• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“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.

The Artwork (or Text)
The artwork (or text)

We have just examined mass communication in general and considered some of the more important models of the communication process. In this chapter, which focuses on the way texts can be interpreted, I deal with Akira Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon. I have chosen it because it is a masterpiece, but also because it serves as a metaphor for this book. In the film, as I will explain shortly, everyone who was involved with what happened in a grove offers a different description of what happened. What we have is what I call the “Rashomon phenomenon,” which poses the question, Can we know reality and find the truth about it? To show how complicated texts are and how open ...

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