Media theories, debates and audience responses

Three audience effects theories:

Cultivation: Cultivation theory is a social theory which examines long term effects of television. It states that the more time people watch TV the more likely they will start to believe the social reality portrayed on TV. Cultivation leaves people who are affected more to have a misperception of what is reality and what isn’t.

Social action theory: Social action theory is used to get a better understanding of actions behind human behaviour such as traditional, affective or rational behaviours. The perspective of the theory is to examine how and why particular individuals and groups are  defined by their behaviour which doesn’t follow normal behaviour of a particular social group.

Media dependence theory: This theory attempts to describe how the media affects the lives of individuals. There is a considerable variation in this theory which shows or tells how much people depend on media and what types of media are most influential to them.

Three effects debates:

Why do we have media regulation? We have media regulations so different types of media can be controlled and monitored. Some media is regulated by the government which the media type/s can be controlled by laws set in parliament.

There is then self – regulations which is voluntarily controlled over a sector of the media industries, which is usually made out of fear that statutory control would be more severe.


Why do we have classification? We have classification so media content if inappropriate for a certain age can be restricted under that age. E.g. An 18 certificate on any media product i.e. video game or movie is only suitable for an audience of that age or older.

The BBFC is responsible for the classification of all media products released in cinemas or in other formats such as DVD’s, they also classify some video games.

Why do we have censorship? We have censorship so authority figures can control what groups or individuals can or cannot see, hear or read in media products. E.g. The TV show Two and half men censor out swear words on during the day as all ages would be able to hear what is. But after the water shed the company uncensors the bad language.

Three different ways an audience can respond to a given product: The audience reactions which is probably first shown when responding to a product this then combined with emotions depending on the product and its content such as sadness or happiness. Then the audience would giver their opinion on what they thought about the product such as if they enjoyed it and why. This can then start a debate with the other viewers who have different opinions on the product, the product may also influence the audience opening up other ideas, thoughts and opinions.





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