The Impact of International Television: A Paradigm Shift

By Michael G. Elasmar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Perceived Foreign Influence
and Television Viewing in Greece
Thimios Zaharopoulos
Washburn University

The purpose of this chapter is to look at Greek adolescents' television viewing in terms of its relationship to their perception foreign influence on Greek culture and to their consumption of foreign products. The approaches used here are social construction of reality and cultivation analysis.

The cultivation hypothesis states that the more television people watch, more likely they are to hold a view of reality that is closer to television's depiction reality. This is characterized by the work of George Gerbner and his colleagues (Gerbner et al., 1977). Their work starts with the cultural indicators project, which looks at the content of television programming, and relates it to differences in perceptions, about various societal topics, between heavy and light viewers (Gerbner, Gross, Jackson-Beeck, Jeffries-Fox, & Signorielli, 1978). This process shows that heavy TV viewing cultivates a television-shaped view of the world (Hawkins, Pingree, & Alter, 1987). The cultivation hypothesis generally assumes that light viewers tend to be exposed more varied and diverse information sources, whereas heavy viewers, by definition, tend to rely more on TV (Signorielli & Morgan, 1990, p. 17).

However, Adoni and Mane (1984) stated that television's influence will be greater when direct experience with the response to be learned is limited. Thus, as the social learning theory also suggests, we learn from television, but viewers without direct experience with what is to be learned may most influenced by television. In settings where foreign television programs play a dominant role, this programming may also be most influential, as viewers do not have direct experience with the content depicted by foreign programs.

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