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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:  9 So what are we to make of all of these contradictory and complex interrelationships? What is the relationship between the various forms of media use and anomie? Do the media contribute to a user’s sense of anomie, or can its use alleviate anomic tendencies? What happens to the relationship when demographic variables such as length of residence, income, and group membership are controlled? These are the questions that this study hopes to answer. Method Srole’s (1956) questionnaire items were used to measure anomie in a sample of Las Vegas residents. These items have, over time, proven to be reliable and valid measures of anomie. The items include five statements that respondents are asked to disagree or agree with on a five-point scale. They include: 1) In spite of what some people say, the lot of the average man is getting worse; 2) It’s hardly fair to bring children into the world with the way things look for the future; 3) Nowadays a person has to live pretty much for today and let tomorrow take care of itself; 4) These days a person doesn’t really know who he can count on; and 5) There’s little use writing to public officials because they aren’t really interested in the problems of the average man. Srole’s questions were updated slightly to make them less gender biased, but they were essentially used verbatim. These questions were combined into a scale of anomie that had a range from five to 25. Alpha was calculated and the scale was found to be adequately reliable (alpha=.7871).

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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9
So what are we to make of all of these contradictory and complex interrelationships?
What is the relationship between the various forms of media use and anomie? Do the media
contribute to a user’s sense of anomie, or can its use alleviate anomic tendencies? What happens
to the relationship when demographic variables such as length of residence, income, and group
membership are controlled? These are the questions that this study hopes to answer.
Method
Srole’s (1956) questionnaire items were used to measure anomie in a sample of Las
Vegas residents. These items have, over time, proven to be reliable and valid measures of
anomie. The items include five statements that respondents are asked to disagree or agree with
on a five-point scale. They include: 1) In spite of what some people say, the lot of the average
man is getting worse; 2) It’s hardly fair to bring children into the world with the way things look
for the future; 3) Nowadays a person has to live pretty much for today and let tomorrow take care
of itself; 4) These days a person doesn’t really know who he can count on; and 5) There’s little
use writing to public officials because they aren’t really interested in the problems of the average
man. Srole’s questions were updated slightly to make them less gender biased, but they were
essentially used verbatim. These questions were combined into a scale of anomie that had a
range from five to 25. Alpha was calculated and the scale was found to be adequately reliable
(alpha=.7871).


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