John Fiske

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fiske, John


Born Mar. 30, 1842, in Hartford, Conn.; died July 4, 1901, in Gloucester, Mass. American historian and philosopher.

Fiske was significantly influenced by H. Spencer. In his historical studies he made use of a comparative method to examine political institutions, ignoring the socioeconomic conditions that gave rise to them and attributing the similar traits of various political systems over the course of history to racial community. Fiske preached the racial superiority of the Aryans and the inevitability of the spread of Anglo-Saxon political institutions throughout the world. He traced the development of the US bourgeois political system to the growth of Teutonic ideas and to the growth of the federal and local governments. In his works devoted to the colonial period in American history and to the American Revolution, Fiske attributed the cause of the war to the political shortsightedness of the British government.


The Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, vols. 1–4. Boston, 1903.
The Beginnings of New England. Boston–New York, 1930.
American Political Ideas Viewed From the Standpoint of Universal History. Boston–New York [1917].
The War of Independence. Boston, 1917.
The Critical Period of American History, 1783–1789. Boston–New York, 1898.


Dement’ev, I. P. “Istoricheskie vzgliady Dzh. Fiske.” In the collection Istoriia i istoriki, 1971. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The 1970s to the mid-1990s was a rich period for 'post-Barthian' critical approaches to advertising, as authors like Judith Williamson, John Fiske, Jib Fowles, Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson, and Sut Jhally, working within new cultural studies frameworks, developed historical and analytical approaches to advertising as more than mere lubricant in the wheels of capitalism.
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But one thing is sure; communication came to be considered the "core of culture, knowledge and social behavior." One of the most important theorists of communication, John Fiske, wrote in his famous study Introduction to Communication Studies "communication is a central dimension of our cultural life; without it, any kind of culture dies.
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Survivors include three children: James, Jean (Rashkin), and Don; two brothers: John Fiske and Sam Fiske; two sisters Elizabeth Pittman and Gail Pool; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
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