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The Future of the Mass Audience - W.Russell Neuman

The Future of the Mass Audience

Hardcover Published: 31st January 1992
ISBN: 9780521413473
Number Of Pages: 220

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The Future of the Mass Audience focuses on how the changing technology and economics of the mass media in post-industrial society will influence public communication. It summarises the results of a five-year study conducted in cooperation with the senior corporate planners at ABC, CBS, NBC, Time Warner, The New York Times and the Washington Post. The central question is whether the new electronic media and the use of personal computers in the communication process will lead to a fragmentation of the mass audience. Some analysts have suggested that with the growth of increasingly specialised cable television channels and electronic publishing, people will filter and pre-select news concerning only their own special interests and, as a result, cultural and political life will become increasingly polarised. This study demonstrates, however, that the movement towards fragmentation will be modest. It concludes that the production and promotion costs and economies of scale for electronic media put natural constraints on special interest, small audience programming. The conclusion sets forth a policy agenda for making the most of the participatory and democratic potential of evolving electronic communications systems.

Industry Reviews

"A pathbreaking study of how changes in the character and control of information technologies affect social structure and political communications. An important book." Daniel Bell, American Academy of Arts and Sciences "Instead of wishful crystal-ball gazing, the reader gets historically and scientifically grounded, sensitively interpreted projections of the interplay between technological developments and the prevailing political culture and political economy. Social scientists, policy makers and communication professionals will benefit immensely." Doris Graber, University of Illinios, Chicago "The most coherent and intelligent guide available about postindustrial society. He aligns the reader to the new emerging range of questions--cultural, technological, economic, social--which constitute the aftermath of mass society." Anthony Smith, Magdalen College, Oxford "The Future of the Mass Audience presents a concise and highly readable summary of trends and theories affecting the business of communications...a valuable addition to the literature in this field." Harold Vogel, Merrill Lynch "His research on audience psychology and newer communications technologies is exemplary...He speaks from a small data to big issues." George Comstock, Syracuse University "A crucial contribution to the most important debate in America: the future, if any, of television." George Gilder, Manhatten Institute "In his useful book The Future of the Mass Audience, W. Russell Neuman recently suggested that there is very little evidence to support the most alarming speculations that have been advanced by social scientists." -- The New Republic

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Whither postindustrial society?p. 2
Rethinking postindustrialismp. 4
The social effects of the new mediap. 5
Pool's thesis and time's arrowp. 7
The exhaustion of mass society theoryp. 10
The central themes of this bookp. 12
A strategy of analysisp. 14
Two theories of the communications revolutionp. 22
Mass society theory and the perils of propagandap. 23
Democratic theory and the promise of political pluralismp. 31
In the balancep. 41
The logic of electronic integrationp. 48
The nature of networksp. 48
The nature of digital electronicsp. 50
The technological driversp. 53
A universal broadband digital networkp. 74
The communications revolution as a sociopolitical forcep. 76
The psychology of media usep. 79
The other side of the storyp. 79
The helpless audiencep. 80
The paradox of propagandap. 85
A more balanced assessment of communications effectsp. 87
The media habitp. 89
McLuhan's hunchp. 97
Interactive mediap. 104
Persuasion in perspectivep. 113
The fragmentation of the mass audiencep. 115
The fragmentation hypothesisp. 115
The diversity of human interestsp. 119
Diversity within mass societyp. 127
The political economy of the mass mediap. 129
The structure of the American communications industryp. 130
The concentration curvep. 137
Economic pressures toward homogenizationp. 145
The economics of the new mediap. 158
The future of the mass audiencep. 164
Theories of technological effectsp. 165
Pluralist versus mass societyp. 166
The critical epochp. 171
Notesp. 175
Referencesp. 179
Indexp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521413473
ISBN-10: 0521413478
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 220
Published: 31st January 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.49

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