information) (Denis McQuail).
• Frankfurt School (1923) Institute for
• Psychoanalysis & Marxism
• The Culture Industry
• People “dumbed down” by mass
media so that elite can control
• “The medium is the message.”
• The medium shapes the mind.
• Oral, Print, Sound, electronic…
• Global village: technologies will
converge bringing people closer
• Ferdinand de Saussure
• C.S. Peirce
• Roland Barthes
• Michel Foucault
• Jacques Derrida
• Jean Baudrillard