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Mass Media Anthropology

Mass Media Anthropology

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Published by Francisco Osorio
PhD dissertation about the field of mass media anthropology in the 20th century.
PhD dissertation about the field of mass media anthropology in the 20th century.

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Published by: Francisco Osorio on Apr 03, 2010
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Ph.D. Dissertation 2001
Francisco Osorio
(fosorio@uchile.cl)Fulbright/Conicyt FellowDepartment of Anthropology at University of ChileFrancisco Fernandez (franciscofernandez@mi-mail.cl)Academic AdviserDepartment of Sociology at University of Chile
   M  a  s  s   M  e   d   i  a   A  n   t   h  r  o  p  o   l  o  g  y
When I attended Elihu Katz’s conference at the University of Chile, where I was following the Ph.D.program in philosophy of social science, I never thought I would be writing my dissertation with Katz as aFulbright/Conicyt Fellow visiting the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. I do not have the words to express my gratitude to Prof. Katz for his support.Let me say that I am a newcomer to the field. As a social anthropologist, with both a MA and a Ph.D. inepistemology, I just was in the right place at the right time.This situation has advantages and disadvantages, as everything I supposed. The disadvantage is that I didnot know nothing about mass communication (which I could easily apply to anthropology and philosophy).The advantage is that mass communication is an awesome prospect for me. When I started to learn this newlanguage, I was impressed that field anthropologists working in the subject talked about people as
. Before that moment, I only heard about peasants, indigenous peoplesor natives. They also speak about
. I understood that technology influenced families, but I neverthought families could be
to a cultural product, like people taking the sun in the beach. When Iread the word
, I first thought it was a synonym for anthropologist, because we usually referourselves as observers. However, the viewer is not a social scientist but someone who watches television.Then I realized that an observer is not a viewer. In addition, it was interesting to me that viewers
. Almost all the social sciences are here, fromeconomics (consume), politics (negotiate) to hermeneutics (interpret). I say almost because the point is thatanthropology has yet to join this conversation. For example, during the twentieth-century there was not abook called “Anthropological Introduction to Mass Communication”. At the same time, I felt comfortableas an outsider, fitting the traditional role of an anthropologist.At Philadelphia, I want to thank the Canadian scholar Mark Brewin who commented on the wholedissertation, helping me to make this work understandable. I received support and friendship from theBolivian Amalia Prado, the Canadian Avril Orloff, and the Israeli Lilach Nir. I want to thank theAmericans Barbara Grabias, Elena Larsen, Jane Appleyard, Ricardo Wray and David Park for their kindhospitality.At Santiago, I want to thank my colleagues Marcelo Arnold, Andres Recasens, Fernando Duran and GuidoVallejos for commenting earlier drafts of this essay. Francisco Fernandez guided me through the last part. Iwant to thank him.I conducted this research with a fellowship from the Chilean National Council of Science and Technology.I received a fellowship from The Fulbright Commission to visit Prof. Elihu Katz. I want to thank bothinstitutions.Francisco OsorioPhiladelphia, winter 2000
The problem. How the social sciences deal with mass media, with particular referenceto anthropology
11.1 Media Effects Tradition 11.2 Anthropology and Mass Media 21.3 Objectives 41.4 Appendix Chapter 1 62
Mass media appearances in anthropological literature: a journal review 1970-1999
112.1 Themes and problems 122.1.1 Media effects 132.1.2 Anthropology and media 172.1.3 Mass media and ritual 182.1.4 Family and kinship 192.1.5 Mass media and health 192.2 Commentary 202.3 Appendix Chapter 2 223
Comparing treatment of anthropology in journals of sociology, political science andvisual anthropology
573.1 Sociology 583.2 Political science 593.3 Visual Anthropology 593.4 Commentary 614
Where else anthropologists do write about mass media?
624.1 Communicational journals and other journals 624.2 Books and dissertations 634.3 Commentary 644.4 Appendix Chapter 4 655
Why is interest in mass media anthropology growing?
775.1 Studying cultures at a distance (World War II) 775.2 Anthropology and Nationalism 785.3 Anthropology and Development 796
What can anthropology contribute to communication research?
826.1 Call for anthropological concepts 826.2 Examples of use of anthropology in communication 836.3 Anthropological methods that might prove useful 896.4 Anthropological concepts that might be useful 916.5 Appendix Chapter 6 977
Closing stages. Proposal for an anthropology of mass communication
1007.1 The subject matter 1007.2 Methodology 1007.3 Theory 1017.3.1 Anthropological schools in mass communication 1017.4 An anthropological theory for the mass media 1027.5 Closing stages 1078
Appendix from the journal research
1088.1 Anthropological studies of mass communication 1098.2 Sociological studies of mass communication 1178.3 Political studies of mass communication 1348.4 Anthropological studies of film 1419

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