Four Eras Of Mass Media Theory (Review)

Mass Communication Theory Foundations, Ferment, and Future Review of Chaper 2: FOUR ERAS OF MEDIA THEORY We have identified four distinct eras in the development of mass communication theories, beginning with the origin of media theory in the nineteenth century and ending with the emergence of an array of contemporary perspectives. THE ERA OF MASS SOCIETY AND MASS CULTURE The era of mass society theory is characterized by overinflated fears of media’s influence on “average” people and overly optimistic views of their ability to bring about social good. Powerful social and cultural elites, who saw the traditional social order that was serving them so well undermined by popular media content, were the primary advocates of the former view. Urban elites—the new capitalists whose power was increasingly based on industrialization and urbanization—viewed technology, including the mass media, as facilitating control over the physical environment, expanding human productivity, and generating new forms […]

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