(In Bulgarian: Политическа комуникация, масмедии и обществено мнение)
In the collective volume Foundations of Political Sociology
(Osnovi na Politicheskata Sotsiologiya - Основи на политическата социология)
Editor: Dimitrina Petkova Naneva
Plovdiv: Press of the Plovdiv University "P. Hilendarski", 2014, pp. 337-359
This chapter – designed for undergraduate students – addresses the multifaceted interaction between the field of politics and that of the mass media from a sociological point of view. It outlines the basic principles of the sociological theory and research on political communication, the public sphere, and public opinion. It analyzes both the technically mediated political communication, and the political importance of the media, and describes their development during the twentieth century.
The chapter presents briefly the main theories about the influence of the mass media on the political process and the public opinion. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of the media for the functioning of democracy, as well as on their close relationship and interaction with the political and economic systems. The chapter highlights particularly the specific effects of the mass media on the functions and dysfunctions of these systems, considering their contribution to the social processes and social change developed during the recession in Greece and taking also into account the new media in various cases, like Wikileaks and the Arab Spring.