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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:  8 may use media to learn what the issues are in their new community. Long-time residents may know more about the variety of different media in the community. They might know how and where to obtain them, and know which media best provide particular information, or entertainment needs. Newcomers may tend to use non-local forms of media to see what’s going on in the place from which they moved. A result of long-term residency might be that the media are used more ritualistically than by newcomers because of the history and knowledge of the local media outlets that come from long-term acquaintance with a place. For example, some long-time Las Vegans have a ritual of reading the local weekly alternative paper on Sunday to supplement what they consider a poor local Sunday newspaper (the Review-Journal) 2 (see Rothenbuhler, 1998, for a discussion of ritualistic media use). Newcomers might read the Sunday newspaper, but might not be in the habit of supplementing it with the alternative paper. Belonging to a local association, organization, or group of whatever type is, by definition, going to alleviate a sense of anomie because it puts people in touch with other people. There is a dark side of belonging, however, and this may occur when one belongs to too many groups. In such cases there is no central identity and “persons may not know what to believe in when, as is the case in modern life, they get contradictory or incompatible signals from their various communities of membership” (Berger, 1998, p. 324). In general, however, belonging is seen as a way to connect to a community, but research shows a declining trend in group membership (e.g., Putnam, 2000). Putnam (2000) blames television in part for this decline. 2 This is according to Rod Smith, the Editor and Publisher of the Las Vegas Press which publishes the local alternative paper among other publications (personal communication, January, 2001).

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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8
may use media to learn what the issues are in their new community. Long-time residents may
know more about the variety of different media in the community. They might know how and
where to obtain them, and know which media best provide particular information, or
entertainment needs. Newcomers may tend to use non-local forms of media to see what’s going
on in the place from which they moved. A result of long-term residency might be that the media
are used more ritualistically than by newcomers because of the history and knowledge of the
local media outlets that come from long-term acquaintance with a place. For example, some
long-time Las Vegans have a ritual of reading the local weekly alternative paper on Sunday to
supplement what they consider a poor local Sunday newspaper (the Review-Journal)
2
(see
Rothenbuhler, 1998, for a discussion of ritualistic media use). Newcomers might read the Sunday
newspaper, but might not be in the habit of supplementing it with the alternative paper.
Belonging to a local association, organization, or group of whatever type is, by definition,
going to alleviate a sense of anomie because it puts people in touch with other people. There is a
dark side of belonging, however, and this may occur when one belongs to too many groups. In
such cases there is no central identity and “persons may not know what to believe in when, as is
the case in modern life, they get contradictory or incompatible signals from their various
communities of membership” (Berger, 1998, p. 324). In general, however, belonging is seen as a
way to connect to a community, but research shows a declining trend in group membership (e.g.,
Putnam, 2000). Putnam (2000) blames television in part for this decline.
2
This is according to Rod Smith, the Editor and Publisher of the Las Vegas Press which
publishes the local alternative paper among other publications (personal communication,
January, 2001).


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