Monday, October 30, 2017

ComTheory: Mass Com -- What is it Good For? The Functions of Mass Communication (W11-P1) [VID]

In his book Mass Communication: A Sociological Perspective, Charles Wright drew upon Harold Lasswell's work and identified what can now be called the classic functions of the media.

According to Wright, the functions of the media are entertainment, surveillance, correlations and cultural transmission.

Four Functions Defined
  1. Entertainment: “amusement or diversion provided especially by performers” (Merriam-Webster).
  2. 2. Surveillance: “Primarily the journalism function of mass communication, which provides information about the processes, issues, events, and other developments in society” (Pavlik & McIntosh, p. 8)
  3. Correlation: “The ways in which media interpret events and issues and ascribe meanings that help individuals understand their roles within the larger society and culture” (Pavlik & McIntosh, p. 8)
    1. Who correlates for us? For example... a pundit: "a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media" (Merriam-Webster). CNN example image. ESPN example.
  4. Cultural transmission: “The transference of the dominant culture, as well as its subcultures, from one generation to the next or to immigrants, which helps people learn how to fit into society” (Pavlik & McIntosh, p. 8).

What functions do you spot in Logic music video?

Besides the Logic video example above, what other examples can you offer?

Would add any more functions to Wright's list?  Anything major functions missing?  

What about dysfunctions?  Any dysfunctions?

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