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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Study of the Relationship between Media Use and Anomie in America's Fastest Growing Town
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Study of the Relationship Between Media Use and Anomie in America’s Fastest Growing Town Panic. It crept up my spine like the first rising vibes of an acid frenzy. All these horrible realities began to dawn on me: Here I was all alone in Las Vegas . . . . A little bit of this town goes a very long way. After five days in Vegas you feel like you’ve been here for five years. Some people say they like it–but then some people like Nixon too. (From, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson, pp. 70, 193). If Las Vegas is truly the city of the future, then we might as well all cut our throats tomorrow. I certainly felt like cutting mine after only a few days there, so overwhelming was the sheer anomie provoked by every particular of its design and operation. As a city it’s a futureless catastrophe (From, The City in Mind: Meditations on the Urban Condition, by J.H. Kunstler, pp. 142-143). Thompson (1971) and Kunstler (2001) note, in their particular ways, what may be an enormous underlying and understudied problem in America’s fastest growing city: an intense sense of anomie. Thompson’s feeling may have come from a drug-induced paranoia. Kunstler felt it in the design and operation of the city. This study examines anomie and its relationship to media use in Las Vegas. Previous research suggests that the mass media are determinants of anomie. Do they alleviated it or instigate it? There are arguments that back up both sides. In some cases it depends on the medium in question. Therefore, several forms of media use are examined to determine which media, if any, affect anomie. Very simply, anomie is antithetical to the sense of community. There is little or no sense of a bond with other people, groups, or institutions. It is also a sense of normlessness. A bond might be achieved through activities that involve someone with the community and provide a sense of attachment. An activity might be as simple as talking with one’s neighbor. Anomie results from the breakdown of communication between oneself and others in a community, or

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
A Study of the Relationship Between Media Use and Anomie
in America’s Fastest Growing Town
Panic. It crept up my spine like the first rising vibes of an acid frenzy. All these
horrible realities began to dawn on me: Here I was all alone in Las Vegas . . . . A
little bit of this town goes a very long way. After five days in Vegas you feel like
you’ve been here for five years. Some people say they like it–but then some
people like Nixon too. (From, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S.
Thompson, pp. 70, 193).
If Las Vegas is truly the city of the future, then we might as well all cut our
throats tomorrow. I certainly felt like cutting mine after only a few days there, so
overwhelming was the sheer anomie provoked by every particular of its design
and operation. As a city it’s a futureless catastrophe (From, The City in Mind:
Meditations on the Urban Condition
, by J.H. Kunstler, pp. 142-143).
Thompson (1971) and Kunstler (2001) note, in their particular ways, what may be an
enormous underlying and understudied problem in America’s fastest growing city: an intense
sense of anomie. Thompson’s feeling may have come from a drug-induced paranoia. Kunstler
felt it in the design and operation of the city. This study examines anomie and its relationship to
media use in Las Vegas. Previous research suggests that the mass media are determinants of
anomie. Do they alleviated it or instigate it? There are arguments that back up both sides. In
some cases it depends on the medium in question. Therefore, several forms of media use are
examined to determine which media, if any, affect anomie.
Very simply, anomie is antithetical to the sense of community. There is little or no sense
of a bond with other people, groups, or institutions. It is also a sense of normlessness. A bond
might be achieved through activities that involve someone with the community and provide a
sense of attachment. An activity might be as simple as talking with one’s neighbor. Anomie
results from the breakdown of communication between oneself and others in a community, or


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