Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Uses and Gratifications Theory

It was suggested by Lasswell that audiences were drawn to media texts for the following:
  • surveillance
  • correlation
  • entertainment
  • cultural transmission
This theory was expanded by Blulmer and Katz in which they described the following purposes for viewing a text:
  • Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.
  • Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional and other interaction
  • Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts
  • Surveillance - Information which could be useful for living 
Our horror film can be related to these functions in order to explain why an audience may be drawn to see our film. For example, it is common for people to see horror films in a group in order to strengthen their relationships through the shared experience of being afraid. Therefore the very genre of our film broadens the audience through the function of personal relationships. 
The idea of personal identity can also be applied to our film, as viewers form their opinions of the characters portrayed. For example, some viewers, perhaps more likely females, may see themselves or similar behaviour in the characters shown, and therefore feel a bond with them and become more invested in the outcome of events. The audience could also consider the wealth and confidence of the characters aspirational, which would also affect the intensity of their attraction to the film. For other audiences the characters may seem unlike-able and therefore create a sense of justice or satisfaction when their lives become threatened. Seeing the effects of the characters' corrupt behaviour causing them to be punished may also be considered to teach the audience lessons in terms of appropriate behaviour. This could also be considered to fall under the category of surveillance, as the audience form their own conclusions of how they would deal with or avoid the situation. 


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