Communication Thinkers and Theory

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”