The Psychology of Values

By Clive Seligman; James M. Olson et al. | Go to book overview

sources to construct the value-choice frame of the debate. That frame not only codes the meaning of the victorious proponent's position or plan, but also centers the meaning of competing issue positions. This process of macro discourse negotiation -- the struggle to win the media value-choice frame -- is not voluntary. It, like the individuals' media behavior to resolve ambiguity, is a product of media system dependency relations.

The last few decades of media theory and research have cohered around a rejection of the notion of passive individuals who simply get bombarded by media exposure. This has led to the development of the present media system dependency theory and many other perspectives that take into account the motivational dynamics of individuals' media behavior. The unique aspect of MSD theory is the idea that individuals, interpersonal networks, and larger macro groupings develop dependency relations with the media; more to the point, with relatively unique media information resources to which they must have access in order to attain goals. Media power lies in these dependency relations. No quantity-based measure of media exposure time can get at these or other motivational dynamics suggested in active conceptions of media audiences. Yet such measures still dominate in much of the research that portends to inform about media effects. Alternative measures, such as those developed to measure MSD relations, are generally more time consuming to administer, but they offer much more explanatory potential.


REFERENCES

Alexander J. ( 1986). "The form of substance: The Senate Watergate Hearings". In S. J. Ball- Rokeach & M. G. Cantor (Eds.), Media, audience, and social structure (pp. 243-251). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Aydin C. E., Ball-Rokeach S. J., & Reardon K. K. ( 1991, May). Mass media resources for social comparison among breast cancer patients. Paper presented to the 41st Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Bachrach P., & Baratz M. S. ( 1962). "Two faces of power". American Political Science Review, 51, 947-952.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1971). "The legitimation of violence". In J. F. Short Jr. & M. E. Wolfgang (Eds.), Collective violence (pp. 100-111). Chicago: Aldine.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1973). "From pervasive ambiguity to a definition of the situation". Sociometry, 36, 378-389.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1976). "Receptivity to sexual equality". Pacific Sociological Review, 19, 519- 540.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1985). "The origins of individual media system dependency: A sociological framework". Communication Research, 12, 485-510.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1992). "So what's happening and why don't we know it? Newsletter of the Sociology of Culture Section", American Sociological Association, 6, 3-5.

Ball-Rokeach S. J. ( 1994, July). A theory of media power and a theory of media use: Different stories, questions, and ways of thinking. Paper presented to the 44th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Sydney, Australia.

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