ERIC Number: ED235522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Communication Policy and Theory: Current Perspectives on Mass Communication Research.
Bybee, Carl R.; Cahn, Dudley D.
The integration of American and European mass communication research models would provide a broader sociocultural framework for formulating communication policy. Emphasizing a functional approach, the American diffusionist model assumes that society is a system of interrelated parts naturally tending toward a state of dynamic equilibrium. The European model, however, postulates a society not in equilibrium but in constant flux owing to conflict among competing interest groups. Consequently, while American research tends to focus on mass media's effect on the individual and general role in the socialization process, European studies concentrate on the distribution of control over telecommunications. To integrate these two models, a theory must consider both individual actions and socioeconomic forces affected by and affecting the mass media, and must reconcile views of society in conflict and in equilibrium. Possible effects of this fusion for mass communication study and policymaking include (1) new understanding of the mass media's close relationship with the entire social system, (2) expansion of the scope of research to include social as well as psychological implications, and (3) greater consideration of cultural differences in policy decisions. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).