And Last But Not Least, The Youth Group // Communication Accommodation Theory

Communication Accommodation Theory, an intercultural communication theory developed by Howard Giles, examines the communication patterns of speech between two people of different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. This theory was later expanded to include speech patterns between different generations of speakers, and it is applied to other contexts today. According to Howard Giles, accommodation is defined as “the constant movement toward or away from others by…

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Aesthetic Agendas // Cultivation Theory & Agenda-Setting Theory

Culture’s aesthetic delivers an agenda that says things must be beautiful to be worth our time. Created by George Gerbner, Cultivation Theory suggests the media cultivates social paranoia through presenting terrorism and violence as commonplace, current, and chaotic. The theory states that viewers who watch copious amounts of television live life in fear of a “mean, scary world.” According to Gerbner, TV gives society “a…

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Behind the TV Binge // Uses & Gratifications Theory

Developed by Elihu Katz, the Uses and Gratifications Theory seeks to understand the driving mechanism behind our consumption of media. According to his research, media consumption is driven by each and every consumer’s personal need gratification. Katz’s theory includes four assumptions: 1. People use media for personal purposes. 2. People seek to gratify their needs. 3. Media competes for our attention and our time. 4.…

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It’s An Instagram World, and We’re All Living in It.

You tweak the lighting and saturation, crop out the stranger in the background, craft a rhythmic caption with perfectly placed punctuation, and select “save draft.” It may be 11:30 in the morning, but we all know prime posting time is between 5:00-6:00 pm. It’s an Instagram world, and we’re all living in it. In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan developed the Media Ecology theory. Media Ecology…

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Twitter Ads & Critical Thinking // Dramatism

I aimlessly scrolled through my newsfeed, scanning the latest political tweets dispersed between random thoughts from friends and blurbs from nonprofits and businesses.  Video links from the latest episode of The Voice caught my eye — I wonder who made it through to the next round? Then a gif of Wendy’s latest deal appeared, and I felt my stomach growl. Right before I closed the…

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Group Projects & Breakfast // Symbolic Convergence Theory

Developed by Ernest Bormann, Symbolic Convergence Theory focuses on the cohesion levels of a specific group of people through the shared meanings and lingo that are exclusive to that particular group. When a group member wants to create a symbolic convergence, he or she creates a dramatized message that uses imaginative language to describe an event. If that dramatized message is accepted by each group…

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