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Mary Grigsby, Media Uses of Young Adults Ages 18-29


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Mary Grigsby describes six ideal-type cultural repertoires she found during her research as an RJI Fellow.

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Mary Grigsby, Media Uses of Young Adults Ages 18-29

  1. 1. Media Uses of Young Adults Ages 18-29: Six Ideal-Type Cultural Repertoires Mary Grigsby, Professor of Rural Sociology & RJI Fellow 2014-15
  2. 2. Presentation Overview  Research Methods  Six ideal-type cultural repertoires  Patterns in ideas, behaviors and motivations  Continuum of varying degrees of interest in “news”  Highlight Conclusions
  3. 3. ⋙Sampling aims to capture the range of types of media use routines and motivations ⋙Snowball sampling in Columbia metropolitan area ⋙Purposive sampling frame 1. Sex 2. Age 3. Educational attainment 4. Employment Who is being studied?
  4. 4. How was the research designed?  Interviews (sample 24)  Informant provided photographs of a work day and a non-work day with captions (sample 8)  Participant observation of a subset of informants in different settings where they use media (home; work; social) (sample 6)
  5. 5. Ideal-Type Cultural Repertoires of Media Use Strategies of action integrate patterned sets of meanings and practices
  6. 6. Instrumental Cultural Repertoire ⋙Desire to feel that they use media in effective and efficient ways to achieve goals consistent with cost/benefit analysis ⋙Value utilitarian means/ends goal seeking framed as “rationality” and themselves as rational actorsona ⋙Establish and maintain traditionalist role based relationships with others ⋙Interested in success within the generalized culture as professionals and in personal life ⋙News viewed as data to use in achieving goals; they view themselves as little influenced by media
  7. 7. Instrumental Your phone is really a utility belt at this point. Everywhere I go, I bring my keys, my wallet and my phone. But if I had to lose anything, it would probably be anything but my phone. If you were to drop me in Little Rock, Arkansas and told me to get home, I could probably do it with my phone. Jason, a 24 year old, black, university educated,
  8. 8. Emulative Cultural Repertoire ⋙Desire to experience feelings of affirmation from like peers ⋙Establish or maintain lifestyle that is informed by popular culture trends and validated by peer taste ⋙Value for on-going highly responsive social media communication and monitoring ⋙Interested in entertainment media and peers as sources of emulative identity work ⋙Feelings of anxiety and helplessness caused by some news; may have little interest in or dislike for news
  9. 9. Emulative I love it! It is kind of like my second heart. I saw on Facebook a post about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the physiological needs were wi-fi and battery as the biggest need. That is kind of how I feel. . . . I am always holding my phone. It seems like I can’t even sit down without picking it up and getting on it. Bob, 26 year old, white, college educated nurse
  10. 10. Competitive Cultural Repertoire ⋙ Desire to achieve status ⋙ Establish or maintain comparative superiority to others within a field of established rules and/or status hierarchies ⋙ Value for “winning” and identification with “winners” and/or groups that are oppositional or competing with other groups ⋙ Relationship boundaries of “insider” and “outsider” and clear status rankings are important for them ⋙ Interest in news varies based on arena of competition
  11. 11. Competitive Some of my most enjoyable moments have been through gaming. For me, it’s the competition. Just kind of outsmarted an opponent, or something like that. I am a math oriented person, so puzzling through and figuring out this stuff. Trying to out-do somebody else or outthink somebody else, it is just really satisfying. That’s for anything, for gaming or weightlifting or sports. I am just a competitive person. . . . In the higher ranks it dwindles down to a few people and you know them. You consistently see them and want to do your personal best and sometimes get revenge. You want to beat them! Jerry, 24 year old, high school educated, health food store worker
  12. 12. Creative Cultural Repertoire ⋙Desire to engage in creative activity ⋙Establish or maintain lifestyle that is focused on producing creative work (on and/or offline) ⋙Value for inspiration and resources that support creative endeavor ⋙Cultivate relationships and/or network with people who engage I n similar creative work ⋙Interest in news shaped by their creative focus and social circle
  13. 13. Creative I can totally leave my phone and it’s not a big deal. I think on an emotional level, I think and like a body kind of thing, I think that it’s like I have a lot of energy, a lot of energy! So when I get to exude that and when I come to dance and I get all of that out and whenever I get home, that’s not the first thing that I am thinking about. That’s like last thing on my list. Marjorie, 23 year old, white, college educated, grant writer and dance instructor
  14. 14. Intentional Cultural Repertoire ⋙Desire to Overcome feelings of being overwhelmed ⋙Value for face-to-face time and intimacy with others and time for themselves where they “detach” ⋙Experience or interest in negotiating change in norms of behavior of others they are close to who they perceive as too attached to digital media ⋙Interest in lifestyle that is less stressful and fast paced than they perceive as the mainstream lifestyle ⋙Interest in obtaining reliable news without feeling overwhelmed
  15. 15. Intentional “I think that a lot of people, especially my age and younger are way too connected. That’s something that I am aware of in other people and I am aware that I don’t like that about it. So that’s one of the reasons that I try not to do that myself. I see how some people cannot detach at all, being connected, being in it, having their phone on them all of the time, going out to dinner and having it on the table. Interacting with friends and looking around and everyone has their phone out.” Kimberly, 28 year old, high school educated , dessert chef
  16. 16. Escapist Cultural Repertoire ⋙Desire to engage in consumption of media as “an escape from reality” or “zoning out” ⋙Behavior described by informants as problematic for them ⋙Activity is described by informants as “mindless;” “habitual”; “aimless”; or binging ⋙Feel “real life” has not fully started for them; Limited connections or networks ⋙Little interest in news
  17. 17. Escapist I tried to cut down on all of my media use, on what I consider excessive media usage. That was in April [2014]. April was when I cut myself off entirely. (John was interviewed in September) I was downloading songs and movies. I would save a few of them, but in order to find stuff that I liked, I would download a lot. I stopped doing it. I cut myself off from all downloads and I deleted the software that allowed me to do that. I feel a lot better because it has freed up a lot of time. It has been difficult, but I am glad. John, 28 year old, college educated, handyman, yard worker and restaurant worker
  18. 18. Primary and Secondary Cultural Repertoires of Media Use Continuum of High to Low Interest in News High News Interest Low News Interest Instrumental Instrumental Emulative Competitive Competitive Intentional Creative Competitive Emulative Escapist Competitive Intentional Instrumental Emulative Creative Creative Emulative Escapist Escapist Intentional
  19. 19. ⋙The intentional cultural repertoire is a new cultural trend in media behavior in this cohort ⋙Instrumental cultural values and motivations link with high news interest and multitasking ⋙Emulative and escapist cultural repertoires link with lower news interest ⋙ Millennials are not a passive audience but active “users” ⋙Media are used in establishing individual and group identities ⋙ Cultural patterns guiding media behaviors are not fixed but change as life circumstances and ideas of people change Highlight Conclusions