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Personal Influence : The Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications - Elihu Katz

Personal Influence

The Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications

Paperback Published: 9th December 2005
ISBN: 9781412805070
Number Of Pages: 400

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First published in 1955, Personal Influence reports the results of a pioneering study conducted in Decatur, Illinois, validating Paul Lazarsfeld's serendipitous discovery that messages from the media may be further mediated by informal "opinion leaders" who intercept, interpret, and diffuse what they see and hear to the personal networks in which they are embedded. This classic volume set the stage for all subsequent studies of the interaction of mass media and interpersonal influence in the making of everyday decisions in public affairs, fashion, movie-going, and consumer behavior. The contextualizing essay in Part One dwells on the surprising relevance of primary groups to the flow of mass communication.

Peter Simonson of the University of Pittsburgh has written that "Personal Influence was perhaps the most influential book in mass communication research of the postwar era, and it remains a signal text with historic significance and ongoing reverberationsmore than any other single work, it solidified what came to be known as the dominant paradigm in the field, which later researchers were compelled either to cast off or build upon."

In his introduction to this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Elihu Katz discusses the theory and methodology that underlie the Decatur study and evaluates the legacy of his coauthor and mentor, Paul F. Lazarsfeld.

Elihu Katz teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the coauthor or coeditor of more than 20 books including Medical Innovation: A Diffusion Study. Paul F. Lazarsfeld (1901-1976), one of the major figures in twentieth-century sociology, was the founder of Columbia University's Bureau for Applied Social Research. He is the coauthor of Marienthal, available from Transaction. Elmo Roper (died 1971) founded the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, located at the University of Connecticut, just after World War II.

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction to the Transaction Editionp. xv
Forewordp. xxix
The Part Played By People: A New Focus for the Study of Mass Media Effects
Images of the Mass Communications Process
Between Media and Massp. 15
Mass Media Research: The Study of "Campaigns"
Intervening Variables and the Study of Effect
Four Intervening Variables in the Mass Communications Process
Interpersonal Relations: The Discovery of "People"
The Part Played by Peoplep. 31
The Opinion Leader Idea and the Two-Step Flow of Communication
The Rediscovery of the Primary Group: Case Histories of an Intervening Variable
The Common Elements in the Pattern
Norms and Networks in the Process of Persuasion: Linking Small Group Research with Mass Media Research
An Essay in Convergencep. 43
Norms and Small Groups: The Shared Character of Opinions and Attitudesp. 48
The Instrumental Function: The "Benefits" of Conformity
Providing a Social Reality
Interaction: The Process of Convergence
The Attraction of Shared Values
Interdependent Individuals Demand Conformity of Each Other
Some Hasty Qualifications
The Role of the Group in Influencing Change: Implications for Mass Media Researchp. 66
The Group as a Medium of Change
The Group as a Target of Change
Interpersonal Networks: Communicating Within the Groupp. 82
The Patterns of Transmission
Strategic Points of Transmission
The Group and the World Outside: Implications for Mass Media Researchp. 116
Communicating to the Group
The Group in an Organizational Context
The Traditional Community: Examples from International Communications Research
A Summary of Implications
The Flow of Everyday Influence in a Midwestern Community
Locating Personal Influence
Criteria of Influencep. 137
The Generally Influential
The Specific Influentials
Everyday Contacts
A Comparison and a Tentative Result
Self-Detected Leaders
A Technique of Confirmationp. 149
The Follow-up Interview
Confirmation of Alleged Contacts
Acknowledgment of Alleged Roles
The Extent of Confirmation
The Impact of Personal Influence
The Place of Impact Analysis in the Study of Influencep. 162
Searching for and Assessing the Impact of Various Influencesp. 167
The Art of Asking Why
The Assessment of Impact
The Impact Ratings
Evaluating the Impact of Various Influencesp. 175
Marketing: Foods and Household Goods
Selection of a Motion Picture
Fashion Changes
Summary and Interpretation
The Role and Sequence of Various Influencesp. 187
The Five Main Elements of an Impact Analysis
The Accounting Scheme
The Number and Order of Influences
Position and Impact
Some Further Technical Problemsp. 198
The Pre-Classification of Cases
Pitfalls in Interviewing
The Problem of Assessment
Variations in Impactp. 208
The Role of Dissatisfaction
Another Situational Difference
Differentials in the Impact of Personal Influence
The Role of Specificity
Some Concluding Questions
The Flow of Personal Influence
On Describing the Flow of Influencep. 219
Three Relevant Dimensions
The Distribution of the Sample in the Three Dimensions
The Life-Cycle and Social Status as Determinants of Gregariousness
Marketing Leadersp. 234
Marketing Leadership and Social Status: A Horizontal Flow Pattern
Life-Cycle Position and Marketing Leadership: "The Large-Family Wives"
Gregariousness and Marketing Leadership
The Extent of Marketing Influence Within the Family
The Flow of Marketing Influence: A Summary
Fashion Leadersp. 247
"The Girls": Life-Cycle Position and Fashion Leadership
Does Interest Determine Leadership?
The Flow of Influence: Two Approaches
The "Export" Index
The Follow-Up Story
Gregariousness and Fashion Leadership
Social Status and Fashion Leadership
The Joint Role of Status Level and Gregariousness
The Flow of Fashion Influence: A Summary
Public Affairs Leadersp. 271
Social Status and Public Affairs Leadership
Sex, Social Status and the Flow of Influence
The Experts in Public Affairs
The Experts and the Flow of Influence
Gregariousness and Public Affairs Leadership
Life-Cycle Position and Public Affairs Leadership
Age and the Flow of Influence
The Joint Role of Status Level and Life-Cycle
The Flow of Influence in Public Affairs: A Summary
Movie Leadersp. 296
"Youth Culture": Movie Leadership and the Life-Cycle
Movie Leadership and Gregariousness: A Special Case
Shared Movie-Going and the Flow of Influence
Age and the Flow of Influence
The Role of the Movie Expert
Social Status and Movie Leadership
The Flow of Influence About Movies: A Summary
The Two-Step Flow of Communicationp. 309
Opinion Leadership and Exposure to the Mass Media
Opinion Leadership and the Content of Mass Communications
Opinion Leadership and Mass Media Effect
A Summary of Influences and Influentialsp. 321
The Social Location of Opinion Leader Concentrations
Subjective Interest as a Leadership Determinant
The Flow of Influence: A Review
Opinion Leader Profiles
Multiple-Area Leadership
Technical Appendices and Commentaries on the Research
Choice of the Cityp. 335
Procedure Used in Selecting Cities
Evaluation of the Results
Selection of Sample
A Guide to the Questionnairep. 340
Factual Decision Questions
The Impact Analysis
Sources of Potential Influence
Communication Behavior
Self-Designated Opinion Leadership
Correlates of Opinion Leadership
Other Attitude Questions
Extraneous Questions
On Follow-up Interviewing and Analysisp. 353
The Evolution of the Follow-up Questionnaire
Two Kinds of Follow-up: Influential and Influencee
The Follow-up Mortality
Representativeness of the Follow-up Interview
On the Analysis of a Follow-up "Flow" Table
On the Construction of Indices (Including a Substantive Addendum on an Index of Popular-Fiction Consumption)p. 369
An Inventory of Indices Appearing in the Text
Four Indices Discussed: Gregariousness, Social Status, "Importance" and Opinion Leadership (self-designated)
A Substantive Addendum: On Gregariousness, Anxiety and the Consumption of Popular-Fiction
Bibliographyp. 381
Indexp. 394
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781412805070
ISBN-10: 1412805074
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 9th December 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.56 x 15.34  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.67
Edition Number: 2