Television and Consumer Aesthetics


Paul M. Hirsch (1981) ,"Television and Consumer Aesthetics", in SV - Symbolic Consumer Behavior, eds. Elizabeth C. Hirschman and Morris B. Holbrook, New York, NY : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 76-81.

Symbolic Consumer Behavior, 1981     Pages 76-81


Paul M. Hirsch, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago

Let me confess at the outset that I was somewhat puzzled to find television being discussed at a conference on Consumer Aesthetics and Symbolic Consumption. Surely television programs produce symbols we consume, but most critics have long directed our attention away from granting any serious consideration to its aesthetics. Their objections appear under two general guises. First we have the critical posture which balks at the very idea of television aesthetics. Here, many of television's detractors would respond with an astonished, "What aesthetics?," to the suggestion that television may contain something of artistic value.

A second source of aversion to television aesthetics comes from the traditional social science approach to analyzing media content--one which is very different from a humanistic or literary model of criticism. This method of content analysis excels at counting the frequency with which certain things appear (e.g., violence, sex, minorities, etc.), but it does not conceptualize aesthetic issues in terms of the kinds of categories which audience members themselves might use to discuss what they've seen. Rather, content-analysis techniques aim to present findings which are policy-relevant, and they often succeed in revealing excesses and imbalances in the programming mix. Of course, it is also unlikely that viewers, if asked, would report seeing 400 killings and 97 white people for every black on a given night. They may not remember what they saw, but it is certainly doubtful that they will describe what they do recall in terms of the categories used by most content analysts.

As a sociologist, then, I begin my discussion of television aesthetics by suggesting there are important aspects of television which are being missed by social scientists, while recognizing at the same time that a number of important parties, including many associated with the industry itself, see an aesthetic perspective on television as utterly impractical for their own purposes.

The issues I will take up today include the following:

(1) Television as a consumer good. It is possible to conceive of television networks as multibrand firms, individual programs as brands, and the viewer's time as the equivalent of money or currency. Here we can draw on standard marketing models, which shift our attention away from the perspective on individual programs as the unit of analysis taken by most critics, and direct us to examine the strategies employed by television networks in their competition for audience shares. This, in turn, permits the consideration of television aesthetics to include topics like a comparison of magazine formats with a whole evening's television programming, and further development of Raymond Williams' (1975) concept of television "flow" as a means of making better aesthetic sense of the set of programs in contiguous time slots.

(2) A new typology of television viewing. We are still working with an antiquated concept of the audience for the mass media. It assumes a homogeneous audience consisting of passive and unselective recipients of media content, all of whom use the media in the same way. It is especially embarrassing to find that this concept has not been updated, when we realize that radio and movie audiences have been clearly differentiated for more than two decades. The classical stimulus-response model, which posits a passive mass audience, may be somewhat workable for television under the limiting conditions of an oligopolistic, three-network structure, but even its efficacy may break down if programming becomes more differentiated, as is quite plausible with the advent of cable technology.

(3) Content analysis. As I've already indicated, users of this traditional approach 'nave been too arbitrary in the selection of which categories to count. In so doing, they have reduced the study of what meanings an audience attributes to symbolic content to whatever social problems the content analyst has chosen to focus on. Here, I will propose adding categories from, and considering what scholars in the humanities have done with models of literary criticism. Combining these two perspectives will aid in moving toward a broader and more general approach to the aesthetics of television. The literary approach employs standards of quality and judgment, and may be used in conjunction with ethnographic studies which elicit audience members' valuations of particular programs or genres (cf. Himmelweit et al., 1980). Also, studies in anthropology and linguistics can be helpful here in suggesting and drawing out differences between "surface" content and "deep structures."

Once we've decided to learn more about the underdeveloped study of an aesthetics of television, the number of possible directions to pursue are almost limitless. Obviously, not everyone can be equally interested in all of them. To illustrate, let me begin with a review of the "cast of characters" or disciplines involved in television research, and a brief discussion of each one's interests, approaches, strengths, biases, and some suggestions for what each can learn and borrow from the others. This should help clarify what about television interests different groups and why their respective approaches are so divergent, yet complementary.


[The following discussion borrows liberally from two earlier articles by this author (Hirsch, 1980a and 1978).]

How and why people watch television and what symbolic content and messages viewers encode are questions of interest to a broad spectrum of social researchers and cultural analysts. Different aspects of each are posed and investigated in a variety of organizational and disciplinary contexts, ranging from English and anthropology departments and academic social research institutes, to television-industry-based research units and creative and media departments in advertising agencies, to congressmen and government agencies. Typically, each of these parties asks different questions and employs concepts and methods likely to be unfamiliar to the others. Some of these are outlined in Table 1.

Each of these research groups and disciplines has contributed valuable ideas and information on the general topic of television and social behavior. The division of labor accords pretty well with differences in the main goals of inquiry listed in the table. As a general rule, market research results (such as those of Goodhardt et al., 1975) contribute most to our understanding of how individuals and households behave toward and utilize the medium--that is, of main patterns of audience behavior. The promise of social science studies lies in explaining whv People act toward (or with) it as they do. Here, whereas improved theories, models, and data may be called for, we are hardly starting from scratch and can rely on the impressive foundations already built in psychology And sociology. The humanities also have a strong contribution to make toward our learning more concerning just what there is in television and its programs for people and cultures to experience, perceive, and possibly react to. The all to often simple and reductionistic categories usually employed by social scientists performing content analyses, to take an example, have changed little in over 30 years; additional categories might profitably follow from examining recent work by folklorists, ethnographers, linguists, literary critics, and historians--such as (1) the papers commissioned for the Aspen Institute's collection (Cater & Adler, 1975, 1976) on television as a social and cultural force, (2) Horace Newcomb's (1974, 1978) treatments of the basic formulaic elements of most television genres, or (3) parallels between Elizabeth Eisenstein's (1968) research on the impact of standardized typesetting and a greater quantity of printed works on medieval culture, and the more current "social science" concerns about television's standardization of American culture and the redundancy of a small number of themes brought on by the sheer quantity of material it presents.

My assessment of the strengths of each area is, of course, oversimplified. Television and advertising organizations, for example, although grouped under market research, are not necessarily interested in all of the same questions. Each television network's primary concern is to increase its audience size in accordance with the demographics desired by advertisers, but it has little responsibility or concern for the advertiser's additional problem of whether the commercials shown in the time periods purchased are attractive, effective, "wear out" fast, or help to induce repeat buying. Similarly, areas overlap and there are topics in which all three share a common interest.

In seeking to learn more about how people watch television and to dev~.Iop theories about how commercials help to maintain or increase brand sales, market research has developed several models of clear interest to social scientists. Basically, social scientists utilize a "marketing" model of their own when seeking to assess the impact of issues like televised violence on viewers or the "image" of minorities conveyed by the medium. Typical models employed for these purposes, however, stress imitation, modeling, and attitude conversion, whereas several marketing theories now strongly assert that television does not "work" through these processes at all. Rather, Krugman (1965) and Ehrenberg (1974), among others, stress awareness levels of a brand or product category (rather than attitudes toward it) and argue that viewers initially purchase many brands of products simply on the basis of awareness levels and familiarity. The real test of whether or not they have been influenced is if they repeat-purchase the same brand the next time they buy something in that product category. Further, these models suggest that attitudes become favorable only after the product or brand has been tried and found useful--that is, their merely purchasing it once (on a trial basis) does not indicate a favorable disposition toward it. (Contrasts between the learning hierarchy" and these marketing models are reviewed nicely by Ray (1973). The latter also resemble Rogers' (1962) model of innovation diffusion.)

A final issue raised by market research studies is how findings like those of Goodhardt, Ehrenberg, and Collins (1975) about how viewers watch television can and should be interpreted. Because a large segment of viewers appear to prefer "television" per se to specific programs and program genres, does it follow that they are basically indifferent to television, chat people have low involvement with this medium and/or its content, that it is epiphenomenal--a way to pass leisure time and (therefore) of little cultural consequence? Here is a possible example of separate goals for market and social science research. For where it may be sufficient for network programmers to know they have a "floor" of viewers per program and can obtain more by smart scheduling, the social science question remains "Why?" or "How come?" Little explanation of these descriptive findings is sought or offered by (or especially relevant for) most market research professionals, but an analytical theory to account for it remains a central province of social science research. Several complementary and alternative hypotheses, to add to the indifference--low-involvement interpretation of the findings, are offered by studies in cultural anthropology, such as Lloyd Warner's (1959) discussions of the common mythic themes underlying news stories, entertainment genres, and mass-media-produced symbolic content in general; additionally, recent developments in sociolinguistics and structuralism may be examined for applications to mass communication. As I suggested earlier, a minimum requirement is that we begin by typifying the different ways in which people actually watch television, and it is to this attempt that I now turn.


A most important characteristic of the market for national television, and basic to all advertising and programming strategies, is this fact: Within each day and time slot, the size of the total television audience remains essentially the same. That is, each network seeks to increase its share of the existing audience rather than to attract additional viewers whose sets are not turned on. The competition in business terms is for market share in a stable market, with Little expectation that new offerings in any period will attract substantial numbers of people not already watching (regularly or occasionally) in that time period. A primary goal is to hold on to those presently tuned-in while enticing viewers of the competing networks to switch. Such viewers are more likely to change channels than to turn off the set if the new program on a network currently viewed does not appeal to them. One interesting inference to be drawn from this information is a typology of viewing patterns, wherein (1) some "watch television" per se and are indifferent to which particular programs happen to come on; (2) others, although committed more to "watching something on television" than to viewing a particular program, nevertheless select among those offered at whatever times their sets are on; and (3) those whose loyalty is primarily to specific programs, who turn the set on for only those programs and otherwise leave the set off.

The basic analytic distinction here is between "watching television" versus "watching programs." Social science models of television's effects on individual viewers, and on culture and society, do not consider such distinctions or their distribution among the viewer population. I think these are important to our models, however, and discuss them in greater detail shortly. Several additional implications of the analysis so far include the following suggestions: (1) At any time, each network can expect a base of X million viewers to be tuned-in by chance. This constitutes a "floor," to which (2) programmers seek to add more viewers. (3) Even though the number in (1) may well be greater than in (2), the small but "crucial" difference in ratings points between "disappointing" and "high" ratings often depends on the (presumably) more conscious program selections of these additional viewers. Consequently, (4) much TV programming--including, for example, scenes of "gratuitous" violence--is intended to attract people from this subset of viewers, many if whose sets are already tuned to one network, to stay with it or switch from another channel. In other words, (5) a TV program's success may well be determined by relatively small statistical minorities, who represent the increment over and above those millions who would have watched whatever came on any one of the three networks anyway, by chance. And (6) changes in programming, unless very substantial, will not affect aggregate viewing levels--which have not declined, for example, since fewer action-adventure programs were scheduled fir the 1978 and 1979 television seasons.

Two recent changes in American commercial television seem to support these propositions. First is the apparent absence of a response in audience behavior to changes in programming wrought by the FCC's prime-time access rule. This required that local stations rather than networks program the first half-hour of prime time (7:30-8:00 EST), and precipitated an "invasion" of syndicated game shows--a large change in content from the more glamorous and stylized genres that had been supplied by networks during this time slot. Yet I do not think there was any notable decline in the number of sets on at this hour, after the changes in program formats were instituted. Second is the advent of "family hour," and the relatedly high ratings achieved by ABC during the last three television seasons (1975-78). Once again, change in "which" programs were offered seems to have had little or no impact on the aggregate number of viewers choosing to watch television from 8:00 to 9:00 PM (EST). Although the extent to which program genres changed fundamentally is less than in the instance of the prime-time access rule, the ABC network's somewhat innovative response to the "family hour" concept provides an interesting example of how network shares can shift in a stable aggregate market. I suspect its provision of highly successful programs built around fanciful bionic men, women, and comic book heroines also represents the development of (or return to) a basically non-violent action-adventure format. [My impressionistic coding of these shows' degree of realism and level and intensity if violent sequences places them in the same low range of antisocial activities as characterized the "Lone Ranger," whose episodes are still running in syndication. In this, my perception apparently differs from that of coders employing the Gerbner index, who placed the "Six Million Dollar Man" among the ten most violent programs on television this season (Gerbner & Gross, 1976).]

In seeking to Learn from and account for the overall success of ABC's programming under Fred Silverman's direction, one has to be less impressed by the content of specific programs than by the decisions made concerning the scheduling and promotion of programs, as well as the attention accorded the forms and genres within which programs are based. 'Inch of the credit for the great success of ABC's "miniseries" and of "Roots," for example, has been attributed to the experimentation in scheduling that each entailed. [Roots" was scheduled to run two hours nightly for six nights in a row; a "miniseries" consists of only three to about eight episodes of each program, rather than the more conventional provision of 26 episodes per series per year. It is most conducive to serializing dramatic stories and was innovated, I believe, by the BBC.] Industry experience also suggests such high ratings for specific programs yield additional benefits for a network in the form of an "inheritance effect"; viewers make more of a habit of watching other offerings on the same network after they have switched to it for any single program ("Roots," the Olympics, political conventions, or election coverage). High ratings for a program need not mean that each viewer deliberately chose it over the alternatives, however. If ABC's normal" rati n gs f or the time period during which "Roots" appeared are subtracted from the ratings record set by this series, the "increment" might well be substantially attributable to the combination of black viewers switching to the network en masse, plus a "residual" of persons who consciously selected the episodes for viewing. Should it matter, in social science models of television's effects, whether a program was deliberately chosen or watched accidentally? Should media effects vary in terms of the variety of ways viewers may become exposed to the programs they see? Or should we expect individuals' reactions and interpretations to be independent of how they came to be exposed to any particular program? I suspect that, characteristically, neither the network(s) nor advertising agencies have conducted any studies of the distribution of viewers' interpretations of "Roots," or stated reasons for watching it, and it is hazardous to speculate too seriously on its social or cultural meaning(s). [One of the most interesting explorations of this question to appear so far is by Peter Wood (1977).] However, one of the most striking organizational indicators it provides regarding American society in the 1970's is that every local affiliate of ABC, in both the North and the Deep South, carried or "cleared time" for all episodes.


Television networks provide and purvey an unending stream of audiovisual symbols, presented in the form of regularly scheduled series of "specials" (Williams, 1975). The product with which networks attract consumers is intangible. But, as in the case of many other cultural and consumer goods, the aggregate demand level is predictable. Much as the annual sales volume of aspirin, deodorants, automobiles, and, to a slightly lesser extent, of books, records, and movies, can be accurately projected, we can anticipate with some confidence that next year Nielsen will continue to report television sets in the U.S. remained on for an average of between six and seven hours daily--no matter what programs are offered. Less certain, however, is what volume or share of these aggregate markets each competing firm (for example, Sterling Drugs, Bristol-Myers, word, CM, Random House, Capital Records, and MCA) will obtain. Most of these large, publicly held corporations manufacture or produce a large variety of different products or different brands of the same basic product. [Sterling Drug's product line includes many well-known brands, such as Bayer Aspirin; Bristol-Myers makes Bufferin, Excedrin, Ban, Ipana; Random House is a subsidiary of RCA; Capitol Records releases several hundred records a year and has no other lines of business; MCA is an entertainment conglomerate involved in record manufacturing, movie and television program production.] None wishes to be overly dependent for its success on the sales performance of any one item. And all determine their performance, as an organization, by averaging across all products and brands to determine their net profit.

Television networks operate much like large multibrand firms in these other consumer-goods industries, although their marginally differentiated and advertised "brands" consist of programs, and their product (entertainment, visual images) is purchased in a slightly more complicated manner. Viewers "purchase" programs with their time, which networks, in turn, sell to advertisers wishing to reach them. Each program's ratings provide the network with information as to its market share for each day or evening time slot. Although the success of single programs will obviously concern its producers and the programming department (just as brand managers are acutely sensitive to how well General Foods' Maxim and Maxwell House brands of coffee are selling individually), the organization's success--that is, its advertising rates for the coming year--will be substantially determined by averaging across its ratings for all programs in the current season.

An important difference in perspective between a television network and many viewers and social researchers is that although the executive sums across all his network's (or record company's or movie studio's) productions, much of the audience and critics focus their interests and attention, as consumers, on particular programs (or individual records, movies, performers, or genres). However, a growing body of market research provides empirical support for McLuhan's assertion that "the medium is the message." That is, because people vary in the amount of time they are able and willing to watch (expend on) television, only a minority of episodes of a favorite program are likely to be seen by any one individual; much television viewing will be accidental or random; it is difficult to construct any distinctive viewer (demographic, psychographic) profile for most television network programs--beyond their mandatory appeal to 18- to 49-year-olds; viewers of a detective show at tl are no more likely to watch another detective program at t2 than others who earlier viewed a different type of program ar tl; and, statistically, the best predictor of what a given viewer will watch tomorrow is whichever channel his set is tuned to today. These findings, by Goodhardt, Ehrenberg, and Collins (1975) buttress Leo Bogart's observation and the longstanding contention by Paul Klein (of NBC) and others that people are more attracted to television as a product category than to specific programs (brands)--much as when people shop for aspirin, many (though certainly not ail) are indifferent to which brand of aspirin they will purchase. T,~ a degree, these findings also buttress Klein's faith in the art of scheduling (the time and day of broadcast) as a prime determinant of a program's success, as well as Gans' hypothesis (1980) that the personal involvement of the audience in the program it views is minimal.

At the same time, these researchers' findings neither explain all of the variance (R2 statistics are not provided, and Kirsch and Banks (1962) earlier reported that the network or channel "factor" leaves much unexplained variance), nor have they sought to explain why television viewers behave as they do or how they interpret what they see. Nevertheless, their findings provide impressive support for McQuail's (1970) conclusion that a majority are indifferent to what they view on television (in terms of its quality more so than broad moral themes). They also define parameters within which it may be most fruitful to explore audience perceptions, uses, and gratifications, and to relate them to broader models of cultural meaning and industry practice.

By mow it should be clear why I suggested earlier that there are many different ways of analyzing television content, and that social scientists have not taken full note of them all. What is most problematic for us may be the coding categories we use in content analysis, because we don't know how viewers make sense out of whole programs that they watch. A show like "Kojak," for instance, is manifestly "high on violent content," yet also contains a large measure of altruism and interpersonal emotional support among its male characters. An index of television violence wouldn't pick this up, but it may be important to the way viewers interpret the show. At the same time, a program such as "Little House on the Prairie," which provokes no objection from the PTA, is full of impersonal violence (fires, etc.) against children, and may well be more frightening to young children than "Kojak" is. This is important because controversies rage and shows are sometimes canceled n part over political and moral issues such as these, which, nevertheless, remain untested or inadequately studied empirically (Hirsch, 1980b). It may well be that much of the controversy conceptualizes the issue in the wrong ways; and to my mind, this points up the need for greater interdisciplinary cooperation between the social sciences (whose concepts have been widely accepted as the basis of policy disputes) and the humanities.

Two examples from the area of television programs' meaning and effects suggest areas in which I think greater interdisciplinary collaboration would be fruitful. While these touch on public policy questions, the issues they raise should be applicable and relevant to other types of content and media (of perhaps less political consequence) as well. First, social scientists engaged in content analysis, cultural anthropologists, linguists, and literary analysts should make greater efforts to integrate their respective research frameworks, findings, and methods. Some of the questions which might be clarified by such an effort include: (1) Is it useful to analyze popular culture in terms of a "surface" structure and "deep" structure (White, 1973)? For example, Horace Newcomb (1974) has proposed that television programs like "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Star Trek" are culturally significant for presenting situations in which office colleagues or other nonblood relatives emotionally relate to and depend on each other in ways previously restricted to the immediate family and blood relations in American popular culture: on the-surface, Mary is more liberated than most women portrayed on te-levision comedies, and the crew of the Enterprise is simply carrying out dramatic missions in outer spae; beneath this surface, however, both programs redefine the family unit by allowing their adult characters far more emotional and personal support from peers than previously appeared in the same genres. Content analyses by social scientists seldom take such thematic shifts into account, coding content only in terms of such surface characteristics as each role's race, sex, marital status, occupation--and then examining their interaction, abstracting the same census characteristics for the roles of the aggressor, victim, hero. If underlying thematic interpretations like Newcomb's are to be taken seriously and drawn on in such analyses (as I think they should be), then the categories utilized in such coding need to be expanded and possibly even reconsidered. [Some content analyses by sociologists have dwelt on thematic shifts as well as on characters' census characteristics. Studies like Lowenthal's 1944 classic examination of biographies in popular magazines are much too few and far between, however.]

(2) On what basis are the categories utilized in content analyses to be selected? The most sophisticated and interesting social science effort to analyze television content thus far is the work of Gerbner and Gross (1976a, 1976b). Yet I have found the reaction to it among scholars trained in techniques of literary analysis less than enthusiastic. How can such gaps be better bridged? In retrospect, if television programs are to be examined quantitatively for their degree of violence, might not a prudent "control" for generalizations about the "television world" be to code other types of behavior as well, to gauge their frequency and quality and provide a comparison? One might code instances of altruism, for example, and construct an "index of altruism" to put alongside and compare with a violence index. A humanistic critique of coding categories employed by social scientists is likely to propose that one way to emphasize the quantity and importance of what we seek or expect to find is to exclude all other content and possibilities. [See George Comstock, "The Effect of Television on Children and Adolescents: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Communication 25 (Autumn 1975): 25-34, for a similar suggestion about research on television's effects.] This issue is especially pertinent once entertainment-program content becomes a matter for debate at the level of public policy determination. While issues become framed in terms of "the evidence," there is little scientific knowledge available to support any of the various positions concerning what must be essentially political and moral decisions on how many violent or sexually explicit sequences to permit on television screens at particular hours of the evening. Content analysis so far has been far more compatible with the genre of "effects" literature in social science than with efforts in the humanities to discover cultural meanings.

Second, literary, linguistic, and semiotic efforts toward analyzing television content often make heroic assumptions about how cultural themes or messages are perceived by a mass audience. Can these cools of analysis actually be applied and "work" for situations in which audiences are heterogeneous and number in the tens of millions? On this question, social scientists' investigations of persuasion and experience from audience research suggest several useful scenarios: (a) Where a program presents characters or even photography whose actions fail to support a consistent theme or position, members of the mass audience will selectively choose and key onto whichever particular elements they find most appealing. That is, the individual audience member may not experience a cultural artifact as internally consistent where a distribution medium like television is concerned. To be popular, a program -must refract many interpretations rather than cohere into a single-message vehicle. [For further discussion of this point, see John Cawelti, Adventure, Mystery, and Romance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), and Kathryn Villani, "Personality/ Life Style and Television Viewing Behavior," Journal of Marketing Research 12 (November 1975): 432-439. Each expands on the findings of social psychologists concerning selective perception--the first from a literary standpoint, the second from that of market research.]

(b) A major research question, already touched on and to which social science should be able to provide better answers, is: Do people engaged in viewing television do so in terms of the story line followed in a dramatic (or comedy or ocher) program, or do they watch programs randomly, frame by frame? This is a major question for social policymakers ~Hirsch, 1980) because many content analyses by social scientists present an inventory of frames and sequences--not plot lines and action contexts. The policy-relevant assumption where inventories of violent sequences are concerned, for example, is that viewers take them out of context: a shooting at the beginning is not related to the program's conclusion, at which time the evil villain is brought to justice or perhaps shot in return. In short, the "effects" research of much social science is based on the assumption chat viewers process sequences as what in computer language is called bits, that each one is unrelated to what precedes or follows it. The "meaning" perspective of humanistic scholars Lends more to view the same sequences as part of a larger morality play, in which the forces of good are recurrently seen to triumph over the forces of evil. While there is some evidence chat children under five are unaware of program contexts, there is little reason to believe that adults cannot put the sequences they view into a broader context or story line, or that children experience harm from what they view prior to age five. These are important empirical issues, of interest to both sets of disciplines, and await further research reformulation.

Prospects for continuing progress in this direction are enhanced by the growth of interest among social scientists in the creation, production, and dissemination of new ideas and cultural symbols. Similarly, expanded application of humanistic tools of analysis (beyond works of fine art) to the texts utilized in motion pictures, television programs, and other forms of popular culture should serve to broaden our awareness of their cultural content. In each instance, scholars in both sets of academic disciplines are crossing over and studying topics and areas previously treated as the exclusive territory of either social science or the humanities. This commingling of ideas and methods promises to yield new and important insights.


B. Bagdikian, The Information Machine (New York: Harper, 1971).

J. Blumler and E. Katz (eds.), The Uses of Mass Communication (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1974).

L. Bogart, Strategy in Advertising (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1967).

D. Cater and R. Adler (eds.), Television as a Social Force: New Approaches to TV Criticism (New York: Praeger, 1975).

D. Cater and R. Adler, Television as a Cultural Force (New York: Praeger, 1976).

John Cawelti, Adventure, Mystery, and Romance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976).

George Comstock, "The Effect of Television on Children and Adolescents: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Communication 25 (1975), 25-34.

A. A. C. Ehrenberg, "Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer," Journal of Advertising Research 14 (1974), 25-34.

Elizabeth Eisenstein, "Some Conjectures About the Impact of Printing on Western Society and Thought: A Preliminary Report," Journal of Modern History 40 (1968), 1-53.

L. Friedman, "Calculating TV Reach and Frequency," Journal of Advertising Research 11 (1971), 21-26.

Herbert Gans, "The Audience for Television--And in Television Research," in Stephen B. Withey and Ronald P. Abeles (eds.), Television and Social Behavior: Beyond Violence and Children (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1980).

D. Gensch and B. Ranganathan, "Evaluation of Television Program Content for the Purpose of Promotional Segmentation," Journal of Marketing Research 11 (1974), 390-398.

George Gerbner and Larry Gross, "Living With Television: The Violence Profile," Journal of Communication 26 (1976), 172-199.

George Gerbner and Larry Gross, "The Scary World of TV's Heavy Viewer," Psychology Today 9 (1976), 41-45.

G. J. Goodhardt, A. A. C. Ehrenberg, and M. A. Collins, The Television Audience (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1975).

H. Himmelweit, B. Swift, and M. Biberian, "The Audience as Critic: An Approach to the Study of Entertainment," in P. Tannenbaum (ed.), Entertainment Functions of Television (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, in press).

Paul Hirsch, "Production and Distribution Roles Among Cultural Organizations: On the Division of Labor Across Intellectual Disciplines," Social Research 45 (1978), 315-330.

Paul Hirsch, "An Organizational Perspective on Television (Aided and Abetted by Models from Economics, Marketing, and the Humanities)," in Stephen B. Withey and Ronald P. Abeles (eds.), Television an d Social Behavior: Beyond Violence and Children (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1980).

Paul Hirsch, "The 'Scary World' of the Nonviewer and Other Anomalies: A Reanalysis of Gerbner et al.'s Findings on Cultivation Analysis, Part I," Communication Research 7 (1980, forthcoming).

A. Kirsch and S. Banks, "Program Types Defined by Factor Analysis," Journal of Advertising Research 2 (1962), 29-31.

P. Klein, "The Men Who Ran TV Aren't That Stupid New York, January 25, 1971, pp. 20, 21, 29.

H. Krugman, "The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning without Involvement," Public Opinion-Quarterly 28 (1965), 349-356.

D. McQuail, "The Audience for Television Plays," in Jeremy Turnstall (ed.), Media Sociology (London: Constable, 1970).

H. Newcomb, TV: The Most Popular Art (New York: Anchor, 1974).

H. Newcomb, "Assessing the Violence Profile Studies of Gerbner and Gross: A Humanistic Critique and Suggestion," Communication Research 5 (1978), 264-282.

T. Patterson and R. McClure, The Unseeing Eye (New York: Putnam, 1976).

M. Ray, "Marketing Communication and the Hierarchy of Effects," in Peter Clarke (ed.), New ~Iodeis for Mass Communication Research (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1973).

E. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1962).

Kathryn Villani, "Personality/Life Style and Television Viewing Behavior," Journal of Marketing Research 12 (1975), 432-439.

W. L. Warner, The Living and the Dead (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959).

H. White, "Structuralism and Popular Culture," Journal of Popular Culture 7 (1973), 759-775.

R. Williams, Television: Technology and Cultural Form (New York: Schocken, 1975).

P. H. Woods, "Roots of Victory, Roots of Defeat," The New Republic, March 12, 1977, pp. 27-28.



Paul M. Hirsch, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago


SV - Symbolic Consumer Behavior | 1981

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