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MCM511 Theories of Communication Assignment 01 Fall 2020 Solution / Discussion

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MCM511 Assignment No.1 2020

What is paradigm shift? Explain the paradigm shift between two of mass communication theories
i.e. Magic Bullet theory and Two step flow theory.
Paradigm shift:
A paradigm shift is defined as "an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way”.
It is a Thought pattern. Paradigm is basically a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them,
especially in an intellectual discipline.

Paradigm in magic bullet theory:
Magic bullet theory/ Hypodermic needle theory was presented during this era. It is likened to a bullet released with immediate and direct effects towards audience. Audience members were considered as weak, passive and could be manipulated. This theory was popular in the nineteenth century. The media was believed to possess the powers to manipulate people’s behaviors.
The paradigm shift in magic bullet/ hypodermic needle theory also assumes that:
The media create messages with a specific purpose that is, to elicit a specific response. People react in the same manner to a message. The effects of the media's “bullets” or “syringes” are immediate and powerful, often resulting in swift behavioral changes.* It is useless for people to try to resist the influence of the media .As you think about the media today, you may be smiling in spite of yourself. But academics have largely dismissed the magic bullet theory of mass communication, saying that it discounts critical thinking skills and fails to take into account demographic variables especially education that cause people to think and behave independently. The focus turned to a more plausible theory of mass communication, and particularly the agenda-setting theory.

Paradigm in Two step flow theory:
Thomas Kuhn in 1970 a science historian argued that the way science progresses is through these radical breaks in theory. For a period of time a single theoretical perspective or paradigm dominates most research. It provides a useful guide for research as long as its basic assumptions are accepted. But sometimes small opposition research communities emerge to develop and investigate alternate theories. Sometimes their work is ignored and sometime they are able to conclusively demonstrate the validity of their perspective.
The people were influenced primarily through interpersonal contacts rather than by what they read in the newspapers and magazines or heard on the radio. This finding led the establishment of a two-step flow model of mass communication, in which effects were perceived as being modified by interpersonal communication about those media messages. For the attributes of opinion leaders another research conducted in 1943 on the housewives in Illinois a snowball sampling was done to find out who influenced their thinking on marketing, movies, fashion sand politics and then influential people were interviewed.


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