1. The key roles that the mass media, a particular medium of communication, or specific kinds of media content are seen as playing from the perspective of society (macro-level functions). In sociology within the framework of functionalism, society is seen as having communication ‘needs’ of its own. Lasswell in 1948 listed three key media functions: a surveillance function, a consensus (or correlation) function, and a socialization (or transmission) function. Most commentators add a fourth function: entertainment.
2. The basic human needs which the mass media, a single medium, a media genre, or specific media content, serve for individuals (micro-level functions). Frameworks vary, but commonly listed are a diversion (or entertainment) function, a social utility function, a personal identity function, and a surveillance (or information) function. See also individual-media dependency; personal functions; uses and gratifications.