JOURNAL OF MASS COMMUNICATION STUDIES
Online ISSN : 2432-0838
Print ISSN : 1341-1306
ISSN-L : 1341-1306
Current issue
Showing 1-26 articles out of 26 articles from the selected issue
Revisiting the Concept of the Masses
  • Shunya Yoshimi
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 3-16
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This article focuses on the historical transformation of the concept of ‘mass’in the contemporary social sciences. First, the ‘masses’ is the collective object conceptualized in a specific historical context that had emerged in the early 20th century and disappeared by the end of the century. Before the emergence of this concept, the elite and intellectuals were struck with fear of the expanding images of crowds of poor laborers.

      After the W.W.I, the uncontrollable image of the crowd has changed to the image of the ‘masses’ who could be mobilized as soldiers and consumers. Especially after W.W.II, the concepts of ‘mass society’ and ‘mass communication’ were often discussed. The sociological theory of ‘mass society’ became a major discourse in sociology and the ‘mass communication’ theory became the hegemonic discourse in the field of media studies. The author also discussed the subtle difference of the concept of ‘mass’ in the different academic fields such as sociology, communication studies, and cultural studies.

      Finally, this article discusses the transformation of the concept of ‘mass’ in digital society from the 21st century onward. Today, ‘mass’ is more discussed with the expansion of the ‘mass data’ than the ‘mass society’. The author analyzes the structural transformation of our society with digital technology in this conceptual change. Today, we are facing the expansion of ‘mass data’ that seems to be uncontrollable for ordinary people. Although the society of ‘mass data’ is quite different from the society of ‘mass communication’, it is still a subject in the field of media studies. So, the major focus of the next generation of media studies should be the critical analysis of the relationship between our society and ‘mass data’ that has been appropriated with highly developed algorithms in digital society.

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  • Yutaka Oishi
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 17-34
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

     The masses have been perceived in a negative light in contrast to the public.

    In addition, the mass audience has been regarded as subjects who are easily

    manipulated by media and political elites. Still, the elimination of the masses

    may jeopardize democracy itself. This fear as held by the author derives from

    the fact that the masses and media in advanced societies have shaped popular

    democracy as the correct form of democracy. This article re-examines mass

    communication in terms of popular democracy and national democracy.

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  • Teruo Ariyama
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 35-46
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    According to the popular belief held today regarding the masses and popularization

    in Japan, the Great Kanto earthquake marked the dawn of popularization

    and popular culture. But the notion has come into circulation without sufficient

    factual evidence. The reality among people during this period was

    revealed with reference to subscription records of newspapers, magazines,

    books, and the like in Yanagawa, a small town in Fukushima Prefecture. The

    media, as it turned out, did not evenly take root in society. On the contrary,

    society was polarized between the upper class, who enjoys the benefits of

    media and the lower class, who hardly embraced media. In fact, their gap widened.

    In no way does the term popularization describe what really happened.

    This is just an example pointing to the need to scrutinize the prevailing belief

    that popularization in Japanese society took place in the 1920s.

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  • Takumi Sato
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 47-63
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

     In the works of the author, Takumi Sato, who has been changed from a

    German modern history scholar to a media historian, the concept of “Mass” has

    crucial importance. This paper examines the role of the active masses who supported

    the Nazi regime, collating the arguments of George L. Mosse, The

    nationalization of the masses; political symbolism and mass movements in Germany

    from the Napoleonic wars through the Third Reich (1975=1994) and

    Takumi Sato, The Fascist Public Sphere; Media Studies of Total War (2018).

    The Nazi regime did not succeed due to manipulation of the masses through

    propaganda, but was instead supported by voluntary movements by the masses

    for national consensus building. From this viewpoint, the framework of media

    studies on the fascist movements should be changed from “Nazi propaganda” to

    “Nazi public relations.” As an outstanding analysis during the time of Nazi propaganda,

    Serge Chakotin, The Rape of the Masses; The Psychology of Totalitarian

    Political Propaganda (1939) can be reread. In recent years, the book has

    been republished and translated around the world, including an edition in Japanese(

    2019). What does the revival of this book mean? It shows that the bullet

    effect theory functions as an excuse for the active masses who take part in the

    political public sphere. Theoretically, the bullet effect theory was denied in the

    1950s by the limited effect theory. However, it is thought that its popularity has

    not abated because of the support by the nationalized masses in the information

    society.

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  • Tadamasa Kimura
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 65-84
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    During the first two decades in the 21st century, it is clear that for the

    mass media, which played a major social role in the last century, its role has

    relatively been diminished, and the Internet has penetrated deeply into

    Japanese society.

     What are the implications for society of this change from an era in which

    mass media exerts a great influential power to shape society at large to an

    era in which the Internet also plays a major role? If we contrast the mass

    media and the Internet, the characteristics of the Internet are said to be

    “diversification,”“polarization,” “filtering,” and “micro-targeting” which drives

    its growth as an advertising medium. In the political dimension, these

    characteristics have attracted strong social and academic interest, as they are

    supposed to produce the phenomenon of “social polarization” and “echo

    chambers.”

      In this paper, I would argue that the technological determinism that “the

    Internet intensifies social polarization” is false. I propose to consider the

    relative reduction of the role of the mass media and the expansion of the

    Internet media not as the “from the masses to the net” phenomenon but as

    the “formation of a polymedia society.” My study, after specifying an “echo-

    chamber scale” using social survey data, suggests that the higher the media

    diversity, the lower the echo-chamber degree. That is, active use of the

    polymedia environment is important to reduce the echo-chamber degree.

    From this perspective, the concern is that Japanese society has a high echo-

    chamber level compared internationally.

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Articles
  • Publication Mediaand a Historian in the 1980s
    Chikara Uchida
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 87-104
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

     In the publishing world in the 1980s, as the number of publications

    increased, visual expression came to be more pronounced in both magazines

    and books. How did this change in publishing media affect the content of the

    publications and their authors? By focusing on the case of Amino Yoshihiko

    (1928-2004)―a historian on the Japanese Middle Ages―this article

    examines the relationship between published media in the 1980s and the

    visualization of history. In particular, it explores the extent to which Amino’s

    commitment to visualizing history was of his own accord.

      This article analyzes publications by Amino from the 1980s to elucidate

    how his history books were connected with visual expression in the process of

    their production. After receiving opportunities to write in a PR magazine pub

    lished by a company, he began to write on the subject of color and costume

    in history. Afterward, he acquired knowledge on historical paintings while

    proofreading the Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Medieval Japan, New Edition(

    1984), and he made the best use of this experience to write his own book

    The Grotesque Emperor( 1986), which became one of his primary works.

    After writing The Grotesque Emperor, he collaborated with a painter to

    produce a picture book for children and participated in two large-scale

    projects featuring visual expression. This article reveals that although he was

    reluctant to commit to the work of visualizing history initially, he deepened

    his understanding of the subject through various publishing projects.

    Additionally, the publishing projects that he participated in grew in scale and

    required more initiative. This article also found that Amino collaborated with

    editors as well as at times a painter to complete all of his works, as early as

    the proposal stage.

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  • The Transformation of Knowledge Formation in the 1980s
    Tsukasa Tanihara
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 105-123
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This article analyzes magazines intended for white-collar workers to trace

    the history of “intermediateness” in knowledge formation, a topic that has

    been neglected in previous research on magazines.

      First, our review of the existing literature summarizes knowledge

    formation as conveyed through magazines intended for white-collar workers

    during the pre-W.W.II period and the period of Japan’s high economic

    growth( in the 1950’s and in the 60’s). Second, we discuss the content  

    and function of the magazine BIG Tomorrow, which launched in 1980. In

    addition to surveying the content of the magazine, we also examine the

    discourses surrounding the magazine.

    Third, we refer to related studies to assess how the competitive environment

    of white-collar workers influenced the content of BIG Tomorrow in the

    1980s.

      We conclude that during the prewar period and the period of Japan’s high

    economic growth, the knowledge formation agreeable to the intelligentsia was

    still alive. However, as the 1980s saw an increase in university graduates, the

    young generation no longer were proud intelligentsia. Consequently, white-col

    lar workers became targeted by Seishun Shuppan-sha, a media company

    intended for non-elites. Since its inception, the company has a spirit of

    “competing against the educated elite,” which resulted in articles that

    promoted competition with elites through learning how to get ahead in the

    workplace. Further, such competition through learning how to get ahead as

    method of differentiating between employees was promoted because

    numbers of university graduates were increasing during the period of stable

    economic growth and there was a shortage of positions for them in

    companies. Additionally, the competitive structure within companies fueled

    the non-elites. In view of these factors, BIG Tomorrow began delivering

    lessons on “how to get ahead” as practical knowledge and white-collar

    workers read them. Since the 1990s, practical knowledge formation has  

    expanded beyond the workplace hierarchy resulting in the emergence

    of a new “intermediateness” in knowledge formation within contemporary

    society.

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  • From MarriageInformation Magazine to Bridal Information Magazine
    Yongcheng Peng
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 125-142
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This paper focused on a content analysis of the Zexy magazine to examine

    the ideal marriage image constructed in it. Before the appearance of a

    specialized marriage information magazine, the sources of information were

    limited, so individuals (consumers) had little choice in their own weddings.

    Therefore, it can be said that the concept of a “marriage between two

    families” was still emphasized in weddings. The appearance of specialized

    marriage information magazines in the 1990s prompted a change in

    wedding culture back then.

    Among them, Zexy, which was launched in 1993, has changed from a

    magazine which was aimed to show information about married life, into a

    magazine which focuses on bridal information only about weddings.

      At the same time, it became clear that the ideal marriage concept

    presented in the magazine changed from a “marriage involving entire

    families” in the 1990s to “a marriage between two individuals.” In addition,

    it is also revealed the process by which Zexy socially builds a wedding into

    an event in which the bride has the right to make decisions.

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  • Nobuko Masaki
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 143-161
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This study focused on “criticism of TV” that is “viewers’ negative reaction

    to TV,” and conducted an online survey to examine the mechanisms that

    govern such behavior. The survey was conducted by presenting four scenes

    from TV shows; namely, 1) a scene lacking neutrality and fairness; 2)

    drama; 3)variety show; and 4) promotion of crime, to respondents and

    enquiring whether those scenes aroused an intention to engage in critical

    activity.

      With respect to whether the occurrence of intentional criticism behavior

    varied depending on the scene, one way ANOVA revealed that the score of

    “lack of neutrality and fairness” was high across all intention to engage in

    critical activity. Furthermore, in order to examine the determinants of the

    intention to engage in critical activity, multiple regression analysis was

    performed using the intentions to engage in critical activity regarding the

    lack of neutrality and fairness as the dependent variable, and the critical

    attitude and Presumed Media Influence (i.e., PMI) and confidence in TV,

    and the interaction term between the critical attitude and confidence in TV

    as the independent variable.

    The findings suggested that the interaction is significant for positive criticism

    behaviors, such as expressing criticism on social media, etc., and that critical

    behavior tends to occur when the confidence in TV is low and the criticism

    attitude is strong.

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  • The Case of Japanese Chess Events in the Showa Era
    Chihei Shigyo
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 163-179
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

     Media history scholars have looked at ‘media events’, events held by the

    media industry (newspaper companies, radio stations and broadcasting

    stations), and investigated their roles in mobilizing the masses,

    popularizing unfamiliar Western genres, and evoking nationalism in the pre-

    war era. However, little research has been undertaken on the relationship

    between these events and the audience/readers.

      In this paper, we aim to understand how the media industry promoted the

    participation of audience/readers and made impact on them during the

    Showaera.

      In particular, we decided to compare Shogi (Japanese chess) events

    held by Yomiuri Shimbun during the Showa-era with Shogi events held by

    Yorozuchoho during the Meiji-era.

      In these events, Shogi players were invited and paid monetary rewards

    for playing games. Game records (moves on the chessboard) were printed

    in the Shogi columns in both newspapers. Based on these columns, we

    compared the audience/readers in each era.

      In the Meiji-era, participation of the audience/readers was limited due to

    the column’s features. Firstly, it was necessary to clip the Shogi columns and

    use them with a chessboard, which made it difficult for inexperienced players

    to read them. Secondly, little information was added to the game record, so

    only skilled players who were highly motivated could understand the

    columns.

      In contrast, participation increased dramatically in the Showa-era. Firstly,

    the columns took up more space and contained much more information than

    before. Secondly, column writers tried to increase readability by applying a

    prose style inspired by popular fiction. This separated ‘reading’ from other

    activities, such as clipping and using a chessboard, and made it an enjoyable

    activity in itself. As a result, such efforts succeeded in attracting not only

    novices but also people unfamiliar with Shogi.

    Download PDF (3153K)
  • Marika Kita
    Type: research-article
    2020 Volume 97 Pages 181-199
    Published: July 31, 2020
    Released: September 26, 2020
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

     Popular cultural content is transnational, as it is produced across national

    borders. However, it is used as a tool to represent national image and identity

    for branding, which is contradictory. Therefore, two issues will become the

    subject of discussion: signifying the processes of policy makers and the

    effects of these discourses on people’s national identity. This study examines

    these issues through document analysis of Korean government publications

    concerning Korean popular music( K-Pop).

     The study shows that K-Pop signifies two different things in these

    documents.

    Documents written in English say that it is “hybrid and transnational

    music” for external branding, whereas those in Korean claim that it has

    “original content, inheriting Korea-ness from traditional culture” for internal

    branding.

    In addition, the government’s view of national identity and cultural

    nationalism shown in internal branding is not considered by the Korean

    people in their reactions to discourse about the Korean wave or change of

    governance. This rejection of this reconstructed national identity differs from

    the circumstances shown in previous studies.

    Download PDF (1751K)
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Research Group Records(November,2019 to February,2020)
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