Toward an Explication of Media Enjoyment: The Synergy of Social Norms, Viewing Situations, and Program Content
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2006
Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 370–387, November 2004
How to Cite
Denham, B. E. (2004), Toward an Explication of Media Enjoyment: The Synergy of Social Norms, Viewing Situations, and Program Content. Communication Theory, 14: 370–387. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2004.tb00320.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2006
In studying media enjoyment, communication scholars have assumed a measurable, internally valid relationship between program content and viewer response. Drawing on literature from sport and social psychology in addition to communication, this article posits that media enjoyment reflects a coalescence of 3 factors: (a) social norms, (b) viewing situations, and (c) program content. The article explores this conceptualization with televised football as a content source, social norms that reflect hegemonic masculinity, and a viewing situation in which audience members are part of a homogenous social group. Drawing on uses and gratifications, social identity, disposition, and uncertainty reduction theories, the article suggests that social norms and viewing situations are ultimately as central to enjoyment as content is.