“Arthur Asa Berger provides a succinct, accurate, and enjoyable introduction to the mass communications field. Although the book covers the same topics as other introductory works… his writing and organization make the material seem like a light repast rather than an overbearing meal…. Essential for all undergraduate collections in mass communication theory and mass media studies.”
Arthur Asa Berger combines his broad knowledge of the field with his unique ability to translate difficult theories into comprehensible terms and accessible language. He uses illustrations related to popular genres to make these theories relevant to students” lives. The concluding chapter provides questions for further work and discussion and is designed to help the student further contemplate the implications and applications of mass communication theory. An up-to-date bibliography and glossary provide a comprehensive resource on mass communication theory.
Chapter 1: Making Sense of Mass Communication
Making Sense of Mass Communication
This introductory chapter begins with a number of scenarios describing possible readers of this book and their involvement with various aspects of the mass media and mass communication. I suggest that there are five focal points—basic areas of concern—that we might consider in dealing with the mass media: artworks or texts (which are the content of the media), artists (who create works carried by the media), audiences (who read, listen to, and see mass-mediated works), America or society (where the audiences are found), and a medium (which not only carries texts but affects them). It is possible, I point out, to deal with these focal points or areas singly or in various combinations. I then define ...