Cultivation Analysis: Living With Television

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Cultivation analysis was a theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and later expanded upon by Gerbner & Gross (1976 – Living with television). Cultivation theorists posit that television viewing can have long-term effects that gradually affect the audience. Their primary focus falls on the effects of viewing in the attitudes of the viewer as opposed to created behavior. The theory suggests that television and media possess a small but significant influence on the attitudes and beliefs of society about society. Those who absorb more media are those are more influenced. The combined effect of massive television exposure by viewers over time subtly shapes the perception of social reality for individuals. The cultivation theory says the more television a person watch, the more harsh perception they will have in real world. In response to Hirsch’s criticism, Gerbner has revised cultivation theory. He has added two concepts which is ‘mainstreaming’ and ‘resonance’. Mainstreaming means that heavy viewing will absorb or override differences in perspectives and behavior which ordinarily stem from other factors and influences. In other words, differences found in the responses of different groups of viewers, differences that usually are associated with the varied cultural, social and political characteristics of these groups are diminished in the responses of heavy viewers in these same groups. Resonance occurs when cultivation effects are boosted for a certain group of population.

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