Marjorie R. Ferguson, 69, a media scholar and professor in the college of journalism at the University of Maryland, died of cancer Oct. 4 at the home of a daughter in San Francisco.
Dr. Ferguson's specialties included the import of rapid change in communications technology, but she was skeptical of prevailing views on the impact of instant worldwide communications on culture and national identity. She suggested that such forces as blood ties, language, religion and tradition ultimately would be more influential in determining behavior and setting values.
In books, articles and presentations, she argued that a "mythology" about one-world homogeneity was becoming an ideology that serves the interests of such diverse groups as global environmentalists and corporate, free-market capitalists.
She was a feminist who wrote about journalism aimed at women, and she challenged prevailing feminist views about women and the media. One of her books was "Forever Feminine: Women's Magazines and the Cult of Femininity."
In 1988, Dr. Ferguson joined the faculty at Maryland, where until recently she was director of the doctoral program in the college of journalism. She taught graduate and undergraduate students and was a mentor for several graduate students. She lived in Washington until moving to California in recent weeks to be with her daughter.
She was born in Victoria, B.C., and attended the University of British Columbia. She moved to London in 1949 after her marriage to Donald C. Ferguson, a journalist. The marriage ended in divorce.
In 1979, she received a doctorate in sociology at the University of London.
Before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, she taught at the London School of Economics.
At one point during her years in London, she was deputy editor of Woman, the most widely circulated women's magazine in Britain.
She was author of a 1999 book, "Media Globalization," and she had written chapters in 11 other books. She also had written articles in journals of communications, sociology and policy.
Survivors include two daughters, Laura Ann Perricone of San Francisco and Caryl Jessica Kerollis of Mill Valley, Calif.; a brother; three sisters; and two granddaughters.