Media Matters

  • Brian J. Jones


Here, trends in mass media consumption and media technologies in terms of their associations with other aspects of American society are examined. Jones probes the common claims about mass media, examining the data from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey 2000 (SCCBS2000) and GSS in the 2000s. Despite a declining readership of newspapers and fears that new media such as television and the Internet will weaken American society, the data reveal that Americans are not watching considerably more TV than in the 1970s, while Internet hours are positively associated with measures of social capital with a tail-off after 20 hours per week.


Newspaper readership Internet use Television viewing New technology 


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  2. Pew Internet & American Life Project, “The Social Side of the Internet,” January 2011. January 2011.
  3. Putnam, Robert D., Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2000).Google Scholar
  4. Saguaro Seminar at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, 2000. TNS Interresearch, producer; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut, distributor. 1 data file (29,733 logical records).Google Scholar
  5. Slater, Philip, The Pursuit of Loneliness (Long Beach, CA: Beach Press, 1970).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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