Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter One: The Role of Media Use Motives in the Classic Structural Model of Youth Political Socialization
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The Role OF Media Use Motives IN THE Classic Structural Model OF Youth Political Socialization
ESTHER THORSON, HANS MEYER, AND MI JAHNG
This study explores how news media use, exposure to school political curriculum, political conversation with parents, and, most importantly, motivations for media use impact political socialization, which is operationalized here as political interest and knowledge. To provide a rationale for our study, we integrate five related literature areas under the explanatory context of the Media Choice Model, a variation on the uses and gratifications approach. The focus of this model is on how people make choices about media and how the impact of that media use is mediated through people’s motivations for using particular media. As background, we consider what is known about the following impacts on political socialization: parental communication patterns, political socialization training in school, exposure to television and print news, and adolescent news motivations directed at connectivity, information, and entertainment.
THE MOTIVES FOR MAKING MEDIA CHOICES
In the Media Choice Model, uses and gratifications theory guides an approach that specifically addresses how people, both adults and teens, choose media. The Media Choice Model suggests that new media features (immediacy, mobility, ease of use, presence of video or audio, dependence on text) influence the way people fill their communication needs and, as a result, develop preferred patterns of media use but modify those patterns as the media environment changes....
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