Technology and Purchasing Power: Media Availability and Audiences

Corey Ross

in Media and the Making of Modern Germany

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199278213
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191707933 | DOI:
 							Technology and Purchasing Power: Media Availability and Audiences

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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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

Chapter.  9581 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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