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Out of the Question….

January 4, 2010

A documentary and accompanying website for the film: Out of the Question: Women, Media, and the Art of Inquiry, directed and produced by Naomi McCormack and Peter Simonson.

This documentary follows the lives of five American women active in the fields of sociology, media, and communication research in the 1940s and after. They are representative figures in a generation of mostly-unsung women who collectively made important contributions to the social scientific understanding of media, audiences, propaganda, social influence, voting behavior, and celebrity at a time when those phenomena were relatively little understood.Thelma Ehrlich AndersonJoan Doris Goldhamer,Gladys Engel LangThelma Hermann McCormack, and Yole Granata Sills were among dozens if not scores of women who had an important hand in establishing media and communications research as fields of inquiry in the 1930s and 1940s. These women have generally dropped from view, in histories that emphasize the more famous men they worked with or for, including Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, Paul Lazarsfeld, Robert K. Merton, and C. Wright Mills.

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