social utility function

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In relation to general types of use by individuals of the mass media, a single medium, a media genre, or specific media content, this is usage which strengthens our contact with others in our society. This is argued to derive from a need of individuals for affiliation. Examples include using the mass media as conversational currency, going on a date at the cinema, using the radio or TV as environmental background (see also structural uses), and relating to characters or presenters onscreen (see parasocial relationships). See also imagined community; media functions; uses and gratifications.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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