There are, as we have seen, a number of conflicting theories about the effects of media, but media need audiences to have effects. Is there a “mass” audience of alienated and separated individuals who are susceptible to indoctrination and brainwashing, or do members of an audience have the power to subvert messages brought to them by the mass media and use them for their own purposes? In this chapter I begin with a discussion of cultures and subcultures in the United States. I then consider Erik Erikson's ideas about life cycles and the crises individuals face at each stage in their development. I use Erikson's theory to offer some personal hypotheses about music and television addiction. This leads to a discussion of ...