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Media and the Making of Modern GermanyMass Communications, Society, and Politics from the Empire to the Third Reich$
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Corey Ross

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278213.001.0001

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Media Publics Between Fragmentation and Integration

Media Publics Between Fragmentation and Integration

(p.163) 6 Media Publics Between Fragmentation and Integration
Media and the Making of Modern Germany

Corey Ross (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the potential of the mass media to open a more universal public sphere was by no means linear or straightforward, but was accompanied by a simultaneous process of differentiation that reflected the highly variegated market for entertainment and information. Rather, these processes had a wide range of possible social implications, including the potential to unite or to divide audiences, to weaken or reproduce existing social distinctions and, of course, to create new ones. In addition, it shows that different media exerted quite different effects within the rapidly changing public sphere. In sum, the modern media and commercial entertainment, despite their underlying ‘democratic’ logic, were not the culturally ‘standardizing’ and socially ‘levelling’ forces so often conjured by contemporaries and historians alike.

Keywords:   communication networks, democratization, distinction, domesticity, fragmentation, private sphere, public sphere, segregation, standardization

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