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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY theory, Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur outline specific cognitive, affective and behavioral changes that result from audience dependency on media as information resources. All of these effects occur as a result of the illusion of necessity media create for audiences and the dependency and influential control that result (Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur, 1976). According to Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur (1976): The media do not have the power to determine uniformly the exact content of the interpretations or ‘definitions of the situation’ that every person construct. But, by controlling what information is and is not delivered and how that information is presented, the media can play a large role in limiting the range of interpretations that audiences are able to make. (p. 10) In 1985, after a build up of empirical research to support this theory, Ball-Rokeach re- visited her theory and addressed components of the theory “to offer a sociological approach that lays out the macro as well as the micro-level variables that jointly constitute a good starting point for analysis of how people come to be dependent on the mass media” (p. 486). In this article, Ball-Rokeach (1985) addresses the historical/structural origins of individual dependency on media, the nature of the relationship between individuals and media, and the origin of similarities, dissimilarities and change of dependency for audiences, their external environments and media. This theoretical extension indirectly provides answers to the questions “when, why, and how individuals' develop dependency relations with the media system” (Ball-Rokeach, 1985, p. 507). Overall, the theory attempts to focus on how audiences use media, the dependency that results from that usage and the inevitable influence media yields over media consumers. Another empirical study Ball-Rokeach (1998) conducted in support of this theory looked at the overlap between MSD and uses and gratifications theory and their implications for micro- level media analysis. This research is important as it delineates the differences between the two theories, where conceptually MSD theory has been seen as a macroscopic theory and uses and 12

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY
theory, Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur outline specific cognitive, affective and behavioral changes 
that result from audience dependency on media as information resources.  All of these effects 
occur as a result of the illusion of necessity media create for audiences and the dependency and 
influential control that result (Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur, 1976).  According to Ball-Rokeach and 
DeFleur (1976):
The media do not have the power to determine uniformly the exact content of the 
interpretations or ‘definitions of the situation’ that every person construct. But, by 
controlling what information is and is not delivered and how that information is 
presented, the media can play a large role in limiting the range of interpretations that 
audiences are able to make. (p. 10)
In 1985, after a build up of empirical research to support this theory, Ball-Rokeach re-
visited her theory and addressed components of the theory “to offer a sociological approach that 
lays out the macro as well as the micro-level variables that jointly constitute a good starting point 
for analysis of how people come to be dependent on the mass media” (p. 486).  In this article, 
Ball-Rokeach (1985) addresses the historical/structural origins of individual dependency on 
media, the nature of the relationship between individuals and media, and the origin of 
similarities, dissimilarities and change of dependency for audiences, their external environments 
and media.  This theoretical extension indirectly provides answers to the questions “when, why, 
and how individuals' develop dependency relations with the media system” (Ball-Rokeach, 1985, 
p. 507).  Overall, the theory attempts to focus on how audiences use media, the dependency that 
results from that usage and the inevitable influence media yields over media consumers. 
Another empirical study Ball-Rokeach (1998) conducted in support of this theory looked 
at the overlap between MSD and uses and gratifications theory and their implications for micro-
level media analysis.   This research is important as it delineates the differences between the two 
theories, where conceptually MSD theory has been seen as a macroscopic theory and uses and 
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