CS101 Lecture Notes - Paul Lazarsfeld, Behavioural Sciences, Opinion Leadership

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16 Oct 2011
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Mass Communications
Public Relations
November 17th, 2010
Public Relations
Mass Media and Audiences
What is “mass culture”
o Industrialized process
o Simultaneous consumption (reaches a large amount of people at the
same time)
o Easily understood (all have narrative conventions that can transcend
class, race and gender differences)
Mass Society
Urbanization, industrialization, modernization
o What we see is a gradual movement to a urban existence
o Erosion of family ties and kinship
Movement to cities
Rise of mass media
Mass Media
Two main functions of mass media:
o Connect socially distant individuals
o Create audiences for advertisers
Media and Audiences
Two theoretical approaches
o Powerful or direct effects
Behavioral science tradition
o Limited effects or “Two-step flow”
Powerful Effects Theory
Behavioral science tradition
Could media influence people’s behaviour?
Modern Society
Characterized by isolation
o Much more cut off from connections (more manipulated by the
media)
o Development of industrialism, capitalist economy, urban slums, social
problems (poverty, violence, alcoholism)
o 1750-1920s
Loss of traditional kinship ties
Social problems
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