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Q5. Uses and gratification

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Olivia Dexter
Evaluation Q5

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  • 1. USES AND GRATIFICATION + MASLOW'S HIERARCHY Question 5- Olivia Dexter
  • 2.  Uses and Gratifications Theory is a popular approach to understanding mass communication. The theory places more focus on the consumer, or audience, instead of the actual message itself by asking “what people do with media” rather than “what media does to people”. It assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives. The theory also holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media to meet their needs. The approach suggests that people use the media to fulfil specific gratifications. This theory would then imply that the media compete against other information sources for viewers' gratification.
  • 3.  Basic model It is suggested that the uses and gratifications theory has to fulfil one the following when we choose a form of media: Identify- being able to recognise the product or person in front of you, role models that reflect similar values to yours, aspiration to be someone else. Educate - being able to acquire information, knowledge and understanding Entertain – What you are consuming should give you enjoyment and also some form of „escapism‟ enabling us to forget our worries temporarily. Social Interaction – the ability for media products to produce a topic of conversation between other people, sparks debates (etc. who is left on the x-factor)Uses and gratification theory can be seen in cases such as personal music selection. We select music not only to fit a particular mood but also in attempts to show empowerment or other socially conscience motives. There are many different types of music and we choose from them to fulfil a particular need.
  • 4. ONLINE  Over the past 10 years the internet has played a large part in the way the uses and gratifications theory is perceived. Internet allows us to identify more products and people, due to search engines like Google we can search for anything, enables the audience to come closer to their role models. Music has benefited because of websites like YouTube enabling audiences to watch any music video we want. Facebook, blogs and other social websites enable us to socialise while online. Internet enables us to have freedom and escape all our worries at a click of a button. Having access to websites that can give us happiness and a release from day to day life. Therefore it is was important to me that social networking and online sites are present throughout my production to allow social interaction. On the contents page there are several references towards the internet site and social media
  • 5. MY PRODUCTION  Its is important that the audience gain a form of uses and gratification from my product as it I will ensure that they but the product again. During the production of my magazine I felt it was important that the audience gained entertainment from my pop production as this is entertainment is a convention of pop. Allowing the reader a form of escapism. Because of this I have included 6 images on the front and many more throughout the cover and dps to show variation.
  • 6. MASLOW'S HIERARCHY  Maslow‟s Hierarchy of Needs explores the idea that humans are motivated by certain unsatisfied needs, the most basic of which must be satisfied before more complex ones can be achieved. Here both the fundamental needs for survival, health, security and self actualisation are explored. And from the perspective of the media industry this hierarchy can help to reach out to an audience with ideas and products which in some way interact with these needs, provoking a response.  However, in looking at this hierarchy, one might argue that whilst Maslow presents the rigid idea that one thing must be achieved before another, the needs described will invariably overlap, blurring the lines. For example, food and water would surely come within the same category as resources and health, illness being one of the many things which lessens the chance of longevity. Problem solving, amongst other things, one of the highest needs shown here, would also surely interact with survival as the ability to problem solve allows a more efficient approach to survival and security. And therefore, although I believe this hierarchy to be a good basis and guide, I feel that perhaps it should not be taken as the strict, inflexible structure which it is shown to be.
  • 7. MY PRODUCTION  When planning my production I had to consider what I wanted my audience would get from the production.  At the bottom of the pyramid are the Physiological Needs, which include Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and excretion . Therefore, it is only natural that these must be fulfilled before the mind or the body is able to concentrate on any more complex needs reaching out to self actualisation. According to Maslow‟s theory, once the physiological needs have been met, we are able to move our concentration to the aspects of security. sense of morality is also necessary as the ability to distinguish right from wrong and to act accordingly is crucial to the survival of society in the creation of a fair and decent system of law and order. After the physiological and safety needs are met, the third section of the pyramid deals with feelings of love and belonging, a need which is especially strong in childhood and can even override the need for safety. Human beings, as social creatures, need to feel accepted in various forms of communities and the absence of belonging can cause loneliness, depression and anxiety. The need for acceptance can also cause an individual to give into peer pressure, often disregarding a need for safety. When reading my magazine it is important that my audience gains the feeling of involvement and acceptance. Pop culture is about being part of a community and this should be provided through the magazine.  
  • 8.  Esteem is the human need to be valued by themselves and by others and a lack of esteem may result in an inferiority or depression, which in turn will ruin the individual‟s ability to increase their self esteem. The higher need is ranked as such in Maslow‟s theory since it deals with matters closer to inner competence and self actualisation. As this is a higher need from I wont be able to provide this to my audience because it comes from personal interaction. The audiences age also restricts this as it is unlikely that a girl aimed 13-16 has particularly high self esteem.  The highest need of Maslow‟s theory is that of self-actualisation and represents the individual‟s full potential or rather the desire to become everything that they can be. And in order to meet this need, the individual must first achieve and maintain the lower, physiological, safety, love and esteem needs.