Media And Dependency Theory

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Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur (1976) originally proposed Dependency Theory. It is derived from the Uses and Gratification Theory by Blumler and Katz (1974) wherein it is a limited effects theory. In other words, it grants individuals much control over how they employ media in their lives. Media scholars believed on the power of media but some scholars argued about the incompatibility of limited-effects and powerful-effects model that is why Dependency theory takes a step in the direction of viewing how both models may give an account to explain media effects. Just like uses and gratifications theory, this approach rejects the casual assumptions of the early reinforcement hypothesis- the idea that media simply reinforce previously…show more content…
The relationship between the society and media; the relationship between media and audience; the relationship between society and audience. The first one, the relationship between society and media, explains that within this relationship, access to media and the availability is the important antecedent for the people to use media. The nature of media dependence on societal systems may vary in terms of politics, economy and culture. The second relationship is between media and audience, this is the key variable in this theory because it affects how the people use a medium. This relationship also vary because of different media systems. The more important the information is, the people are more eager to use and depend to the medium to get information. As a result, it increases the likelihood for the media to affect the audience. And the third relationship is between the society and the audience. People’s needs and motivation to use the media is being influenced by society. It provides norms, values, knowledge and laws for the…show more content…
The first one is the creation and resolution of ambiguity. It happens when the audience receive inadequate or incomplete information that they need about their social world. When ambiguity is high, there comes the stress that result for the audience to use mass media to resolve ambiguity. It might especially happen in times of social change or conflict. The second effect is agenda setting. This is another reason why we might call dependency a "comprehensive" theory of media effects because it includes the theory of agenda-setting within its theoretical framework. Just like other effects, the effects of media agenda-setting should be intensified in times when the audience’s needs and dependency on media are high. Third is attitude-formation. Media shows us new people such as celebrities and political figures. It may also be the physical objects like birth control pills, car safety mechanisms that people come to form attitudes because of these. Dependency doesn’t suggest that media has a powerful effects towards the attitudes of people but the theory does suggest that media choose objects or people wherein people form attitudes about. If a person has a high-media dependency, we can conclude that the person will form more (or more complex) attitudes regarding these attitude-objects rather than people with low-media dependency. The fourth is the expanding of people’s belief systems. Media can create an "enlargement" regarding the
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