By Elihu Katz and David Foulkes

Project Presented
by
Amrita Ghosh
Roll no. MCM12020
Semester 1(Batch:2012-14)
Date: 16/10...
Outline
Introduction
Role of mass in relation to media- What it really is?
What People do with Media?
What leads one to ‘E...
Introduction
 It is often argued that the mass media "give the people what they want" and that the
viewers, listeners, an...
Role of mass in relation to mediaWhat it really is?
 It is all too clear that mass media "campaigns" do not have the powe...
What People do with Media?
 The favourite answer of the popular-culture writers to this question is that they use it for
...
What leads one to ‘ESCAPES’?
 Drives: deprivation, alienation, etc : The theorists of escape suggest that alienation is t...
 The social context of media exposure: Rather than the specific content of the media,
however, there might be some reason...
Presentation Source :
Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Autumn, 1962), 377388.
(Courtesy: JSTOR website)
Stable UR...
Mass media as escape
Mass media as escape
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Mass media as escape

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Mass media as escape

  1. 1. By Elihu Katz and David Foulkes Project Presented by Amrita Ghosh Roll no. MCM12020 Semester 1(Batch:2012-14) Date: 16/10/2012
  2. 2. Outline Introduction Role of mass in relation to media- What it really is? What People do with Media? What leads one to ‘ESCAPES’? Some Domains Of Escape: Selected Illustrations Presentation Source(Reference)
  3. 3. Introduction  It is often argued that the mass media "give the people what they want" and that the viewers, listeners, and readers ultimately determine the content of the media by their choices of what they will read, view, or hear. Whether or not this is a valid characterization of the role of the mass in relation to the media, it is only an arc of circular reasoning unless there is independent evidence of what the people do want. More particularly, there is great need to know what people do with the media, what uses they make of what the media now give them, what satisfactions they enjoy, and, indeed, what part the media play in their personal lives. Here is a discussion of some of the functions the media may perform in the lives of the members of the mass society.
  4. 4. Role of mass in relation to mediaWhat it really is?  It is all too clear that mass media "campaigns" do not have the power to brainwash or to induce radical changes. What we have learned from these years of research is how complex the process of mass persuasion really is.  The study of the "uses and gratifications" of mass communications proceeds from the assumption that the social and psychological attributes of individuals and groups shape their use of the mass media rather than vice versa. This is the approach that asks the question, not "What do the media do to people?" but, rather, "What do people do with the media?“. Some of the earliest media studies in this regard focused on problems of uses and gratifications: why women listen to soap operas, the gratifications provided by quiz programs, the functions of newspaper reading, the motives for getting interested in serious music on the radio, are famous examples.
  5. 5. What People do with Media?  The favourite answer of the popular-culture writers to this question is that they use it for escape. People are deprived and alienated, it is suggested, and so they turn to the dreamlike world of the mass media for substitute gratifications, the consequence of which is still further withdrawal from the arena of social and political action.  Every-day roles in modern society give rise to tensions or drives (stemming from alienation or felt deprivation) which lead one to high exposure to mass media with its characteristic context (e.g. the movie palace) and its characteristic content (e.g. fantasy) from which, via psychological processes such as identification, one can obtain compensatory gratification and, perhaps as an unanticipated consequence, "narcotization" of other role obligations. Such use of the mass media, in other words, would have negative feedback to one's everyday roles.  Thus the drives which lead one to mass media exposure, or high exposure itself, or the social context of exposure, or the content of the media, or the psychological process involved in mass media consumption are singled out and labelled "escapist."
  6. 6. What leads one to ‘ESCAPES’?  Drives: deprivation, alienation, etc : The theorists of escape suggest that alienation is the starting point for any uses of the mass media . Alienation may mean the feeling of powerlessness or meaninglessness, or the feeling of ideological or social isolation. Alienation produces the desire to escape, a desire which the mass media are presumed to be instrumental in satisfying. Johnstone studied adolescents' use of the media and found, for example, that the lower one's self-esteem the more time one spends with TV; the less one has of whatever it is that one's schoolmates happen to value (grades, athletic prowess, money), the more heavily one is exposed to the media. A drive, in other words, may well be "escapist," but its fulfilment may or may not be. Escape may or may not be the result of the operation of such a drive.  High exposure : The foregoing evidence suggests that increased media exposure may be sought as a means of escape from everyday role situations. Also the feelings of attraction to the peer group are highly predictive of mass media behaviour- group listening to popular music, for example, serves the socially integrated adolescent as much as listening alone to popular music, or watching TV, appeases the isolate.  Escapist content : Escapist worlds, for most critics, are made up of unreal or improbable people who are very good or very bad (or very good-bad) and whose successes and failures conveniently cater to the supposed wishes of the audience. Vicarious participation in the lives and adventures of such fictional characters is considered escapism.
  7. 7.  The social context of media exposure: Rather than the specific content of the media, however, there might be some reason to believe that it is the situation in which media exposure occurs which, per se, provides much of the opportunity to escape. Going to the movies or to the theatre absolves one of certain responsibilities: one is permitted, by society, to cut oneself off from other roles.  The psychological process : Escape, for most theorists who have thought in these terms, seems to mean identifying with a star or hero to the point that one loses oneself in a dream which cannot possibly have any feedback to real life. Horton and Wohl have given the label "para-social interaction" to the kind of program aimed, they say, at lonely and alienated viewers and offering companionship and inviting "interaction." Such programs, it is suggested, bolster the real-life ego rather than overwhelm it. Surely these programs also offer possibilities for escape, but exposure to them involves something quite different from the process of identification or identity loss.  Consequences : It is certainly true that the media must affect the performance of one's social roles by virtue of the mere number of hours invested in mass media exposure. But the more subtle problem is to specify exactly the way in which particular patterns of exposure feed back to particular social roles, whether the feedback is functional or not, and whether it is a consequence of exposure per se or exposure to particular content.
  8. 8. Presentation Source : Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Autumn, 1962), 377388. (Courtesy: JSTOR website) Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0033362X%28196223%2926%3A3%3C377%3AOTUOTM%3E2.0.CO% 3B2-2

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