Political Disaffection

Political disaffection is a term used to describe negative attitudes and feelings toward one's political system. Political observers have hypothesized that such negative attitudes toward the political system may be influenced by the media, and particularly by television. Although such expectations have been voiced since the introduction of television, the discussion was intensified when Michael J. Robinson brought up the “videomalaise hypothesis” during the 1970s. Building on the coincidence of increasing political cynicism in the United States and a decline of trust in political institutions, on the one hand, and an increasing reliance on television for the acquisition of political information by citizens on the other, the videomalaise hypothesis regarded television as a major factor in the growth of political alienation. This revived suspicions ...

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