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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:  4 thus alleviating feelings of anomie. Others argue that the media have escapist effects and contribute to feelings of anomie. The sheer volume of mediated messages that bombard us on a daily basis may contribute to the sense of a meaningless society (for example see Gitlin, 2001). Contrarily, Durkheim, who’s ideas permeate the research on media and community/society, argued that we can never have enough information (from McCormack, 1986, p. 38). It is possible, however, that he did not envision the barrage of information we are exposed to on a daily basis. The purpose of this study is to determine how a variety of media modalities influence feelings of anomie in America’s fastest growing city. The complexity of the relationship between the media and anomie is magnified when social variables are considered. To add to the complexity of the media-anomie relationship, several social variables are considered in the fabrication of individual regression models. The models are oriented around length of residence, income, and social group membership. Literature Review Social theory underscores the significance of the relationship between various forms of mass communication and a person’s sense of belonging. This is based primarily on a “Durkheimian model in which the normative integration of a society is endangered from within by anomie and alienation (McCormack, 1986, p. 37). The premise running through much of the research on the media is that it can bring disparate groups together and “raise the level of group 1 A record, 292 people killed themselves in the Las Vegas area in 2001, up from 282 the year before (Puit, 2002).

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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thus alleviating feelings of anomie. Others argue that the media have escapist effects and
contribute to feelings of anomie. The sheer volume of mediated messages that bombard us on a
daily basis may contribute to the sense of a meaningless society (for example see Gitlin, 2001).
Contrarily, Durkheim, who’s ideas permeate the research on media and community/society,
argued that we can never have enough information (from McCormack, 1986, p. 38). It is
possible, however, that he did not envision the barrage of information we are exposed to on a
daily basis.
The purpose of this study is to determine how a variety of media modalities influence
feelings of anomie in America’s fastest growing city. The complexity of the relationship
between the media and anomie is magnified when social variables are considered. To add to the
complexity of the media-anomie relationship, several social variables are considered in the
fabrication of individual regression models. The models are oriented around length of residence,
income, and social group membership.
Literature Review
Social theory underscores the significance of the relationship between various forms of
mass communication and a person’s sense of belonging. This is based primarily on a
“Durkheimian model in which the normative integration of a society is endangered from within
by anomie and alienation (McCormack, 1986, p. 37). The premise running through much of the
research on the media is that it can bring disparate groups together and “raise the level of group
1
A record, 292 people killed themselves in the Las Vegas area in 2001, up from 282 the
year before (Puit, 2002).


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