Chapter 7

For better and for worse: effects studies and beyond

Karl Erik Rosengren Ulla Johnsson Smaragdi and Inga Sonesson

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Modern media and communication studies may be said to have started as a consequence of a moral panic (Cohen 1972/80; Roe 1985) about the effects of the new mass medium of film. At the initiative of the US Motion Picture Research Council, the so-called Payne Fund Studies were carried out in the late 1920s by a number of leading sociologists and psychologists including, for instance, Herbert Blumer, Philip Hauser and L.L. Thurstone (see Lowery and De Fleur 1983: 31 ff.). A couple of decades later, for similar but different reasons, comic magazines for children and adolescents triggered another moral panic. ...

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