Semester of Graduation

Spring

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Collective memory theory has been used to study a wide array of phenomena, including the media’s role in shaping collective memories of pivotal and influential events throughout society. Often when lacking direct contact and engagement, the media may shape the collective memories of audiences. As such, the current study examines prominent images presented in the media and the potential role each could have contributed to the collective memory of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. More specifically, this study analyzes how collective memories, which are arguably influenced by the mass media, create memories for audiences that lack direct engagement (e.g., participating in sit-ins) with the Civil Rights Movement. Adopting content analysis, findings posit that certain images from the Civil Rights Movement, along with their reinforcement in media, contributes to what mainstream audiences remember and recall, aligning the movement in favorable and respectable terms.

Committee Chair

David Stamps

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