Functions of Mass Media Essay

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People's use of mass media
• Cognition: act of getting knowledge  to get
info about something, either to keep up with info on some event or to learn entirely new thing just for general knowledge cognitive need is one of basic human needs. other individuals or groups. (For ex, they refer to content of mass media to have subject of conversation) may be viewed as fulfilling social integrative needs.

• Socialisation: to create or maintain link with

• Stimulation, relaxation & emotional release: to escape boredom & stress & to give
vent to pent-up emotions & frustrations (gore films, sentimental films).

• Withdrawal: to escape need to communicate
with people around them when don't want to or feel embarrassed (reading newspaper in public place). (Joseph.R.Dominick, The dynamics of Mass Communication, 1996)

Needs gratified by media
• Diversion (from routine) • Personal relationships (with characters + for socialisation) • Personal identity (identification with fictional characters) • Surveillance (info-gathering for decisionmaking)
(Sociology of the Mass Media, Mc Quail & Brown)

Cognitive functions
• Resolution of ambiguity or uncertainty in times of social upheaval • Attitude formation, which changes as new people become public figures • Agenda setting, media selects topics about which society members think • Expansion of system of beliefs - media informs society of other people, places, & belief systems & values

• Affective effects  feelings and emotions
– fear, anxiety, hostility, frustration & related emotions as events are processed through media channels. – people becoming desensitized to scenes of violence in reality due to high exposure on media

• Behavioral effects individuals doing

something that they otherwise might not do if it were not for the influence of the media on which they are dependent.

Audience response
2 extremes:
• Critical  media has considerable effects (Marxist Media Theory, hypodermic needle...

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