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Uses and Gratifications Theory

(3 of 4) LV3 Media and Games students guide to theory relating to the U6 LO3 assignment. twitter @bcotmedia

Scott Hayden

on 2 October 2017

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Transcript of Uses and Gratifications Theory

Lesson Objectives

Continue to create detailed lecture notes

Understand and apply USES AND GRATIFICATIONS theory to a Moral Panic

Define and provide examples of this weeks theories to your Moral Panic Assignment
'Violence in the media releases tension and desires through identification with fictional characters and events'

Please respond with one of the following sentences in your answer....

'I disagree with this statement. For example...'
'I agree that violence in the media releases tension for some people. For example...'
'The statement is only partially correct because...'
Research on this is inconclusive but some psychiatrists claim to have successfully used pornography to help sex offenders release their emotions.

As we have discussed last week, the idea that everyone consumes the same text in the same way is of course untrue - each individual has their own way of interpreting a text.

Yeah? Yeah.
For example, some might see the Twilight Saga (2008-) as a parable of abstinence, others might see them as the sexiest goddamn films ever made.

Others might call it a feminist work of pop art...
I think South Park (1998-) is an intelligent satire that highlights all that is laughable about society with the view to bring about change.

Others might see it as crass, vulgar and infantile.

We make up our own minds.
Roland Barthes said in his essay ‘The Death of the Author’ (1967) that meaning is applied by the Reader (audience) of the text, not by an Authors (producers) set-in-stone univocal meaning for the reader to uncover.

When placing so much emphasis on the individual’s ability to make up their own minds about media texts, we may risk ignoring the real dangers that SOME TEXTS ARE MORE POWERFUL than others and more likely to have a bad influence on their viewers.
Individuals react in different ways...

‘Video nasties’ and their influence on children (e.g. the Bulger case)

Games/ Mobiles allegedly damaging literacy skills (lke spllg n lat)

Internet contributing to violent behaviour (e.g. the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series)

Why we make use of the media

We all have different uses for the media and we make choices over what we want to watch.

When we encounter a media text, it is not always just mindless entertainment – we are expecting to get something from it: some kind use and gratification (satisfaction/ fulfillment/ pleasure).
In the USES AND GRATIFICATIONS model the individual has the power and he/she selects the media texts that best suit their needs and their attempts to satisfy those needs.

McQuail and Katz have broken down the kinds of gratification we get into four categories...
It is important to remember with this theory that it is likely the audience can gain a number of gratifications from any text rather than just one.
We generally have to choose the media from what is available – this undermines the idea of USES AND GRATIFICATIONS as we may not all have the same access to use and enjoy the media products that we want.
In society there are in fact plenty of minorities who feel that the media does not provide for them the media that they want to see

Open your Report/ Notes....


Apply the theory to your Moral Panic e.g. which of the four reasons are relevant to the Moral Panic you are creating a Report about?
RECEPTION ANALYSIS does this and concentrates on the audience themselves and their reading of the text.
The most important thing about this that you should bear in mind is that RECEPTION ANALYSIS suggests that the audience themselves help to create the meaning of the text (like Barthes said, the meaning is created ‘by the Reader of a text’).

We bring our own baggage, experiences and meaning and see it our own way.
We all decode the texts that we encounter in individual ways which may be as a result of our upbringing, the mood that we are in, the place where we are at the time or any combination of these and all kinds of other factors.
You may have watched ‘The Hunger Games’, heard a lovely bit of Grime, or enjoyed watching someone 'fail' on youtube and enjoyed every minute of it.

Others may have hated it.
We create a meaning for it based on OUR experiences
What reception analysts have found is that factors such as GENDER, our place inside SOCIETY, and the CONTEXT of the TIME we are living in can be enormously important when we make the meaning.
Allow me to demonstrate...

Please continue to develop your Report:

Apply it to your own Moral Panic
What is a Moral Panic?
What is the Hypodermic Needle Model theory?
What is the Two-step flow theory?
What is the 1st Assignment for Unit 6?
It is for LO3 and you need to create:

A Written, Vlog or Podcast Report on a Moral Panic of your own choosing
REMEMBER - you need to include ALL the theory we are covering in your Report
The best known theorist to tackle this line of thinking is DAVID MORLEY who in 1980 suggested that audiences tended to fall into THREE GROUPS based on their readings of a text:

Organise your Report so you have sections on the following

Define what a Moral Panic is
Hypodermic Needle Model
Two Step Flow
Uses and Gratifications
Reception Analysis
Sasha Grey (former Adult actress) challenges the social order by wanting to be accepted as a mainstream actress and by reading to children in American schools.

This caused a Moral Panic in the US.
Opinions on the following please....
In the 90's, two children decoded the film 'Childs Play' in a way that would raise the Moral Panic debate about Horror films in to the Media once again.
Both of the 10 year-olds claimed that watching 'Childs Play' had encouraged them to do what they did.

Are children more vulnerable?

Up to what age?
Karina @mediaknowall has written short blog entry summarising this - interesting read


Brass Eye satirises Moral Panics - a good place to start if you are still unsure of what is meant by the term 'Moral Panic'
If you are still unsure what Moral Panic to do for your Report you might want to consider looking at GENDER REPRESENTATION as we have many links, articles, and videos on our bcotmedia tumblr to help you.
We all receive the media our own way.

For some it could be a trigger for other acts - it's down to you to report on this and find out the truth.

Other Media, while less prone to inciting aggression, can still divide individuals.

In teams create either a Snapchat or Instagram video sketch showing me what the Uses and Gratifications theory is....
Info >
Opinion Leader
> Audience


Info >
Opinion Leader
> Audience
For this Assignment you need to read books.
REMEMBER - A Moral panic is when something comes along and challenges the social order/ how things are/ our way of life
The two-step flow of communication model, or Multi-step Flow Model, says that most people form their opinions under the influence of a two-step flow of information.

So according to this model, ideas flow from mass media to opinion leaders, and from them to a wider population.

It can also work from Opinion leaders to mass media to the wider population.
The point is that information changes
before it reaches us, the audience
Which form of media do you think influences young people the most?

Please try to give an example using the correct spelling and grammar.
2nd yr #bcotmedia STARTER

To get you thinking about the logistics of filming in a small space for your upcoming Documentary please use the mini-whiteboard to answer this question...

Sketch a birds-eye view illustration of this room
Position two cameras and one light in the room
What angles would you position your two cameras and one light at to minimise shadows?

2nd yr #bcotgames STARTER

Using the mini-whiteboard

Please work out your average college day using percentage:

Social media
College work
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