• Humanities with Mass Communication

    Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. The subject varies greatly in theoretical and methodological focus, but may be broadly divided into three interrelated areas: the critique of artistic styles and aesthetic forms (genre, narrative, and so on), the study of the production process (e.g. technologies and markets), and sociological analysis (of ideological effects, reception and consumption, etc.).

    Media studies draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, and overlap in interests with related disciplines like mass communication, communication, communication sciences and communication studies. Researchers develop and employ theories and methods from disciplines including cultural studies, rhetoric, philosophy, literary theory, psychology, political science, political economy, economics, sociology, anthropology, social theory, art history and criticism, film theory, and information theory.

    Research on media and mass communication has been in a state of constant flux for some 50 years. Scholars in the Humanities have traditionally studied the meaning of human expression in language, philosophy, the Arts and literature. Social scientists have focused on the relations between media institutions and other institutions, not least political ones. With the so-called ‘cultural turn’ in the 1980s, media scholars’ interest shifted to the role of media in the development of culture, on the potential of media to generate meaning in a broader sense, and on the adaptation of media messages to culturally dominant forms of understanding. Today, the field is characterized by extreme diversity and extensive specialization. Studies on the systems level are few. At the same time, contemporary multicultural and global societies raise more complex issues than ever before. Given the high degree of specialization, scholars in the field may not be exposed to the impulses needed for them to be able to formulate incisive research problems.