One of the roles that the mass media, a particular medium, or specific kinds of media content, are seen as playing from the perspective of society (macro-level functions): in this case, the transmission (across time and among groups) of values, the social heritage, and normative models of behaviour within a culture. For Lasswell in 1948 this was one of the three key functions of social communication (the others being the surveillance function and the consensus function). Schramm suggests that it is comparable to an educational function for individuals. There is little doubt that the mass media are important agents of socialization. See also imagined community; media functions; ritual model; compare traditional transmission.
Subjects: Media Studies.