The Mass Audience

The Mass Audience

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In the early 20th century, a new and distinctive concept of the audience rose to prominence. The audience was seen as a mass -- a large collection of people mostly unknown to one another -- that was unified through exposure to media. This construct offered a pragmatic way to map audiences that was relevant to industry, government, and social theorists. In a relatively short period of time, it became the dominant model for studying the audience. Today, it is so pervasive that most people simply take it for granted. Recently, media scholars have reopened inquiry into the meaning of qaudience.q They question the utility of the mass audience concept, characterizing it as insensitive to differences among audience members inescapably bound up with discredited notions of mass society, or serving only a narrow set of industrial interests. The authors of this volume find that these assertions are often false and unwarranted either by the historical record or by contemporary industry practice. Instead, they argue for a rediscovery of the dominant model by summarizing and critiquing the very considerable body of literature on audience behavior, and by demonstrating different ways of analyzing mass audiences. Further, they provide a framework for understanding the future of the audience in the new media environment, and suggest how the concept of mass audience can illuminate research on media effects, cultural studies, and media policy.and as the standard error of ratings estimates. ... of rating points available to the advertiser at any given time. ... variable was included in order to test whether the racial makeup of a market influences the price that advertisers are willing to pay for time. This variable is an index that compares the concentration of Whites in a given market to the national average. ... This information was obtained from the A.C. Nielsen DMA Test Market Profiles (Nielsen Media Research, November, 1992).

Title:The Mass Audience
Author:James Webster, Patricia F. Phalen
Publisher:Routledge - 2013-11-05


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