Discipline in Crisis? The Shifting Paradigm of Mass Communication Research


  • Annie Lang

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Telecommunications and Program in Cognitive Science, Institute for Communication Research, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
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Corresponding author: Annie Lang; e-mail: anlang@indiana.edu


This article analyzes the Kuhnian paradigmatic status in the field of mass communication. It is suggested that the field's first paradigm, Media Effects, is in a state of crisis rather than a preparadigmatic state or a state of normal science. Finally, this article proposes a description of the current paradigm-in-crisis, suggests ways in which conceptions of the fundamental nature of what we are studying may be shifting, and proposes the elements of a new paradigm which may be emerging in the field.