|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy|
|Editors||Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Robert T Craig|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - 2016|
The term “mass” is often used in social commentaries and communication theory. Frequently it is an unflattering adjective that connotes vulgarity, passivity, or susceptibility to influence. But just as importantly, it describes a way of thinking about society, and the operation of media systems. As a noun, a mass is an entity with specific attributes that exhibits institutionally consequential behaviors. Often these mass behaviors are more than the sum of their parts. And because digital technologies now give rise to a variety of mass behaviors, evident in power law distributions and information cascades, the concept remains relevant to a network society.