Uses and Gratification Research

Topics: Facebook, Marshall McLuhan, Social network service Pages: 17 (6734 words) Published: March 23, 2012
Introduction- Uses and gratification theory
The Uses and Gratifications Theory is a famous approach to understanding mass communication. It is an audience-centered approach to media study focusing on the uses to which people put media and the gratifications they seek from that use. (Baran, S.J., Daris, D.K., 2006) It emphasizes the audiences rather than the actual message because it more focuses on what audiences will do with the media instead of what media does to the people. Blumler and Katz’s Uses and Gratification Theory recommend media users should take a dynamic role in interpreting and integrating media into their lives because they have alternate choices to gratify their own need. (Uses and gratifications theory) They also take a dynamic part in the communication process and this are the goal oriented in their media use.  Uses and Gratification Theory (U&G) is a psychological communication perspective that examines on how individual use mass media for satisfy their life but not study on how media impact the audiences. (Papacharissi, Z., n.d.) It also emphasizes that motives, actions or an attitude is related to the media use and might change by individual or groups. When an audience actively seeks out for media, they are usually seeking for delight a need. An audience based on theoretical structure to select media and content that can satisfy their needs and desires. (Papacharissi, Z., n.d.) The needs will deliver as a motive for adopting particular medium use and this will connected to the social and psychological which make up of the individual. For example, a family may watch a TV shows for instance The American Next Top Model for their entertainment or spend some time together with their family members while some people may choose to browse an internet or look for the magazine content in order to satisfy their information needs. Audience consumes the particular media because they like what they gained from it. However, a number of mass communications scholars have argument about uses and gratifications theory is not a strict social science theory. In reality, Uses and Gratifications perspective has always provided a cutting-edge theoretical approach in the early stages of each new mass communications medium for instance television, radio internet and newspapers as well. Although scientists now are continuously using traditional tools to answer questions about the media use, but we must also be prepared to enlarge our existing theoretical models of Uses and Gratification. Besides that, the theory explains the uses and functions of the media for individuals, groups and the society. At the core of uses and gratifications theory lies the assumption that audience often seek out the mass media in order to gratify their individual needs. (Uses and gratifications approach.) Audience plays their role differently in seeking out for the medium in order to gain their own satisfaction and needs. Furthermore, medium will be used more when the current motives to use the medium leads to more satisfaction and happiness. Development

Uses and Gratifications Theory first advanced in the 1940s by Lazarsfeld and Stanton (1944), attempts to describe the reason of people use on mass media, and also the different kinds of satisfaction they receive from mass media. Gratifications are happiness, satisfactions and rewards, as a result of you meet a specific goal or desire. “The theory relies on the belief that the audience is not merely a group of passive media consumers, but that they play an active role in selecting different media to meet their needs.”(Infante, Rancer& Womack, 1997; Lowery & De Fleur, 1983) An audience has freedom to choose what media they prefer. For instances, read for newspaper or browser a website in order to meet their desires and goals. In 1944, Herta Herzog researches on the media gratifications and found that there are three major type of gratification towards the radio soup opera which are...
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