This new edition of Baran and Davis's successful text provides a comprehensive, historically based, introduction to mass communication theory. Clearly written with examples, graphics, and other materials to illustrate key theories, this edition—-now streamlined to increase accessibility—-traces the emergence of two main bodies of mass communication theory: social/behavioral and critical/cultural. The authors emphasize that media theories are human creations that typically are intended to address specific problems or issues. The Second Edition includes new coverage of the Internet, as well as many updated examples.
Stanley Baran is the founding chair of the Department of Communication at Bryant University, where he teaches courses in mass communication and communication theory. His academic interests include critical research in mass communication, mass media and social construction of reality, as well as development and improvement of media literacy skills. Dr. Baran has published 10 books, several scholarly articles, and sits or has sat on the editorial boards of numerous journals. His work has been translated into six languages. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar, Institute for Journalisms und Kommunikationsforschung, Hannover, Deutschland, in 1997. He has served as a consultant for many corporations and organizations, including IBM, ABC, GTE, and Westin Hotels.
Dennis K. Davis is an emeritus professor in the College of Communications at Penn State University. His teaching and research interests include mass communication theory, new media literacy, international communication, research methods, and political communication. He has served as a tenured full professor at Cleveland State University, Southern Illinois University, and the University of North Dakota. He was director of the School of Communication at the University of North Dakota and has served as editor of the JOURNAL OF BROADCASTING & ELECTRONIC MEDIA, published by the Broadcast Education Association. He has co-authored four books on political communication, mass communication theory, and news audience research, as well as numerous articles, chapters, and reviews. He has headed divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the National Communication Association. From 1979 to 1980, he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Louvain la Neuve. His research has won the Donald McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communication Policy Research from Fordham University and the Broadcasting Preceptor Award from San Francisco State University. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Mass Communication & Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The award recognizes teaching excellence and influence on pedagogy.
SECTION ONE: INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION THEORY. 1. Introduction. 2. Mass Communication Theory. SECTION TWO: ERA OF MASS SOCIETY AND MASS CULTURE. 3. The Rise of Media Industries and Mass Society Theory. 4. The Rise of Media Theory in the Age of Propaganda. 5. Normative Theories of Mass Communication. SECTION THREE: THE RISE AND FALL OF LIMITED EFFECTS. 6. Limited Effects Theory Emerges. 7. Middle-Range Theory and the Consolidation of the Limited Effects Paradigm. 8. Challenging the Dominant Paradigm: Children, Systems, and Effects. SECTION FOUR: CONTEMPORARY MASS COMMUNICATION THEORY: SEARCHING FOR CONSENSUS AND CONFRONTING CHALLENGES. 9. Emergence of Critical and Cultural Theories of Mass Communication. 10. Media and Audiences: Theories About the Role of Media in Everyday Life. 11. Theories of Media, Culture, and Society. 12. Trends in Mass Communication Theory: Seeking Consensus, Facing Challenges. References. Index.