The beginnings of Commucication Studies

Lazarsfeld, Lewin, Hovland and Lasswell are important theorists in history of communication studies. When we look into their lives, we will notice a common point. These theorists research the situations of World War 2.

In this point, i should do the definition of social psychology; the individual is never thought seperate from society, group or social context. Social psychology research how the human behaviour is shaped by society and social context. Lazarsfeld, Lewin, Hovland and Lasswell was effected by historical context which they are witness of.

Why did these theorist study about communication? Millions of people make war to kill each other why they don’t know. This period ensue the enlightenment age that scientist, philosophers, artists defend the rationalist thoughts. They believe that everything goes to better changes for the better. On the other hand, the enlightenmet idea  was collapsed with World War 2.

How was the only one man (Adolf Hitler) caused to genocide of millions of Jewish people? What kind of propaganda method was used by him? How is the human behaviour affected by autority?  What does the people attribute the responsibilities of their crimes? How is the persuasion mechanism working? How can the mass communication use in war process?

The humanity has a heavy loss during the World War 2, however this period was efficient for social sciences.


About them:

  • Lazarsfeld: American sociologist. He was born in a Jewish family. He established mathematical sociology. He made an important contribution to research methods of social sciences.
  • Kurt Lewin: He came from a Jewish Family in Poland. They migrated to Germany , after then USA. He studied about organizational behavior, group dynamics and experimental social psychology.
  • Carl Hovland: American psychologist. He had been in army during World War 2. His research interest were attitude changes and persuasion. He also studied about how mass communication can use more efficiently in war process.
  • Harold Lasswell: American political scientist, also communication theorist. He comes from Chicago School. He was inspired by Dewey and Mead. He was a real social scientist. He studied about sociology, psychology, philosophy, political sciences and communication. He had some researchs about propaganda films.