While cultivation theory may not dominate the field of mass media effects like it once did, it continues to operate, even as parts of it are refuted and replaced with counter claims. W. James Potter gives the theory, first introduced by George Gerbner (former Annenberg School Dean) in 1967, a good workout in the latest issue of the Journal of Communication (Volume 64, Number 6).
A Critical Analysis of Cultivation Theory : ABSTRACT
This critical analysis of the “cultivation” literature reveals 3 conceptions of the term: (a) George Gerbner’s macrosystem explanation of mass media processes and effects, (b) a pattern of operational practices that searches for relationships between television exposure and a wide range of cultivation indicators, and (c) a general forum of explorations of media influence where researchers break away from Gerbner’s conceptualizations and boundaries. Using the criteria of heuristic value, empirical support, and precision, this essay evaluates the contribution this large cultivation literature has made to increasing our understanding of the mass media.
The journal is available via Penn Libraries e-resources.