Annenberg School for Communication

Founded in 1959 through the generosity and vision of diplomat and philanthropist Walter Annenberg, The Annenberg School for Communication stands at the forefront of education, research, and policy studies on the processes, nature, and consequences of existing and emerging media. The School offers students a firm grounding in a wide range of approaches to the study of communication and its methods, drawn from both the humanities and the social sciences. Home to a wide range of centers and projects, including the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, the Center for Global Communication Studies, the Scholars Program in Culture & Communication, the Institute for Public Service, and others, research at Annenberg encompasses political communication, global communication, health communication, visual communication, cultural studies, children and media, as well as new media and information technologies, with interests extending beyond the classroom. For decades, research conducted by faculty and students at the Annenberg School has influenced public discussion of the role of the media in shaping the perceptions of the viewing public.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 271
  • Publication
    Work Status, Television Exposure, and Educational Outcomes
    (1983) Messaris, Paul; Hornik, Robert
  • Publication
    Constraints to Knowledge Gain and Behavior Change in Response to a Multi-media Health Education Project in Gambia, West Africa
    (1985) McDivitt, Judith A.
    This dissertation examines the role of information in bringing about knowledge and behavior change in health in a developing country. It specifically considers the constraints to change provided by the physical, social, and cultural context in which this information is introduced. The primary questions asked were: Under what conditions and for whom does mass-mediated health information lead to knowledge and does knowledge lead to health behavior change? Conditions hypothesized included factors at the level of the individual (e.g., access to material goods and time, contact with health workers) and compound or village characteristics (e.g., compound wealth, social support, level of development in the village). The research studied a multi-media campaign providing information about the treatment of infant diarrhea in The Gambia, West Africa. The study used survey responses from a stratified sample of 677 rural mothers. The data base included responses from interviews done before and over the first eighteen months of the campaign. The analyses were performed in steps, first testing the relationship between knowledge and practice (or mass media exposure and knowledge) while controlling for possible interviewer bias and other extraneous factors, then examining the interaction effect of the independent variable and each of the hypothesized conditioning factors. Overall, most of the conditioning relationships were not statistically significant and, of those that were, most showed a pattern opposite to that hypothesized. For knowledge and behavior, the major finding was that level of development in the village is a condition significantly affecting the relationship between knowledge about an oral rehydration solution and its use. Social support, family literacy and mother's status also provided positive, although not statistically significant, conditions. For radio exposure and knowledge, mothers with interpersonal sources of information were expected to be more likely to learn from the radio than mothers without interpersonal sources. However, radio exposure only made a significant difference in knowledge for mothers without other sources of information, indicating that the mass media can act as alternative sources of information for those without access to other sources. The most important constraint to knowledge was access to information, rather than situational factors such as wealth, education, or village characteristics. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
  • Publication
    Curing Television's Ills: The Portrayal of Health Care
    (1985-10-01) Turow, Joseph; Coe, Lisa
    Content analysis of TV programming across day- and night-time genres shows drugs and machines as the ubiquitous modes of healing, with doctors diagnosing incorrectly only three percent of the time.
  • Publication
    The Corporate Closet Managing Gay Identity on the Job
    (1992) Woods, James D
    Though we tend to think of organizations in asexual terms, a certain model of heterosexuality pervades most white-collar workplaces. Heterosexual behavior and values are disguised by official ideologies that require professionals to be "asexual" at work, in accordance with prevailing beliefs about privacy, professionalism, etiquette, intimacy between co-workers, and the irrelevance of sexuality to work. The hegemony of this model ensures that heterosexuality is rendered invisible, while homosexuality is made to seem disruptive, conspicuous, and unprofessional. Working within these environments, gay professionals adopt one of three strategies in their management of sexual identity. Some men "counterfeit" a heterosexual identity through the manipulation of outward appearances. Others "integrate" an identity by minimizing, normalizing, politicizing or dignifying their sexuality in the workplace. Still another group tries to "avoid" a sexual identity altogether by verbally or situationally dodging sexual displays. Some men use more than one of these strategies, which requires them to segregate their audiences, carefully monitoring the different approach used with each. The choice of strategy is influenced by several factors. Men who counterfeit an identity usually do so to evade the stigma of being gay, but feel socially invisible, anxious, and dishonest. Avoidance strategies protect the gay professional from social situations that might expose or discredit him, but deny him social opportunities and relationships he might enjoy. Finally, men using integration strategies pay for their candor by exposing themselves to prejudice, intensified performance pressures, and the double-edged sword of tokenism. The men's choice of strategy was also influenced by their co-workers' attitudes towards homosexuality, by their perceived economic vulnerability, and by the availability of role models. The study draws on interviews with 70 men in five U.S. cities. They range in age from 22 to 64 and represent a wide range of professional, white-collar organizations.
  • Publication
    Embracing the Written Word
    (1981) Marvin, Carolyn
  • Publication
    Video Ergo Cogito: Visual Education and Analogical Thinking
    (1996) Messaris, Paul
    For more than a decade, educators and media critics have been arguing that we are on the threshold of a new age of visual thinking (e.g., Pittman, 1990). Their reasoning: young people's minds are now being molded from the earliest years by intense exposure to television and other visual media; consequently, the young people of today are part of a new 'visual generation.' This is a widely accepted claim, and there are some data that seem to support it. For example, recent findings indicate that, over the past decade, young adults in the 18-24 age group have exhibited a pronounced increase in visual-arts involvement (Zill & Robinson, 1995). However, there is very little systematic theoretical work on the following basic question: if young people are indeed acquiring visually-oriented habits of thought from their encounters with visual media, what exactly do these habits of thought look like? To put this differently: if there is a visual intelligence, what mental skills does it consist of? This study is an attempt to give a partial answer to this question. Specifically, the study takes a close look at one particular type of mental skill that seems to play a major role in people's uses of visual media—namely, analogical thinking. Consider, for example, a recent music video called Take a Bow, which portrays a sexual encounter between Madonna and a matador. This video contains a lengthy sequence in which the editing takes us back and forth between two scenes: on the one hand, Madonna and the matador having sex; on the other hand, the matador fighting a bull. This form of parallel editing is clearly intended as an analogy: the viewer is meant to see various strands of similarity between the passionate doings in one scene and the violent ritual in the other.
  • Publication
    Jerome, Augustine and the Stesichoran Palinode
    (1987) Jamieson, Kathleen Hall
  • Publication
    The Paradox of Political Ads: Reform Depends on Voter Savvy
    (1992) Jamieson, Kathleen Hall