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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter tracks the byways that led to the emergence of a cross-disciplinary cadre of scholars identified with the hybrid field of political communication. Concentrating on the period between the Columbia election studies of the 1940s and 1993, it telegraphs the influence of the disciplines of sociology, political science, psychology and communication on the emerging field, indicates how scholars such as Elihu Katz, Kurt and Gladys Lang, Murray Edelman, and Doris Graber seeded the intellectual ground from which the field would grow, catalogues the emergence of a concept of effects that includes such phenomena as learning, the construction of political meaning, and agenda setting, and features a study that isolated the role of communication in activating the variables from which forecasting models predict presidential election outcomes.

Keywords: minimal effects model, constructionism and political communication, positivism and political communication, Elihu Katz, Murray Edelman, Kurt and Gladys Lang, history of political communication

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