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.
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.