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By Gabriel Weimann

Reviewing the pictures and meanings of the mass-mediated international, Gabriel Weimann examines the symbolic atmosphere, the place truth and fiction are virtually inseparable. via dialogue of mass-mediated photos of individuals, cultures, conflict, love, intercourse, loss of life, neighborhood, and id, he demonstrates that there's usually a wide hole among fact and the reconstruction of "realities" as communicated by way of the mass media.

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Extra resources for Communicating Unreality: Modern Media and the Reconstruction of Reality

Sample text

T h e first m e t h o d used was c o n t e n t analysis; this a p p r o a c h was used t o reveal the m o d e s o f b e h a v i o r that are available for p e o p l e t o imitate in their o w n personal activities. Findings from such analyses have often been dismissed in the past as relatively u n i m p o r t a n t i f it c o u l d n o t be shown c o n v i n c i n g l y that the c o n t e n t under study had s o m e i m m e d i a t e and direct influence o n a particular audience. As our review o f c h a n g i n g perspectives on m e d i a t h e o r y has shown, such i m m e d i a t e and direct influences c a n n o t easily be d e m o n s t r a t e d because it is highly unlikely that they exist.

H o w e v e r , c o m m u n i c a t i o n scholars in this research area generally divide themselves i n t o t w o camps. " As we will see, during the short history o f media effects studies, these views have c h a n g e d their e x p l a n a t o r y power, their d o m i n a n c e , and even their o w n arguments. The "Powerful Media" Paradigm T h i s paradigm, o n c e labeled "the crudest form o f a t h e o r e t i c a l effects m o d e l , " is the t h e o r y o f uniform, powerful, direct m e d i a effects.

T h e m o s t crucial changes w e r e those organizational changes a c c o m p a n y i n g the shift in the 1 9 t h and early 2 0 t h centuries from a rural, agriculture-based society t o an urban-industrial society, including the e r o s i o n o f o p e n c o m m u n i c a t i o n within tightly knit c o m m u n i t i e s . T h e resulting p s y c h o logical alienation and the decline o f traditional social groups resulted, according t o this paradigm, in an independent and culturally isolated mass o f p e o p l e .

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