Media as Educator, Media as Disruptor: Conceptualizing the Role of Social Context in Media Effects

Rajiv N. Rimal, Adrienne H. Chung, Nimesh Dhungana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We document how social contexts serve to refract media effects. We theorized the relationship between media use and individual-level knowledge (and attitude) would be stronger when community-level knowledge (and attitude) was low than when it was high. Data come from a national survey (N = 12,608 women and 1,237 men) conducted in Nepal. Knowledge and stigma toward people living with HIV were the 2 dependent variables. Hypotheses were tested 12 times: across the use of 3 media (newspaper, radio, television) × 2 study outcomes (knowledge and attitudes) × 2 genders. Predicted interactions were supported in 9 of the 12 tests. Findings point to the need to take into account the role of community factors in theorizing about media effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-887
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume65
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community Norms
  • Knowledge
  • Media Effects
  • Nepal
  • Social Context
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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