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A Theory Of Media Power And A Theory Of Media Use: Different Stories, Questions, And Ways Of Thinking

S. Ball-Rokeach
Published 1998 · Sociology

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In this article, I compare the assumptions, concepts, and propositions of media system dependency (MSD) theory and uses and gratifications (U&G) theory at the microlevel of analysis. The epistemological origins of these theories are situated within the differing social and personal contexts that affected their development. Those MSD assumptions that serve as background to this comparison are specified, and major hypotheses concerning the social ecology of microeffects processes are discussed, particularly as they pertain to public opinion concerns. Following this elaboration of MSD theory, basic differences between MSD and U&G conceptions of the audience, interpersonal networks, the media system, and the nature of media power are addressed. I conclude with a brief comment on the implications of the Internet for theorizing micro media effects.
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