Media Gratifications Theory

1037 Words5 Pages
While the uses and gratifications theory primarily represents a bottom-up approach, examining the motivations behind the interaction of people with media, institutional mediatization can be seen as a top-down approach. It argues that culture and society increasingly depend on media and that institutions within society are altered through their logic (Bolin, 2014). Moreover, "media have become integrated into the operations of other social institutions, while they also have acquired the status of social institutions in their own right" (Bolin, 2014, p. 177). It shows that media influence social spheres at the same time from the inside and outside, but are never truly separated as they are developed in a preexisting cultural framework. The case…show more content…
On the one hand, uses and gratifications theory gives attention to the necessity of social media to have an active audience. Therefore, politics become much more personalized and the motivations being it the desire to share an opinion or become part of a community are key elements of it. On the other hand, institutional mediatization makes visible how changes in communication and organization add to the value of social media for feminist movements. However, social media appear to have a unique position in comparison to traditional media in the relationship between media and politics. While political institutions increasingly depend on the mainstream media's logic, counter movements are becoming independent and instead seek out social media to bring their message…show more content…
As tools for examining the Women's March both approaches complete each other, because mediatization underlines the transformations in the framework and structure, which in turn are necessary for people to use social media for their individual expression. The strength of uses and gratification theory lies in the fact that motivations and reasons are crucial in understanding the popularity and relevance of the Women's March. Although one must bear in mind that it is difficult to generalize the motivations and applying them to about four million people, who participated in the march. Mediatization then focuses on the overall circumstances that allow such a movement to develop. Still, this theory mainly applies to traditional media and only contains little research about its relation to social media. Moreover, it oversimplifies the changes in society, because it appears as if all media forms entail the same media logic. However, social media widely differ in their logic from for example print media. This is why uses and gratification theory appears to be more fitting in explaining the importance of social media for the Women's
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