Sociology of mass communication in society of communicative abundance
Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Head of Sociology of Mass Communication Department of the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
This article brings up sociological issues in the field of mass communications in contemporary society. One of the key features of contemporary society is a multitude of communicative channels, innumerable quantities of content and numerousness of content originators. Contemporary society should fairly be referred to as communicative abundance society. We used to live in communicative shortfall society, but it was before the newcomers – digital technologies and Internet – turned into social agents. All the extant theoretical constructs originate from those bygone times. The article hypothesizes deterioration of heuristic capacity of the theories of mass communication descending from informational shortfall times. Differences between interpersonal, group and mass communication are fading now. This article brings forward an extended interpretation of mass communication as establishment of relations by means of centralized, de-centralized and accessible to literally everyone spreading of meaning-making messages. The suggested understanding of mass communication enhances the field of sociological research. It leads to emergence of new fields of research, such as social media functioning or media consumption of digital natives. The relationship between social institutions and mass communication is an item on the agenda, which demands for new conceptual constructions. Nearly all social institutions are deeply affected by mediatization. Another significant issue scrutinized in the article has to do with social demand for media research. There are two main parts determining the priority of social research, they are State (local) authorities and business. As a result, interests of the community get neglected. This article intends to draw sociological community attention to social problems related to dissemination of digital communicative technologies and to actualize sociology of mass communication as a key research area.
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