Klapper, Joseph (1917–1984)

Joseph T. Klapper is widely known for his influential work in media effects as well as his long career in private broadcasting with CBS. After returning from World War II, Klapper was a doctoral candidate in English at Columbia University when he met and interacted with Paul Lazarsfeld. Lazarsfeld convinced him to switch his major. He is best known for his prominent work in “minimal” or “limited” media effects or “functional analyses,” emphasized by his 1960 book The Effects of Mass Communication, in which he outlined his “phenomenistic approach” as “a shift away from the tendency to regard mass communication as a necessary and sufficient cause of audience effects, toward a view of the media as influences, working amid other influences, in a total ...

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