Mass Production

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's September 2001

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Processes of mass communication, the aims and functions of mass communication, the notion of popular culture as a product of mass communication, are all issues relevant to comic magazines and are briefly defined in this introductory part of the thesis.

Communication is the process of transmitting meaning between individuals. It always involves at least three elements - the source, the message and the destination. A source may be an individual or a communication organization. The message can take many forms, and the destination may be an individual or a group, or what is known as a mass audience. In this last case the terms mass communication in popular usage evokes the meanings of television, radio, motion pictures, newspapers and magazines. "Mass communication", is rather, "a special kind of communication involving distinctive operating conditions, primary among which are the nature of the audience, of the communication experience and the communicator" (Wright, 1974:242).

The process by which communication works, whether it is mass communication or communication between individuals, has a distinctive pattern of characteristics, an outline of which has been described by Scramm (1974). The basic communication system is shown in Figure 1. Such a system involves a continuous exchange of messages. Messages in the communication process are made up of signs in the form of signals that stand for something in experiences. The sign is different from an object that it only represents the object in a reduce level of cues. One of the most important aspects of such a system might be that receiver and sender must be in tune (Figure 2). If each circle represents the accumulated experience of the sender and the receiver respectively, then, for communication to be possible, the circles must meet in a common experience field.

To understand the process of communication one...