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Communications & Media
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Introduction to Uses and Gratification Theory (Essay Sample)


select any one traditional approach to media audiences (choose from effects research, uses and gratifications, or cultivation theory) – and, using some examples of projects within this tradition, discuss the main strengths and limitations of this approach to media audiences.
this sample focuses on the uses and gratification theory as a traditional approach to highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the theory and also discusses examples of media common in this theory.


Uses and gratification theory
Uses and gratifications as a theory gained popularity in the 1940s. The study evolved from scholars’ curiosities as they were concerned with the reasons why people chose particular forms of media. Initially, the studies revolved around the gratifications that audiences sought. However, later in the 1970s studies shifted from the gratification perspectives into the outcomes brought about by the use of media and the needs that the audiences sought to gratify. This theory, therefore, explores motivations for people in choosing media and what gratifications they aim to attain from those particular media. According to Eginli et al. (2018), this theory discusses the effects that media has on its users. It also explains how individuals use media to satisfy their needs and its main focus is on the people, how they use the media, the effects they achieve from this usage.

This theory can be applied to activities such as listening to music or watching movies. It is assumed that an individual’s moods affect their choice of media use and hence if a person perhaps chooses to listen to music, his or her needs are fulfilled through the process of using this media. The introduction of the phones and internet has hugely contributed to this theory. It claims that humans as social beings normally sought the use of these media to interact and socialize with their friends, families and therefore keep up with the trends of the social world. The theory has its base on some principles, to begin with, it declares users as responsible in the media selection hence masses are actively involved in their media choices. Secondly, it claims that individuals have their reasons for selecting specific media. These reasons according to scholars help users attain gratification.

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