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‘Mass society’ and the belief in powerful media

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‘Mass society’ and the belief in powerful media

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  1. ‘Mass society’ and the belief in powerful media

  2. Development of mass media • The first major mass medium was the printing press Helped to usher in the Renaissance • First texts were religious, including a large number of Bibles • Moved on to classic books • Then came pamphlets, including propaganda • Censorship

  3. Effects of the printing press • Increased literacy • Broadened worldview • Challenge to religious authority • Protestant Reformation • Loss of memory

  4. Photography

  5. Industrial revolution • The most rapid and wrenching social revolution in history • Began in England in the latter part of the 18th century and spread to the Continent and the United States

  6. Development of manufacturing • Manufacturing went from a secondary economic practice to dominance of the economy • The scale of production rose till vast factories employed huge numbers of workers • Child labor • New social classes developed • Proletariat and bourgeoisie • Industrial conflict and violence

  7. Printing technology advances • New presses eventually led to vastly reduced prices for newspapers, periodicals, etc. • Huge circulations • ‘lower classes’ could afford printed materials • Production of materials appealing to less refined tastes and concerns

  8. Print media • Books • Newsletters • Newspapers • Penny press • Magazines/journals • Many religious journals in mid-1800s • Mass market magazines • Ladies’ Home Journal tops 1 million circulation

  9. Urbanization • America went from being a rural nation to a highly concentrated urban nation • Concentration of the population within a short distance of factories • Factories in cities • Immigrants to US concentrated in cities in the North and Midwest • Ghettos • Social problems endemic to cities • Drugs, prostitution, crime, alcoholism, gambling

  10. 1820 Pop. 15 Chicago’s growth 1854 pop. 55,000 1898 pop. 1,698,575

  11. Social class • Emergence of an entrepreneurial (bourgeois) class • Attainment of massive wealth • Nouveau riche • Conflict with aristocracy (especially in Europe)

  12. Immigration • Growing tide in latter 19th century to peak in early 20th • Immigration flow to the eastern U.S. gradually changed from Britain to northern Europe to eastern and southern • West coast Chinese immigrants, then Japanese

  13. Transportation • Steamships • Railroads • Promontory Point • End of the “frontier” • Development of automobiles • Airplanes

  14. Development of the nation state Germany, Italy Large-scale and regular warfare

  15. Early formulation of social theory • Development of political economy and sociology in the 18th &19th centuries • Adam Smith • Karl Marx • August Comte • Gustave LeBon • Emile Durkheim • Charles Peirce • William Graham Sumner

  16. Various social theories called upon to explain problems and to provide solutions Nature versus nurture a crucial determinant

  17. Adam Smith Karl Marx

  18. August Comte: Society as organism

  19. Darwin’s theory of evolution was a powerful influence over social theory at the time

  20. Herbert Spencer and Francis Galton: “Social Darwinism”

  21. John Locke—Tabula rasa

  22. Community:Ferdinand Tonnies and Emile Durkheim

  23. Ferdinand Tonnies • Gemeinschaft (translated “community”) and Gesellschaft (translated “society”) • Gemeinschaft is a form of association where affective relations rule, where consensus and shared belief are the norm and where life is ordered, a person’s place is largely given, and the person knows and accepts the rules. (family, community, friendship)

  24. Ferdinand Tonnies • Gesellschaft is a form of association where rational self-interest rules, where the individual has multiple and conflicting roles and where affect is limited. (business, political relations, instrumental associations) • Modern society had seen a shift from gemeinschaft toward gesellschaft

  25. Emile Durkheim • Mechanical v. Organic solidarity • Mechanical solidarity a feature of traditional community--overarching consensus on norms, mores, ideology bind individuals to there place in society and generate conformity that makes society workable

  26. Emile Durkheim • Organic solidarity--society held together by interactions among individuals and groups that act according to their own interests, rationally • bonds are weak and conflict part of the expected set of consequences, but society adaptable and individual experiences greater freedom

  27. Mass society theory • The combination of these factors led to the development of ‘mass society’ • Breakdown of traditional communal life and movement into cities where people of vastly different backgrounds are thrown together