McQuail's Mass Communication Theory




632 pages
18 FEB 2010


Denis McQuail's Mass Communication Theory is not just a seminal text in the study of media and society - it is a benchmark for understanding and appreciating the long and winding road people and their media have taken to get us here. - Mark Deuze, Indiana University and Leiden University This is a unique work tested by time and generations of students around the world - North, South, East and West. - Kaarle Nordenstreng, University of Tampere McQuail's Mass Communication Theory continues to be the clearest and best introduction to this sprawling field. - Anders Hansen, University of Leicester With over 125,000 copies sold, McQuail's Mass Communication Theory has been the benchmark for studying media and communication for more than 25 years. It remains the most authoritative and comprehensive introduction to the field and offers unmatched coverage of the research literature. It covers everything a student needs to know of the diverse forms of mass communication today, including television, radio, newspapers, film, music, the internet and other forms of new media. Denis McQuail shows that more than ever, theories of mass communication matter for the broader understanding of society and culture. Unmatched in coverage and used across the globe, this book includes: Explorations of new media, globalization, work, economy, governance, policy, media audiences and effectsNew boxed case studies on key research publications, to familiarize students with the critical research texts in the fieldDefinitions, examples, and illustrations throughout to bring abstract concepts to life. McQuail's Mass Communication Theory is the indispensable resource no student of media and communication studies can afford to be without.


PART ONE: PRELIMINARIES1. Introduction to the Book Our object of study The structure of the book Themes and issues in mass communication Manner of treatment How to use the book Limitations of coverage and perspective Different kinds of theory Communication science and the study of mass communication Alternative traditions of analysis: structural, behavioural and cultural Conclusion2. The Rise of Mass Media From the beginning to mass media Print media: the book Print media: the newspaper Other print media Film as a mass medium Broadcasting Recorded music The communications revolution: new media versus old Differences between media ConclusionPART TWO: THEORIES3. Concepts and Models for Mass Communication Early perspectives on media and society The `mass' concept The mass communication process The mass audience The mass media as an institution of society Mass culture and popular culture The rise of a dominant paradigm for theory and research An alternative, critical paradigm Four models of communication Conclusion4. Theory of Media and Society Media, society and culture: connections and conflicts Mass communication as a society-wide process: the mediation of social relations and experience A frame of reference for connecting media with society Theme I: power and inequality Theme II: social integration and identity Theme III: social change and development Theme IV: space and time Media-society theory I: the mass society Media-society theory II: Marxism and political economy Media-society theory III: functionalism Media-society theory IV: social constructionism Media-society theory V: communication technology determinism Media-society theory VI: the information society Conclusion5. Mass Communication and Culture Communication and culture The beginnings: the Frankfurt School and critical cultural theory The redemption of the popular Gender and the mass media Commercialization Communication technology and culture Mass media and postmodern culture Conclusion6. New Media - New Theory? New media and mass communication What is new about the new media? The main themes of new media theory Applying medium theory to the new media New patterns of information traffic Computer-mediated community formation Political participation, new media and democracy Technologies of freedom? New equalizer or divider? Conclusion7. Normative Theory of Media and Society Sources of normative obligation The media and the public interest Main issues for social theory of the media Early approaches to theory: the press as `fourth estate' The 1947 Commission on Freedom of the Press and the social theory of responsibility Professionalism and media ethics Four Theories of the Press and beyond The public service broadcasting alternative Mass media, civil society and the public sphere Response to the discontents of the public sphere Alternative visions Normative media theory: four models ConclusionPART THREE: STRUCTURES8. Media Structure and Performance: Principles and Accountability Media freedom as a principle Media equality as a principle Media diversity as a principle Truth and information quality Social order and solidarity Cultural order The meaning of accountability Two alternative models of accountability Lines and relations of accountability Frames of accountability Conclusion9. Media Economics and Governance Media `not just any other business' The basics of media structure and levels of analysis Some economic principles of media structure Ownership and control Competition and concentration Mass media governance The regulation of mass media: alternative models Media policy paradigm shifts Media systems and political systems Conclusion 10. Global Mass Communication Origins of globalization Driving forces: technology and money Global media structure Multinational media ownership and control Varieties of global mass media International media dependency Cultural imperialism and beyond The media transnationalization process International news flow The global trade in media culture Towards a global media culture? Global media governance ConclusionPART FOUR: ORGANIZATIONS11. The Media Organization: Pressures and Demands Research methods and perspectives The main issues Levels of analysis The media organization in a field of social forces Relations with society Relations with pressure and interest groups Relations with owners and clients Relations with the audience Aspects of internal structure and dynamics The influence of personal characteristics of mass communicators Role conflicts and dilemmas Conclusion12. The Production of Media Culture Media-organizational activities: gatekeeping and selection Influences on news selection The struggle over access between media and society The influence of sources on news Media-organizational activity: processing and presentation The logic of media culture Alternative models of decision-making The coming of convergence culture: consumers as producers ConclusionPART FIVE: CONTENT13. Media Content: Issues, Concepts and Methods of Analysis Why study media content? Critical perspectives on content Structuralism and semiology Media content as information Media performance discourse Objectivity and its measurement Questions of research method Traditional content analysis Quantitative and qualitative analysis compared Conclusion14. Media Genres and Texts Questions of genre Genre and the internet The news genre The structure of news: bias and framing News as narrative Television violence The cultural text and its meanings ConclusionPART SIX: AUDIENCES15. Audience Theory and Research Traditions The audience concept The original audience From mass to market Goals of audience research Alternative traditions of research Audience issues of public concern Types of audience The audience as a group or public The gratifi cation set as audience The medium audience Audience as defi ned by channel or content Questions of audience reach Activity and selectivity Conclusion16. Audience Formation and Experience The `why' of media use A structural approach to audience formation The uses and gratifi cations approach An integrated model of audience choice Public and private spheres of media use Subculture and audience Lifestyle Gendered audiences Sociability and uses of the media Normative framing of media use Audience norms for content The view from the audience Media fandom The end of the audience? The `escape' of the audience The future of the audience The audience concept again ConclusionPART SEVEN: EFFECTS17. Processes and Models of Media Effects The premise of media effect The natural history of media effect research and theory: four phases Types of communicative power Levels and kinds of effects Processes of media effect: a typology Individual response and reaction: the stimulus-response model Mediating conditions of effect Source-receiver relations and effect The campaign Conclusion18. Social-Cultural Effects A model of behavioural effect The media, violence and crime Media, children and young people Collective reaction effects Diffusion of innovation and development The social distribution of knowledge Social learning theory Socialization Social control and consciousness formation Cultivation Media and long-term social and cultural change Entertainment effects Conclusion19. News, Public Opinion and Political Communication Learning from news News diffusion Framing effects Agenda-setting Effects on public opinion and attitudes The elaboration-likelihood model of infl uence The spiral of silence: the formation of climates of opinion Structuring reality and unwitting bias The communication of risk Political communication effects in democracies Effects on the political institution and process Media influence on event outcomes Propaganda and war Internet news effects ConclusionEPILOGUE20. The Future of Mass Communication Origins of the mass communication idea The end of mass communication? The survival of mass communication The consequences of new media for mass communication Conclusion