Dependency Theory

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  • The name given to a theory promulgated by S. J. Ball-Rokeach and M. L. DeFleur in 1976. It suggests that people have various dependencies on the media and that these dependencies vary from person to person, group to group, and culture to culture. It asserts that audiences in modern urban-industrial societies have a particularly high dependence on reliable, up-to-date mass information.

    Dependency theory stresses the existence of a strong triangular relationship that unites society, the media, and the audience. When, for example, society experi ences a great deal of conflict, uncertainty, and change, popular dependency on the media increases. As societies and media technologies become more complex and as the amount of information to be synthesized increases, the functions of the media become more specialized, more ...

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