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Mass Media Influences on Public Conceptions of Social Problems
Jeffrey C. Hubbard, Melvin L. DeFleur and Lois B. DeFleur
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Oct., 1975), pp. 22-34
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/799625
Page Count: 13
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The present paper explores possible relationships between the mass media of communication and social problems by three-way comparisons between the incidence of social problems suggested in media portrayals, conceptions of the incidence of these problems held by the public, and the relative frequency of such problems reflected in statistics accumulated by official agencies. The paper summarizes several theoretical perspectives used by those studying the media and it sets forth conceptions of the developmental stages of social problems. These will provide a background for a discussion of the roles that the media may play in the emergence of such problems in our society. Official statistics on social problems and public conceptions of their prevalence are analyzed empirically in the context of a study of local media emphasis of selected problems in a specific community.
Social Problems © 1975 Oxford University Press