Early Media Theories
Early theories were primarily based on the interest to find the effects of mass interest on society and individuals. They were based on the assumption that mass media have an enormous and direct influence But later researches questioned this
Later researches went against any direct cause and effect relationship between mass communication and societyThey focused on the importance of individual differences, personal influences on the transmission, acceptance and retention of messages While sociological theories looked at mass media as while sociological theories looked at mass media as an outcome of changes in society Later researches went against any direct cause and effect relationship between mass communication and society They focused on the importance of individual differences, personal influences on the transmission, acceptance and retention of messages Other theories showed how media ought or expected to behave under prevailing political and economic situations Most theories tried to give insights into the role of mass media in society and the way in which audience utilize different mass media This raises important questions on the effects of mass media: What is the relationship of mass media with society?
Are mass media an outcome of change society?
Are they simply a response to certain demands?
Or are they simply a response to certain demands?
Are media merely reflectors or are they molders of society?
A theory is a set of propositions that helps us in explaining a phenomenon. A theory’s emergence is determined by the assumption that is based on and over a period of time these are tested and have proven results or a paradigm. These paradigms undergo changes and new ways are developed to look at things . These shifts in paradigm bring in different eras of theories Theory 1-Mass Society Theory (1900 to 1938)
This theory was founded on the belief that man lives in a society which is his identity.Thus media does not effect any individuals but social formation which are comprised of masses. The idea was supported by the availability of mass media such as Newspaper, Magazines, Radios and Movies on a mass scale.More and more people started using these medias which gave birth to mass society. It was believed that media had corrupting influence on average people who did not have superior taste . They believed that media behaved like a MAGIC BULLET or a HYPODERMIC NEEDLE which penetrates a human being personality and leaves their effects deep down inside Hypodermic or Bullet theory:
This theory reflect the awe and fear of mass media being used for massive propaganda as media being used for massive propaganda as during the World War II Media was seen as being able to manipulate it audiences at will. Media were seen to be like bullets shot at defenseless and passive receivers. Audiences were seen as passive recipients of media messages Media were seen as extremely powerful institutions media consumers were naïve and flexible It saw audiences as an enormous undifferentiated Problems with mass society theory
Not based on research
Purely opinions/impressions of (some) elites
Who gets to decide what’s proper, safe, “good”?