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Blog 4

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I feel that the most compelling theories in these chapters is the Media Effects theory basically because it always come up with some vivid examples as well as explain relevant development of researches so that it can remind me of my own experiences.

The Media Effects theory in chapter 7 goes over the five subtheories, which are the Hypodermic Model, the Minimal Effects Model, Agenda Setting, Political Socialization Theory and Cultivation Theory, by reviewing the development of those researches in history.

First of all is the Hypodermic Model, which is also called “silver bullet” and addressed years ago. In this theory, media is likely to inject “a message directly into the “bloodstream” of the public” (P231), so that the public is just some passive acceptors.

However, a theory like this had been reconsidered and replaced by Mass Society Theory and the Minimal Effects Model. The Mass Society Theory suggests that as “growing homogenization of the population and a decline in interpersonal and group relations” (P231), the public has become more susceptible to the influence of information posted by media. But the Minimal Effects believes that media is more likely to have impact on the belief that the public have already hold instead of changing their opinion. Also, media also have influence on the public by influencing their leaders.

After that, Agenda Setting approach came out. “This ability to direct people’s attention toward certain issues became known as agenda setting” (P232). The research on this approach pointed out that the public agenda is more correlated to media’s focus than the “reality”. It makes me come up with what I feel that we cannot what the world is about in a full view; what we see is just the information provided by media. We have to pay attention to what media tell us except those happen surrounding us.

Political Socialization Theory suggests “effects in subtler terms” (P235) and “the long-term, cumulative effect of exposure to mass media” (P235) especially on adolescents. As we all know, since the young people have more exposure to media, their beliefs, values and attentions including mine are unavoidably influenced by media.

Another cumulative impact of media is Cultivation Theory, which is considering the differences between if those exposure to media a lot instead of which individual program they are getting. This is also what we can observe and feel in our lives.

Overall, I can always find good explanations, backgrounds, examples making sense for me and relations to my own life when I was reading this theory, so it is really compelling to me.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Kathleen
    October 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks, Li! You present a good summary of the development of media theory and also explain why media effects is most interesting to you. Good job!

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