• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies examines the theories, practices, and future of this fast-growing field. Editor John Downing and associate editors Denis McQuail, Philip Schlesinger, and Ellen Wartella have brought together a team of international contributors to provide a varied critical analysis of this intensely interesting field of study. The Handbook offers a comprehensive review within five interconnected areas: humanistic and social scientific approaches; global and comparative perspectives; the relation of media to economy and power; media users; and elements in the media mosaic ranging from popular music to digital technologies, from media ethics to advertising, and from Hollywood and Bollywood to alternative media.

Twentieth-Century Media Effects Research
Twentieth-century media effects research
We don't know that what we're saying is particularly significant, but it is at least true.
Robert K. Merton (1957, describing mass communication research)

Over the past 50 years, a number of authors have attempted to review the literature or offer conceptual schemes for classifying media effects (Hovland, 1954; McLeod & Reeves, 1980; Roberts & Maccoby, 1985; Weiss, 1969). Lazarsfeld (1948a) summarized the problem well:

This dearth of substantial results is due to the difficulties of the field, which become apparent as one realizes what a complexity of problems the simple term effect produces. Mass media can affect knowledge, attitudes, opinions and behavior of individuals. These effects can be immediate or delayed, of short duration or long-lasting. Effects upon individuals might ...

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