Theoretical Aspects of Russian Youth Media Consumption: to the Revision of Uses and Gratification Theory

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Denis V. Dunas

PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Sergei A. Vartanov

PhD in Physics and Mathematics, Associate Professor at the Chair of Econometrics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Moscow School of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Diana Yu. Kulchitskaya

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of New Media and Theory of Communication, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Elena A. Salikhova

Lecturer at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Anna V. Tolokonnikova

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Mass Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


Section: Theory of Journalism and Media

The purpose of the article is to consider the conceptual foundations of uses and gratification media theory formulated by both foreign and Russian media scholars, as well as to identify common groups of needs of the youth audience in the context of dynamics of theoretical knowledge about digital media. The authors substantiate the thesis that, unlike traditional media, digital media have the qualitative characteristics of social space. As a result, the needs of the media audience are modified, becoming socially determined. Based on the literature studied, the authors propose their own structure of the media needs of “digital” youth in Russia. These are information, educational, entertainment and social needs. None of these groups is represented in its pure form, as their nature is determined by social needs. Nevertheless, social needs are also highlighted in a separate group. As the classification shows, modern youth can use media as a tool to gratify their personal needs, determined by human social nature. Satisfying information needs in its pure form today is not a priority for the media consumption process, but it goes together with social and, more narrowly, communication determinants. Thus, rethinking the uses and gratification theory in media studies takes place in the context of the transformation of media nature, when attributive characteristics of the social space become inherent to the media and media practices of individuals become their social practices.

Keywords: media consumption, digital youth, uses and gratification theory, media audience, media studies, mediatization, digital media, social networks
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.2.2019.328


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