Cultivation Analysis

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Cultivation Analysis examines the long-term development of perceptions, understandings, and beliefs about the world as a result of utilization of media messages. Developed by Gerbner and Gross as a causal argument, (an assertion of cause and effect, including the direction of the causality) CA reflects the transformation from transmissional perspective (position portraying the media as senders of messages) to ritual perspective (position depicting the media as representations of beliefs) of mass communication. CA focus on mediated reality causing consumers to cultivate their social reality based on 3 assumptions: TV is different from other types of media (TV has unique qualities and is available to everyone. It’s the “central cultural arm” of society), TV shapes society’s way of thinking (TV is the medium of socialization and enculturation), and TV influences are limited (Ice Age Analogy: TV may have a small impact but still is significant). Researchers developed a four-step process to show TV's importance within culture: Message systems analysis to show repetitious icons, questioning viewers about everyday lives, surveying audiences and comparing lifestyles based on cultivation differences between heavy/light viewers. The process is based on mainstreaming to develop a perception on reality, and resonance when reality coincides with the media. The effects of CA are the first order effects, (facts are learned), and the second order effects (values and assumptions are made from the media's influence). The Mean World Index (Most people look out for themselves, you can’t be too careful in dealing with people, and most people would take advantage of you) is a result of CA clarifying each statement is based on whether a person is a heavy/light viewer. CA's critical point of view examines social institutions by observing how its storytelling functions serve other than

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