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Mass Media Theory - Assignment Example

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In order to study the social world, communication researchers have identified four major communication theories which include post positivism, hermeneutic theory, critical theory, and normative theory. Post positivism theory is the first approach practiced by social scientists,…
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Download file to see previous pages Hermeneutic theory is study of understanding through systematic interpretation which is derived from biblical study. Its ontology says that social reality is created by people based on their interactions, preference and notions. The knowledge advancement depends on subjective interaction between the observer and their community. Critical theory is based on the assumption that there are flaws in certain aspects of social world which needs to be transformed. Its aim is to attain knowledge of social world in order to change it. Since it challenges the existing ways, its goal is political. Normative theory has a goal of setting a standard against which operation of a given media could be judged. It explains in what ways media should operate for realizing certain set of ideal social values. Knowledge advancement is through comparative analysis in which worth of media systems is identified by comparing it with an ideal social system (Given slide chpt-1).
There are four perspectives or eras which are identified during the development of mass communication theories. This includes mass society, limited effects, cultural and meaning making perspectives. Mass society era developed in the latter half of 19th century is rooted on the nostalgia for rural community life and it predicts a nightmare future where people become servants of machines. Some of the mass society notions were developed for maintaining old political order while others were developed for bringing radical change. Limited effects era developed by Lazarsfeld uses empirical enquiry for drawing conclusions and utilizes a post positive approach from a psychological perspective. It was concluded that media is not as powerful as it is feared and media influence could be resisted by factors like religion, family etc. Culture theory challenged limited effect approach and considered them as reductionist. Idea of culture theory emanated from Europe and was supported by groups like neo Marxist. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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