Chicago School

The first American academic institution to open a sociology department was the University of Chicago. The university itself was established in 1892, during the progressive Era.  Robert E. Park was a very influential figure in the Chicago school, providing it with new perspectives and urban themes.  Other key players were Ernest W. Burgess and Louis Wirth,Continue reading “Chicago School”

The Decatur Study and Personal Influence

Conducted in 1950 by scholars Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfield, the Decatur Study surveyed hundreds of women with hopes in discovering the main influencers on their decision-making. Katz and Lazarsfield published the results in 1955 in their work, Personal Influence. The study concluded that face to face exchanges are more influential than mediated interactions inContinue reading “The Decatur Study and Personal Influence”

Harold Laswell

Harold Dwight Lasswell Was born on February 13, 1902 and died December 18, 1978. Over the course of his life “he authored more than 30 books and 250 scholarly articles” (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica) and made major contributions to disciplines such as Political Science, Legal Education, and Communications. Following his undergraduate studies in philosophyContinue reading “Harold Laswell”

Lasswell’s Chain of Communication

Theorist Harold Lasswell created the chain of communication theory in 1948. This theory analyzes the way people communicate. Lasswell’s chain of communication was considered a “pioneering theoretical model of media effects” (Laughey, 2007, p.08). Lasswell focused on the five different types of analysis: control, content, media, audience, and effect (Laughey, 2007, p.09). These analyses haveContinue reading “Lasswell’s Chain of Communication”

Political Economy of Communication and Media

Political economy examines how power and economics are related, and how they influence mass media, social, political, and economic structuration. The tradition of political economy developed alongside the great capitalist revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In reaction to the social and commercial transformation created by capitalism early political economists looked toContinue reading “Political Economy of Communication and Media”

Process School of Communication

In communication and media studies, models of communication guide processes of human interaction. In order to study communications, it is necessary to examine the use of models (Carey, 1982). The process school is a model of communication that is mainly concerned with the efficiency and accuracy of the transmission of messages. A message is definedContinue reading “Process School of Communication”

Ritual View of Communication

Ritual view of communication, while typically thought of as “archaic,” is a way of communicating and analyzing various aspects of communication through a sacred, religious way. It essentially derives from a view of religion that incorporates sermons and highlights the role of prayer in the construction of certain media (Carey, 2009: 15). Ritual views referContinue reading “Ritual View of Communication”

Selective Perception Theory

Selective perception theory, also known as selective exposure, is the theory that an audience’s interpretation of media is dependent on their personal beliefs. The public willingly chooses to consume media that aligns with their principals. If they consume media that does not reflect their ideas, the audience will view and construe the medium’s content inContinue reading “Selective Perception Theory”

Semiotic School of Communication

The Semiotic School of Communication is a term coined by John Fiske in his book Introduction to Communication Studies. According to Fiske, their are two ways of studying communication, one being the process school and the other being the semiotic school. The process school, in short, is centered on the transmission of messages and understandingContinue reading “Semiotic School of Communication”

Two-Step Flow of Communication

The Two-Step flow of communication was originally derived by Lazersfield and a group of sociologist in 1944 (Katz, 1957). Eleven years later Katz adapted the model (Katz, 1957). The original hypothesis of the Two-Step Flow of communication, described a verbal flow of communication. In which mass media flows to opinion leaders and then audience (opinionContinue reading “Two-Step Flow of Communication”

Uses and Gratifications

The Uses and Gratifications theory was posited as a more comprehensive way to discuss and analyze the roles of media effects in our lives. The Uses and Gratifications theory views the audience as an active participator when consuming media. This is a significant shift in audience perspective. Before the Uses and Gratifications theory, the audienceContinue reading “Uses and Gratifications”