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Dependency Theory, Media

Media dependency theory makes an attempt to explain effects of mass media. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur first outlined the framework of the theory in 1976. They conceived audience and media as integral parts of societal systems and the effects of mass media as determined by the tripartite interactions among audience, media, and the societal system. They conceptualized dependency as the central issue leading to understanding of this tripartite audience-mediasociety relationship. Dependency is a relationship in which the fulfillment of one party's needs and goals is reliant on the resources of another party.

A central piece of the theory is the relationship between audience and media. In an industrialized and information-based society, individuals tend to develop a dependency on the media to satisfy a variety of ...

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