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Political Socialization in a Media-Saturated World

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Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah

The studies that comprise Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World synthesize, question, and update our knowledge of political socialization that has accumulated over the past 40 years of related research. The scholarship advances innovative theoretical perspectives and develops new models of the socialization process that revolve around the key social structures of family, media, peers, and school. The Hierarchy Model of Political Socialization, in particular, provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for organizing and analyzing youth responses to the political. With research that spans multiple election cycles across nearly a decade, and data drawn from a national panel study that allows for cross-generational comparison, the findings and models of political socialization presented provide the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of youth political socialization that exists to date. This book provides a foundation and research agenda for examining the Millennial generation in the coming years as these citizens mature to adults and become the driving force of society and our polity.
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Chapter Nineteen: Developing Media Preferences in a Post-Broadcast Democracy

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

Developing Media Preferences IN A Post-Broadcast Democracy

STEPHANIE EDGERLY AND KJERSTIN THORSON



Today’s media environment provides individuals with a wide array of media to choose from. Sports enthusiasts have multiple websites and television channels to satisfy their thirst for specific types of sports content, as do fans of reality shows, documentaries, and even news and public affairs enthusiasts. The rapid increase in media choice over the past 2 decades has generated increased scholarly concern for the role of individual preferences in determining exposure to diverse forms of media content (Mindich, 2005; Patterson, 2008; Prior, 2007). When greater media choice exists, preferences are more predictive of media viewing behavior (Cho, Gil de Zuniga, Rojas, & Shah, 2003; Youn, 1994). Recent studies suggest that preferences for specific types of content as well as levels of political interest are growing in importance as predictors of news consumption in particular (Baumgartner & Morris, 2010; Morris, 2005; Prior, 2007; Rittenberg, Tewksbury, & Casey, 2012; Strömbäck, Djerf-Pierre, & Shehata, 2012).

Given this concern with media preferences, there is an increasing call for research that explores the origins of preferences for news or entertainment content. This chapter takes a media socialization approach to understanding the emergence of preferences for news versus entertainment television content. In what follows, we trace the development of preferences for news and entertainment television content among 12–17-year-olds over the run-up to the 2008 presidential election....

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