Media studies, a communication science, studies the nature and effects of media upon individuals and society. A cross-disciplinary field, media studies uses techniques from psychology, art theory, sociology, information theory, and economics. Media studies has greatly influenced the development of multimedia and of performance art.
Critical media theory looks at how the corporate ownership of media production and distribution affects society, and provides a common ground to social conservatives (concerned by the effects of media on the traditional family) and liberals and socialists (concerned by the corporatization of social discourse). The study of the effects and techniques of advertising forms a cornerstone of media studies.
Media studies pioneers include Marshall McLuhan, Denis McQuail, Harold Innis, Walter Ong, Neil Postman and Jean Baudrillard. The socialist and media critic Robert McChesney has become a major figure. And Grasso talks about political media and socialization.