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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:  3 among the various groups in a community (Beniger, 1986, p. 60). It can lead to crime, violence, loneliness, depression, and suicide. Las Vegas is a place where anomie is likely to be a significant problem. The number of recently uprooted people in this town is staggering. Upwards of 6,000 people move to the Las Vegas valley each month making it the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States (City of Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.lvchamber.com/). With another 3,000 moving out of the area, you get an idea of the level of transience associated with life in Las Vegas. Besides the burden of movement in and out of the city, it has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. 1 Twice as many suicides happen in the 15 to 20 year old age group than anywhere else in the nation (Sanchez, 1999). Easy access to drugs and alcohol are contributing factors. Additionally, Nevada ranks 45 th in the country for overall health. The adult smoking rate is the highest in the country resulting in the highest rate in death from smoking-related diseases. The education system is poor. There are not enough schools for the growing number of students moving to the city. Then, kids do not stay in school. Nevada has one of the highest dropout rates in the United States. Nevada also ranks in the lower 20 percent of all states in teen pregnancy, uninsured children, voting, and crime (Strow, 1999). Many of these problems are associated with issues surrounding problem gambling. Because media come in a variety of modalities, questions surrounding the relationship between media use and anomie are complex. Previous research indicates that there are certain forms of media that contribute to a sense of attachment and involvement with one’s community,

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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among the various groups in a community (Beniger, 1986, p. 60). It can lead to crime, violence,
loneliness, depression, and suicide.
Las Vegas is a place where anomie is likely to be a significant problem. The number of
recently uprooted people in this town is staggering. Upwards of 6,000 people move to the Las
Vegas valley each month making it the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States
(City of Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.lvchamber.com/). With another
3,000 moving out of the area, you get an idea of the level of transience associated with life in Las
Vegas.
Besides the burden of movement in and out of the city, it has one of the highest suicide
rates in the country.
1
Twice as many suicides happen in the 15 to 20 year old age group than
anywhere else in the nation (Sanchez, 1999). Easy access to drugs and alcohol are contributing
factors. Additionally, Nevada ranks 45
th
in the country for overall health. The adult smoking rate
is the highest in the country resulting in the highest rate in death from smoking-related diseases.
The education system is poor. There are not enough schools for the growing number of students
moving to the city. Then, kids do not stay in school. Nevada has one of the highest dropout rates
in the United States. Nevada also ranks in the lower 20 percent of all states in teen pregnancy,
uninsured children, voting, and crime (Strow, 1999). Many of these problems are associated with
issues surrounding problem gambling.
Because media come in a variety of modalities, questions surrounding the relationship
between media use and anomie are complex. Previous research indicates that there are certain
forms of media that contribute to a sense of attachment and involvement with one’s community,


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