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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:  6 small business that can not afford to advertise in the dailies. A vintage study showed how the weekly neighborhood press in Chicago helped readers have a greater sense of community identity and stronger affective ties to the community (Janowitz, 1967). In general, the evidence indicates that alternative and neighborhood newspapers have great potential for creating communal bonds and alleviating anomie, but lack significant social impact (see Schudson, 1995 for related ideas). Television. The results from studies about television viewing and communal bonds show that television’s effects are complex and often contradictory (Olien, Donohue, & Tichenor, 1978; Jeffres, Dobos, & Sweeney, 1987; Rothenbuhler & Mullen, 1996). Some research shows that community involvement is positively associated with local television news viewing (Finnegan & Viswanath, 1988; Viswanath, Finnegan, Rooney, & Potter, 1990; Jeffres, Dobos, & Lee, 1988). Others blame television for a lack of community involvement (Hart, 1999; Putnam, 2000; Shane, 2001). Americans watch so much television that traditional forms of socialization are forsaken. Yet others have found no significant relationship between television use and community bonding (Rothenbuhler, Mullen, DeLaurell, & Ryu, 1996). The regional and national orientation of television make it less conducive to the formation and maintenance of community than is possible with geographically specific media such as local newspapers. New Media. It is still too early to tell what the relationship between new media, such as the Internet and e-mail, and community attachment is going to look like, but assuming that communication is a key element in forming social bonds, “telecommunications in general and the Internet in particular substantially enhance our ability to communicate . . . thus enhanc[ing] community, perhaps even dramatically” (Putnam, 2000, p. 171). However, Carey (1989) argues

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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small business that can not afford to advertise in the dailies. A vintage study showed how the
weekly neighborhood press in Chicago helped readers have a greater sense of community
identity and stronger affective ties to the community (Janowitz, 1967). In general, the evidence
indicates that alternative and neighborhood newspapers have great potential for creating
communal bonds and alleviating anomie, but lack significant social impact (see Schudson, 1995
for related ideas).
Television. The results from studies about television viewing and communal bonds show
that television’s effects are complex and often contradictory (Olien, Donohue, & Tichenor, 1978;
Jeffres, Dobos, & Sweeney, 1987; Rothenbuhler & Mullen, 1996). Some research shows that
community involvement is positively associated with local television news viewing (Finnegan &
Viswanath, 1988; Viswanath, Finnegan, Rooney, & Potter, 1990; Jeffres, Dobos, & Lee, 1988).
Others blame television for a lack of community involvement (Hart, 1999; Putnam, 2000; Shane,
2001). Americans watch so much television that traditional forms of socialization are forsaken.
Yet others have found no significant relationship between television use and community bonding
(Rothenbuhler, Mullen, DeLaurell, & Ryu, 1996). The regional and national orientation of
television make it less conducive to the formation and maintenance of community than is
possible with geographically specific media such as local newspapers.
New Media. It is still too early to tell what the relationship between new media, such as
the Internet and e-mail, and community attachment is going to look like, but assuming that
communication is a key element in forming social bonds, “telecommunications in general and
the Internet in particular substantially enhance our ability to communicate . . . thus enhanc[ing]
community, perhaps even dramatically” (Putnam, 2000, p. 171). However, Carey (1989) argues


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