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Lecture Notes - Week 8

by: Eric Jackson

Lecture Notes - Week 8 COMM370010

Marketplace > University of Delaware > COMM370010 > Lecture Notes Week 8
Eric Jackson
Theories of Mass Communication
Angelini,James R.

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Hey guys here are the notes for the week of the 19th. This week was all about audience-centered approaches, uses and gratifications, and how entertainment is used to give these gratifications. Ho...
Theories of Mass Communication
Angelini,James R.
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eric Jackson on Friday October 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to COMM370010 at University of Delaware taught by Angelini,James R. in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views.


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Date Created: 10/23/15
Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 Theory of Uses and Grati cations Audience Centered Approach People will choose their media in order to fit their needs to get certain gratifications that they want Audience is intentional people act with a specific purpose and will choose media that supports this purpose Audience is powerful we have the ability to choose certain media we can freely make choices to act on our intentions source of power Audience is goaloriented we want to get something out of our interaction with the media Applied roots Paul Lazarsfeld Grew out of people being dissatisfied with effects research 0 Didn t like how much it accounted so much for a passive audience rather than an active one 0 People like the idea of controlling the effects that the media has on them Focuses on 0 Why people select mass media content over other I Why one form TV vs radio or one program over another 0 Media effects does the media actually achieve the goals that the person wanted to achieve I Also what effects does the media actually have even if it doesn t help reach those goals 0 Focus shifts Purpose of Communicator 9 Purpose of Receiver I What effects receiver wants the media to have on them Basic Model 1 The social and psychological origin of where do they come from 2 Needs which generate what do they hope to achieve 3 Expectations of the mass media or other sources which lead to what is their purpose ie entertainment educate etc 4 Differential patterns of media resulting in how is our pattern of exposure unique to our goals Usage patterns will vary 5 Needs gratification and how will we be rewarded from the exposure 6 Other consequences perhaps mostly unintended ones how are our opinions and interpretations of reality affected The social and psychological origin of needs which generate expectations of the mass media or other sources which lead to differential patterns of media resulting in needs gratification and other consequences perhaps mostly unintended ones Categorizing Needs McQuail et al 1972 o Broke down person s possible needs into 4 categories Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 o Diversion seek media content that allows us to escape from life s problems 0 Personal relationships expose ourselves to certain media to feel like we belong can contribute to the conversation 0 Personal identity turn to media to seek self understanding about our reality models of behavior 0 Surveillance we want information about things that might affect us and help us to accomplish some task Katz et al 1973 0 Cognitive needs want to acquire knowledge turn to mass media to learn 0 Affective needs want to have an emotional pleasurable experience 0 Personal integrative needs build confidence establish status strengthen credibility reinforce beliefs etc 0 Social integrative needs strengthen connection with family and friends by having a shared experience 0 Tension release needs freedom from daily stresses Basic Psychological Needs UD Perse and Courtright 1993 0 To relax 0 To be entertained 0 To forget o A ton of others don t bother knowing this one completely 0 Concede that some people may turn to the media with more than one purpose in mind Core Concept Different people can use the same mass communication message for very different purposes 0 What one person uses for entertainment purposes someone else may use it for educational purposes Uses and Gratifications Research Research tends to focus on the needs sought in a specific genre Quiz Shows Game Shows McQuail et al 1972 o Selfrating can compare themselves to the experts on these programs I You feel good when the person they like actually wins I Also feel good when you get a question right that the contestant got wrong 0 Education people like knowing more than they thought they did I Feel like it s self improvement 0 Social interaction people look forward to talking about these programs with others I Families might work together to get questions right Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 I Provides a shared interest connection 0 Excitement forgetting about own worries and enjoying the program feeling involvement in the competition in some way Soap Operas Herzog 1944 o Emotional release way to find something positive in a typically stressful day 0 Wishful thinking people can escape to these fantasy places because of how different the soap opera lives were from those of the listeners 0 Advice find solutions to their own problems Soap Operas Perse 1980s 0 Exciting entertainment can lead viewers to experience positive emotion excitement intrigue 0 Pass time just to fill the day nothing else to do avoid boredom Voyeurism experience private lives of the characters 0 Escapist relaxation to get away from daily stresses of life imagine they are part of the soap opera world 0 Information again to solve their problems 0 Social utility use soap operas as a tool to connect to other people common interests connect them to a social group Erotica Perse 1994 0 Sexual enhancement some people say they watch it to learn more about sex to learn about body satisfy curiosity about specific sexual practices 0 Diversion some people watch out of boredom or to relax 0 Sexual release solitary use I Seen as a safe outlet for sexual behaviors o Substitution using it because they lack the personal skills to find someone to have the physical relationship with O Major Criticism Usage of mass communication is ritualistic or habitual Basically it can be done at a low level of attention or without much purpose 0 Ex if you turn on the TV at 400 and Ellen is on it s just background noise mildly pleasant stimulation Entertainment Entertainment refers to experiencing pleasure from the mass media This is hard to identify and define Only users of the media can decide if something is entertaining for them 9 it s subjective Basis is in the distinction between reality and fantasy 0 What is reality is usually not considered entertainment why 0 Reality refers people to the problems of the real world Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 0 Fantasy forces people to abandon real problems and surrender to relaxation and imagination pressures of life do not exist Reality Versus Fantasy Reality 0 Alertness logical or sensible manner of solving problems 0 Awareness of threats perceive what is going on in the world around us and when threat is imminent o More anxiety happens because of our awareness of threats natural emotional response to protect ourselves when the situation calls for it o Enlightenment need instructions need to learn how to handle life Fantasy 0 Emotional attachment investment to favorite characters in movies or video games 0 Removal of threats these threats go away because this is the opposite of the real world 0 Less anxiety threats and danger do not exist here so they are let go and forgotten 0 Wish fulfillment less want to learn and more want to just fulfil desires instead Creates a dichotomy between entertainment and information o It is possible for things to be both informative and entertaining they are not mutually exclusive I Ex satirical news program The Daily Show Colbert Report 0 Thus there is not a dichotomy in these programs How People View Role of Entertainment Asceticism life is characterized by abstinence self denial 0 Hope to achieve a higher level of spirituality by avoiding worldly pleasures 0 Entertainment is avoided to destroy destructive temptations Calvinism religion that looks upon entertainment as a distraction 0 Entertainment is used as an attempt to save people from society 0 However it is only a distraction and stops people that God wants us to potentially become impede man s development 0 Bit more religious in tone than asceticism Marxism political socioeconomic system 0 Ruling class realize the necessity of the working class for economic prosperity 0 Entertainment is used to keep working class happy and productive 0 Entertainment is essentially for the working class not those in charge so that the elite can reap the financial benefits Psychoanalysis fear of emotions 0 Entertainment capitalizes on the reality vs fantasy elements 0 We don t want to experience the negative emotions in our lives so we look to fantasy to avoid them Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 o Creates a dichotomy in reality versus fantasy Aesthetics what makes something tasteful versus disgusting 0 Mass media lowers people s taste in high art 0 They lose the ability to appreciate this more sophisticated art Children 0 Used as examples of fantasy world of entertainment 0 Children very easily get lost in make believe fantasy 0 Play theory Source of bad effects focusing on entertainment increasing aggression violence etc 0 Violent or oversexualized television shows are often the focus Entertainment as an escape acts as an arena Entertainment is Functional Provides an escape from everyday problems Provides filler for leisure time People are concerned that our entertainment is creating a consumer culture obsessed with material possessions Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs Move up a level once you achieve a morality certain set of needs creat39v39ty39 spontaneity Most basic needs that you cannot live problem solving lack of prejudice w1thout are lowest phys1olog1cal Self actualizati n acceptance of facts At which level does entertainment come self esteemvcon dence achievement respect of others into play 9 soc1al needs belong1ng Esteem y respect by others 0 we common group I V friendshipfamrly sexualmtimacy Lowefhelon in others to achieve acceptance 9 g v security of body employment resources Safety morality the family health property Definitions Bossman and Macconi define entertainment on the following dimensions 0 Psychological relaxation allows people to destress escape the daily grind 0 Change and diversion diverse experiences that people would never experience otherwise 0 Stimulation impacts emotional states making overall experience exciting and thrilling 0 Fun enjoyable aspect of entertainment Atmosphere can generate feelings of comfort for an individual 0 Joy when we leave entertainment experience we remember it as a very positive experience Essentially audience desires a good time 39 hreathmg too1 watet sex steep hmneostasns excretion 39 O Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 Pleasure Four sub categories Pleasure of the senses ability of an individual to find pleasure in their own actions in what they hear smell touch taste Pleasure of the ego emotions ability to expose oneself to things books TV shows songs to evoke specific emotions within themselves Pleasure of personal wit and knowledge ability to find pleasure in use of cognitive and intellectual power when you have to think and use logic to learn something Pleasure of the socio emotions ability of one to feel another s emotions and identify with them 0 Ego vs socio whole vs specific parts respectively Play Theory Version 1 William Stephenson s Play Theory of Communication 0 Individual level approach examines how individual interacts with communication and encounters it differently 0 Work is reality and concerned with production 0 Play is fantasy unproductive and concerned with self satisfaction I Doesn t typically contribute to overall transmission of knowledge 0 Views all communication as either work or play with no middle ground oh wow look another dichotomy 0 Work communication commanding persuading or educating 0 Play communication communication you get pleasure from I Ex movie video game concert etc o Distinction between work and play communication is primarily dependent on the audience member it is subjective I Ex Sesame Street is educational but without the audience actually realizing it because they are entertained by the experience 0 All voluntary media use has to be play and pleasureoriented I Anything you are forced to watch attend etc is work Version 2 Oerter s Conceptualization of Play 0 Play is intrinsically motivated and highly attractive I You have the choice within yourself to watch a movie play a video game etc 0 Play implies a change in perceived reality based on what it provided to them by the media I Ignore the real world 0 Implies that it is frequently repeated I Favorite programs and songs are repeated because we want to achieve the same pleasurable experience 0 Play is used as a device for coping I Children wish for control that they lack in their own lives Theories of Mass Communication Week 8 I Adults use play to cope with reality motivated by pleasure


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