Structural Pluralism, Ethnic Pluralism, and Community Newspapers

By Hindman, Douglas Blanks; Littlefield, Robert et al. | Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

Structural Pluralism, Ethnic Pluralism, and Community Newspapers


Hindman, Douglas Blanks, Littlefield, Robert, Preston, Ann, Neumann, Dennis, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly


This study expanded the conceptual definition of community structural pluralism to include a consideration of community ethnic pluralism, and used that revised definition as a basis for analyzing the relationships among community characteristics and the orientations of local newspaper editors. Findings indicate that editors in more ethnically pluralistic communities are more likely to include ethnic minorities in their lists of influential persons and important news sources. Editors who include ethnic minorities in a list of important news sources are more likely to consider it important to cover stories about ethnic minorities.

Local mass media are responsive to the distribution of power and resources within a community. Larger, more structurally pluralistic communities generally have a more diverse power structure, a more extensive division of labor within the community, and more formal means of controlling conflict within the community. Newspapers contribute to the control of conflict in diverse communities by giving voice to competing groups, particularly when the competing groups are among the local elite.l

An enduring concern is the degree to which local mass media give voice to traditionally under-represented groups within the community. To what extent are the orientations of local newspaper editors reflective of the ethnic pluralism of the community?

This study begins by extending the conceptual definition of community structural pluralism to include a consideration of community ethnic pluralism. The study then turns to an analysis of the relationships among community structural pluralism, community ethnic pluralism, and the orientations of local newspaper editors.

Structural

Pluralism

Structural pluralism is defined as the degree of differentiation in the social system along institutional and specialized interest group lines, in a way that determines the potential sources of organized social power.2 The "differentiation in the social system" component of the definition is based on the concepts of the division of labor and heterogeneity. The "potential sources of organized social power" component of the definition draws from the concepts of political pluralism and elitism and can be linked to the concepts of social and cultural pluralism. Both "differentiation" and "power" components will be discussed below. But first it is important to point out that the definition of structural pluralism being advanced here also suggests a positive association between "differentiation in the social system" and "potential sources of organized social power." In other words, more differentiated communities would have more diverse sources of organized social power. Communities with greater degrees of differentiation would have a wider range of groups and institutions involved in community decisionmaking processes. Empirically, there has been shown to be a positive relationship between community economic differentiation and a decentralization of the local decision-making structures.3 The present study seeks to further elaborate the relationships among structural pluralism, ethnic pluralism, and the local newspaper editor's view of the ethnic diversity of the local power structure.

As was stated above, the conceptual definition of structural pluralism being advanced here borrows from the concepts of division of labor, political pluralism, and elitism. The degree of differentiation in the social system is thought to be related to the evolutionary stage of the society: organizations within more evolved societies are more complex, formalized, and specialized than those in more primitive societies. Larger, more complex societies are given order and stability through the interdependencies created by extensive division of labor.4 The division of labor, or the specialization of occupations, is just one parameter of social differentiation. Ethnic heterogeneity, income inequality, and political differentiation are additional parameters which can be observed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Structural Pluralism, Ethnic Pluralism, and Community Newspapers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.