Sociology Index -

MASS SOCIETY

Mass Communication Mass Society, Mass Communication & Mass Society - Abstracts

Mass Society refers to a society with a mass culture and large-scale, impersonal, social institutions. Even the most complex and modern societies have lively primary group social relationships, so the concept of 'Mass Society' can be thought of as an ‘ideal type’, since it does not exist in empirical reality.

'Mass Society' is intended to draw attention to the way in which life in complex societies, with great specialization and rationalized institutions, can become too anonymous and impersonal and fail to support adequate bonds between the individual and the community.

The concept of 'Mass Society' reflects the same concern in sociology - loss of community - that Tonnies expressed in his idea of Gesellschaft.

The study of leisure in a mass society requires the study of the mass media - perhaps the primary agent of 'massification.' We live in a society saturated by mass media. Virtually all forms of leisure have been affected by this increasingly powerful agent of socialization. Of all forms of mass media, television has emerged to become the most powerful media.

In mass society, typically the structure of interaction is bureaucratically organized. The need for instrumental control of behavior to purposes divorced from the life process in capitalist society has lead to the bureaucracy as the major instrument of social control. Interaction in bureaucracy and other formal organizations is so brief, impersonal, and narrowly focussed that the development of a self-system is difficult.

In mass society, typically the structure of interaction is bureaucratically organized. The need for instrumental control of behavior to purposes divorced from the life process in capitalist society has lead to the bureaucracy as the major instrument of social control. - T.R.Young

Communication Problems in a Mass Society: Mass Audience, Mass Communication & Development. - Moemeka Andrew A. 
Abstract: This paper examines the problem of how to reconcile the practical realities of the nature of the mass audience with the demands of personal and social development, particularly in Africa and other Third World Countries, where the demands of modernization have confronted traditional norms and values. After defining and clarifying key concepts such as development, communication, mass communication, mass society, mass audience, and types of audience participation, the paper explores the relationship between the mass media and the mass audience, and discusses the effects of the media in terms of conflict theory, social criticism, and the theories of ideological effects.