Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The pervasiveness of the media in our everyday lives cannot be overstated. Media (short for mediation and the plural of medium) can refer to any number of categorizations that are collectively and most frequently understood to involve the dissemination of select information (often from a singular or fixed source) to a large audience. The “mass media,” then, typically consist of various oligopolistic social institutions that are capable (through technological advances) of broadcasting information to large segments of society and are designed to promote information consistent with news, marketing, and advertising messages (all categorizations of media) that collectively communicate the reproduction of cultural norms and values. Numerous studies of the effects of mass media on society have yielded key insights on the level of importance and social significance these media embody. One of the first and most notable scholars to address how technological advances of media affected social organization was Marshal ...