OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future (8th edition)

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Author: 
Stanley J. Baran; Dennis K. Davis
Pub date
Feb 2020
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The most commonly read introduction to the field, Mass Communication Theory has introduced thousands of young scholars to the discipline over two decades. Accessible, balanced, and clearly written, this book provides a complete history of mass communication theory to the present with thorough and effective coverage of both social science and cultural theory.

Index: 

Contents

Preface

Chapter 1 Understanding and Evaluating Mass Communication Theory

Learning Objectives

Overview

Defining and Redefining Mass Communication

Science and Human Behavior

Defining Theory

Postpositivist Theory

Cultural Theory

Critical Theory

Normative Theory

Evaluating Theory

Flexible Social Science

Mass Communication Theory

Four Trends in Media Theory

The Mass Society and Mass Culture Trend in Mass Communication Theory

The Media-Effects Trend in Mass Communication Theory

The Critical Cultural Trend in Mass Communication Theory

The Meaning-Making Trend in Mass Communication Theory

Revitalized Effects Research

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 2 Establishing the Terms of the Debate Over Media: The First Trend in Mass Communication Theory-Mass Society and Propaganda Theories

Leaning Objectives

Overview

Mass Society Critics and the Debate over Media

Assumptions of Mass Society Theory

Early Examples of Mass Society Theory

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft

Mechanical and Organic Solidarity

Mass Society Theory in Contemporary Times

The Origin of Propaganda

Propaganda Comes to the United States

Behaviorism

Freudianism

Harold Lasswell's Propaganda Theory

Walter Lippmann's Theory of Public Opinion Formation

Reaction against Early Propaganda Theory

Modern Propaganda Theory

Libertarianism Reborn and Challenged

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 3 Normative Theories of Mass Communication

Learning Objectives

Overview

The Origin of Normative Theories of Media

The Origin of Libertarian Thought on Communication

The Marketplace of Ideas: A New Form of Radical Libertarianism

Government Regulation of Media

Professionalization of Journalism

Social Responsibility Theory of the Press: A Postwar Compromise

Using Social Responsibility Theory to Guide Professional Practice

Limits of Professionalization

The Dual Responsibility Model

Is There Still a Role for Social Responsibility Theory?

The Public Interest in the Internet Era

Other Normative Theories

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 4 The Emergence of the Media-Effects Trend in Mass Communication Theory

Learning Objectives

Overview

The Development of the Postpositivist Effects Trend

From Propaganda Research to Attitude-Change Theories

Carl Hovland and the Experimental Section

The Communication Research Program

Do Mass Media Influence the Way People Vote?

The Strengths and Limitations of the Effects Trend in Media Research

The Media-Effects Trend Becomes Dominant

The Selective Processes

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 5 The Consolidation of the Media Effects Trend

Learning Objectives

Overview

Theories of the Middle Range and the Functional Analysis Approach

The Entertainment Function of the Mass Media

Information-Flow Theory

Personal Influence: The Two-Step Flow Theory

Joseph Klapper's Phenomenistic Theory

Systems Theories of Communication Processes

The Rise of Systems Theories

Modeling Systems

Applying Systems Models to Human Communication

Adoption of Systems Models by Mass Communication Theorists

Functionalism's Unfulfilled Promise

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 6 The Emergence of The Critical Cultural Trend in North America

Learning Objectives

Overview

Changing Times

The Critical Cultural Theory Trend

Macroscopic versus Microscopic Theories

Critical Theory

Comparing the Media Theory Trends

The Rise of Cultural Theories in Europe

Marxist Theory

Neo-Marxism

Textual Analysis and Literary Criticism

The Frankfort School

Development of Neo-Marxist Theory in Britain

Political Economy Theory

The Debate Between Cultural Studies and Political Economy Theorists

Cultural Studies: Transmissional versus Ritual Perspectives

Research on Popular Culture in the United States

Research on News Production in the United States

Critical Feminist Scholarship

Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Message and the Massage

Harold Innis: The Bias of Communication

McLuhan: Understanding Media

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 7 Theories of Media and Social Learning

Learning Objectives

Overview

Focus on Children and Violence

Television Violence Theories

Catharsis

Social Learning Theory

Social Cognition from Mass Media

Aggressive Cues

The Context of Mediated Violence

Active Theory of Television Viewing

The Developmental Perspective

Video Games Reignite Interest in Media Violence

General Aggression Model

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Question

Chapter 8 Theories of Media and Human Development

Learning Objectives

Overview

Media and Children's Development

Gender Issues

Advertising to Children

Loss of Childhood

Growing Up Connected: New Personal Technologies and Development

Social Media and Well-Being

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Question

Chapter 9 Audience Theories: Uses and Reception

Learning Objectives

Overview

Audience Theories: From Source-Dominated to Active-Audience Perspectives

Limitations of Early Audience-Centered Research

Confusion of Media Functions and Media Uses

Revival of the Uses-and-Gratifications Approach

The Active Audience Revisited

Entertainment Theory

Uses and Gratifications and Social Networking

Development of Reception Studies: Decoding and Sensemaking

Feminist Reception Studies

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 10 Theories of Media Cognition and Information Processing

Learning Objectives

Overview

Information-Processing Theory

Processing Television News

Schema Theory

Hostile Media Effect

Elaboration Likelihood Model

Narrative Persuasion Theory and the Extended Elaboration Likelihood Model

Health Communication

The Delay Hypothesis

Affective Intelligence, Motivated Reasoners, and the Backfire Effect

The Neuroscience Perspective

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 11 Effect of Media on Knowledge, Information, and Perception of Social Issues

Learning Objectives

Overview

Knowledge Gaps, Digital Divides, and Digital Inequalities

Information (Innovation) Diffusion Theory

Social Marketing Theory

Agenda-Setting, Priming, and Agenda-Building

The Spiral of Silence

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 12 Effect of Media on Community And Everyday Culture

Learning Objectives

Overview

Media and Social Capital/Community Research

Cultivation Analysis

The Products of Cultivation Analysis

Media Literacy

Elements and Assumptions of Media Literacy

Media Literacy Interventions

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 13 Media and Culture Theories: Meaning Making in the Social World

Learning Objectives

Overview

Symbolic Interactionism

Pragmatism and the Chicago School

Current Applications of Symbolic Interactionism

Social Constructionism

Framing and Frame Analysis

The Development of Theories of Frames and Framing

Effects of Frames on News Audiences

Postpositivist vs Critical Cultural Approaches to Framing

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

Chapter 14 Media and Culture Theories: Commodification of Culture and Mediatization

Learning Objectives

Overview

Media as Culture Industries: The Commodification of Culture

Commodification of Culture in the Age of Social Media

Advertising: The Ultimate Cultural Commodity

Mediatization Theory

Review of Learning Objectives

Critical Thinking Questions

References

Index

About the author: 

Stanley J. Baran is professor of communication at Bryant University. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the AMOCO Teaching Excellence Award as the best instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and the College of Communication's Teaching Excellence Award as that college's outstanding professor. At San Jose State University he was named President's Scholar as the university's outstanding researcher. Dennis Davis is professor emeritus of communication at Penn State University. His teaching and research center on mass communication theory, new media literacy, international communication, research methods and political communication. He has headed divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the National Communication Association.

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