The Uses and Gratification Theory - Case Study Example

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A paper "The Uses and Gratification Theory" claims that the audiences have come to evolve as human civilization has also progressed, from all the people in attendance participating in an event to just a few people performing while the others remain as a silent audience…
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The Uses and Gratification Theory
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Download file to see previous pages In previous eras, the main sources of entertainment for people tended to be festivals dedicated either to harvesting or in praise of one god or another. In the western perspective, this came to be replaced by theatre and with the modern age came the development of television and the television networks which continue to offer a wide variety of visual entertainment. The advancement in technology has increased the demand for entertainment from individuals, and because of the wide variety of entertainment being offered, it is not a surprise that many of the entertainment companies involved are competing heavily to capture audiences. Because of this, the audience has gained great influence in controlling the type of media they would like to view, and this can be likened to the individual’s lifestyle as well as mindset (Napoli, forthcoming). From the very beginning of the development of media, the main question that has concerned the developers is whether the media has any influence on the audience. It has been proven that different types of media can influence the audience, so that in some cases when an individual sees an advert of a product on television, he or she will likely purchase the product. On the other hand, there are those of the view that media has no great influence on its audience since it is they who choose what to watch (Allison, 2006). This article makes a focus on the motives behind the choice of a particular media type as a basis of the Theory of Audience especially uses and Gratification theory. In the past few decades, the invention and development of the internet have revolutionized the lives of many people in the world and one would argue that it is one of the biggest developments in mass media. Every decade of the twentieth century presented its own theories concerning media communication, and while at the beginning, it was thought that media had an effect on the audience, later with the advancement in media communication, researchers found that audiences only used media for their own benefit (Rossi, 2002). Theory of Audience Uses and Gratifications Katz first proposed the theory of Uses and Gratification and the notion behind this theory is, it focuses on a question of why and how people use particular media. In contrast to the effect model view which is what media do with people, U & G is considered as a broader aspect among media researchers who are more concerned about finding what people do with a media (Chandler,1994). This theory is contradictory to the older approach of Audience of a passive group. This theory views the audience as an active group which means individuals have power and selects that media text that best suits her needs and her attempts to satisfy the needs. This theory represents the use of media in terms of gratification of social or psychological need of the individual. This theory shifted the approach of gratification from the functional paradigm to social sciences (Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch, 1974). Gratification can be derived from three distinct sources which are media content, exposure, and social content. The mass media compete with other sources of gratification, but gratifications can be obtained from a medium's content (e.g. watching a specific program), from familiarity with a genre within the medium (e.g. watching soap operas). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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