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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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Technology and Purchasing Power: Media Availability and Audiences

Technology and Purchasing Power: Media Availability and Audiences

Chapter:
(p.121) 4 Technology and Purchasing Power: Media Availability and Audiences
Source:
Media and the Making of Modern Germany
Author(s):

Corey Ross (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278213.003.0004

This chapter shifts the focus away from elites and their concerns about the mass media towards the actual distribution and patterns of usage among media audiences. It shows that the availability of the different media and the constitution of their audiences were profoundly shaped by technological limitations, commercial considerations, cultural attitudes, and household budgets. Focusing above all on the Weimar era, it briefly reconstructs the social topography of cinema and radio audiences, and how they changed over this period. By highlighting the limited extent of radio usage and the many divides within the cinema audience, it demonstrates that the rise of the mass media did not necessarily signal an inexorable trend towards a more universal ‘mass culture’ that bulldozed class boundaries and flattened cultural distinctions in German society.

Keywords:   availability, cinema, cost, distribution, household budget, purchasing power, radio, technology

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