The Imperative Relevance of Social Context.

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The Imperative Relevance of Social Context

Discussion Paper # 2

Mass Communication Theory

MMC 6401

Dr. Dardenne

January 22, 2004

Jeff Neely

The role of society as it affects the development of media is one often overlooked, as pointed out in this week’s reading. More often, research is consumed by the more popular consideration of the media’s role in shaping society. However, because media is by definition concerned with communication, it must be seen from the perspective of interaction. In any instance of interaction, there must be some sense of reciprocal participation. One participant may or may not be the dominant influencer, but nonetheless, interaction requires a mutual participation between two or more parties.

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        This week’s reading from DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach illuminated the historical developments of print, motion pictures, and broadcast media as forms of mass communication. It seems the authors feel the necessity to examine the historical development of media as a foundation from which to evaluate the various proposed theories of how and why the media operates the way that it does. In fact, to this point the authors state, “the many events that make up the history of our mass media cannot be interpreted in a theoretical vacuum.”  In order to understand why mass media functions as it does, and why ...

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