Implications of Principles of Turner's Thesis on Mass Media


by : 
Stephanie L.


This dissertation examines the primary principles included in Frederick Jackson Turner’s The Significance of the Frontier in American History Thesis and applies them to the impact of mass and social media on American democracy. Based on the widespread 19th century American belief that land equaled life, opportunity, and the expansion of democracy, Turner's Thesis hypothesizes on how the closing of the Western frontier led to the opening of a new, international one as the country turned to imperialism as the country sought to continue cultivating democracy. This dissertation, however, will be examining a different new frontier in which democracy has opportunity to grow: the realm of mass and social media. Through analysis of his principles, this paper will draw connections to the rise of mass media in the 20th century and social media in the 21st, focusing on the contributions to the expansion or retraction of democracy—an idea that has influence over the entire world today. This dissertation will ultimately answer: Does the growth of human thought impact the growth of democracy in a positive or negative way?