Theories of mass communication in post-war Japan have been developed from three schools : social psychology, mass society theory and Marxism. The first school has analyzed empirically media offects and media uses corresponding with mass communicasion research in America. The second school warned of the strong impact and mobilizing power of mass communication assuming the omnipotent mass media on the one hand the dispersed mass audience on the other. The third emphasized that mass communication was an apparatus of ideological control by the ruling class and focused on the political economic structure of mass media. Until the early 1960s, mass communication theory was constructed and received in the actual context reflecting people's experience during war time and under the radically changing society in Japan. But along with stabilization of society, theoretical study of mass communication became inactive and stagnat for a while. Since the later 1970s the study has been encouraged again by the stimuli of the new movement of empirical studies in America and cultural studies in Europe. However, the introduction of those foreign theories does not seem to find an echo in the actual situation of Japanese society today. We are confronted with a changing map of information media due to technological innovation. Now we are required to develop theories suitable to analyze and understand the mass communication system of Japan.
In this paper, I propose a new subject in mass media effect studies summa rizing the representative effect models. First, I classify strong-effect models into two groups. The first proup consists of effect models caused by an audience's subconsiousness reaction. The other proup is effect models which are caused by an audience's psychological mechanism tendency to depend on majority opinion. In either case, these two patterns seem to carry negative effects for rational public opinion formation process. In conclusion, I consider a third model of mass media effects which can contribute to form rational public opinion searching for a new style of mass media reporting.
This article reviews the current literature on audience studies and attempts to provide some directions for future research. First, based upon McQuail's typology, it identifies three approaches to audience research: structural, behavioral and socio-cultural. Next, it addresses the issue of audience fragmentation and polarization in the multi-channel age. The necessity of redefining the concepts of mass audience and mass communication in the new media environment is also discussed. Then, this paper summarizes recent developments in media effects and uses-and-gratifications research, followed by a brief discussion of evolving uses and effects research.
This article reviews sender studies conducted by analyzing messages in Japan during last 10 years. Many content analysis studies have tried to reveal the sender's attitude or stance toward specific affairs and to evaluate senders' performance. By adopting new analyzing methods, some studies succeeded finding out the senders understanding contained in messages. Conducting studies which link sender variables to message variables, sophistication of analyzing methodology, and analyzing various contents forms are suggested for the future.
It is not possible to reappraise specific theories without consideration for specific existing conditions of the reading. Critical theories of mass communication, no matter what they signify, have long been regarded as a subsidiary of the mainstream empirical media research rather than in their own right. By re-examining contemporary critical theories such as those of Ien Ang, this paper attempts to build up a minimum basis for writing over such a dominant view of communication studies in Japan. The main focus in the paper is on the conceptualisation of power and ideology as indispensable factors for the discursive construction of reality. It is, therefore, important for the existing theories to be up-graded at all times according to transforming conditions of the reading. Raymond Williams, for instance, can be appropriated for the analysis of the present metropolitanised as well as globalised location of mass media.
Offering the proposition "Media is the messages, " Murshall McLuhan indicated that the modality of media consumption can define our kinetic sense and thoughts. The unfortunate acceptance of McLuhan's arguments invited the lack of the sociological scrutiny. This paper will rethink the theoretical implication of McLuhan's proposition from the viewpoints of social system theory developed by Niklas Luhmann. His theory clarifies the theoretical difference between face-to-face communication and mediated communication, and the concept of "observation" will give us the alternative idea of "Medialiteracy".
This paper explores two questions concerning interactive-public communication channel of CMC(Computer-Mediated Communication): first, what dimensions of gratification are obtained, second, what characteristics do the users who post information and their opinions have. The research consisted of a questionnaire, which was administered using e-mail, and 148 replies were returned. Factor analysis using the 24 items produced five independent dimensions for gratification: sending self-presentation message, human relationship communication, receiving information, technical convenience, and diversion. A higher activity of sending information and opinion was associated with characteristics of opinion leaders: topic involvement, social activity, and sending behavior using interpersonal communication.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the theoretical problem and potentiality of psychoanalytically based audience theory. The impasse of "screen theory" regarding the spectator of cinema is that the subject is only a function of ideology. This difficulty is equivalent to that of the Arthusserian notion of the ideologically constituted subject. To break through the impasse, the Lacanian notion of subject divided in language is useful. After reviewing Stephen Heath and Slavoj Zizek whose theories depend on the Lacanian subject, it is stressed that the paradoxical nature of subject should be taken into account for psychoanalytically based audience theory.
The purpose of this paper is to explain the evolution and factors involved in the internationalization of Taiwan's television broadcasting situation, using material analyses and interview surveys as the research approach. In the conclusion are two major points. First, as a result of deregulation, television broadcasting in Taiwan, through multi-channelization, is becoming a tool to send the voices of the Taiwanese to the international community. This is especially important because of the unique political status of Taiwan, which is not generally recognized as a sovereign nation. Second, Taiwan is in an attempt to connect all the people of Chinese origin all over the world to create one global television broadcasting market.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, it has been discussed over and over again whether the media audience is active or passive. However, because of this dichotomy, the audience is sometimes described in extreme active or extreme passive terms. First, this study examines the diversity and dynamism of the active audience within the normative framework. Second, the diversity and dyna mism of the concept of audience activity is also examined from the results of both quantitative and qualitative research. I conclude that in order to overcome the limits of dichotomy, it is necessary to understand the multi-dimensional structure of audience activity.
"Mutouha-sou" is the most important word in Japanese journalism after local elections in 1995. This word consists of two meanings: there is a group of people without party affiliation and that the number of individual voters have no party affiliation is considerable. This double-sensed word enabled the news media to focus on the discussion centered on the criticism against the established party system. In this paper, "Mutouha-sou" in the news from the media and political viewpoints is discussed. Based on the results of the auther's survey and also a case study of newspapers, letters to the editor, the auther concludes that which people participated in this media event together, they had different opinions. These findings suggest the potentialities and limitations of media events, and some problematic issues about journalism.