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Volume :15 Issue : 57 1997      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Major Theoretical Weaknesses In Mass Communication Research (A Study of the Trends of Saudi Professors in Mass Communication) (in Arabic)

Auther : Abdul Razaq Saleh Al-Asmani

The aim of this study was to isolate major weaknesses in the theoretical concepts of Mass Communication research. This aim was achieved by answering four main questions in a questionnaire distributed to 36 Mass Communication professors working in three Saudi universities, viz.: King Abdulaziz, King Saud, and Imam Mohammed Bin Saud universities. The professors were asked four questions:

First: to what degree does a researcher give considerable attention to theoretical framework when selecting a research question?

Second: what was his evaluation of Mass Communication theories in terms of their capability to guide and develop scientific research?

Third: do researchers (professors) at all recognize a real weakness in the theoretical concepts of Mass Communication research?

      and

      Fourth: what were those weaknesses if any?

      The results were as follows:

Only 30 questionnaires were obtained (N = 30). Five of them said they always give major attention to the theoretical framework, while another five give attention to the theoretical framework only sometimes. These represent a third of the research sample. Two thirds of the sample (20) said they give only secondary attention to the theoretical framework when they conduct research. This response supports the argument that most researchers do not give adequate attention to theoretical concepts.

Considering the respondents evaluation of Mass Communication theories, 15 of the respondents (50%) said Mass Communication theories are weak, while 10 (33%) of the sample said the theories are good; in comparison with only 5 of the respondents who considered those theories excellent. And finally, questions 3 and 4 which asked whether they believed weakness in the theoretical framework in Mass Communication exist, two third of the respondents (20) believe a weakness does exist while a third (10) of the sample did not agree in the existence of weakness in the first place. The (20) who responded positively to the weakness question gave multiple answers to question 4. Therefore 19 different weaknesses were cited by respondents, which were divided into the following main categories: Methodological, theoretical and research oriented reasons. This researcher has finally recommended De Fleur and Rokeachs theoretical classification to help researchers connect their individual research with a given theoretical framework.

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