Media-mediated Relationships: Straight and Gay, Mainstream and Alternative Perspectives
Creating a nexus between techno-science and more fundamental disciplines, a phenomenon is emerging in our personal lives: we are beginning to preempt traditional sources for relationship formation; we are becoming more insular and more cautious in starting relationships. The media play an enormous role in our activities, encouraging us to self-advertise in newspapers and magazines, to participate vicariously through pornographic and borderline books, talk radio, and tabloid television, to use our telephones and computers for the ultimate in “safe sex,” to engage in video dating, and to explore many other aspects in the field of technoeroticism.As straight and gay people alike live in a time of reluctant commitments, a period of playtime, and the Age of AIDS, the time has come to chronicle the role of mass communication in our search for interpersonal connections. Media-Mediated Relationships investigates the historical, economic, psychological, and sociocultural ramifications of the print and broadcast media, motion pictures, music, and new communications technologies (computers, video, interactive media, virtual reality, phone sex) in terms of both our individual and societal concerns. An extension of “cultivation analysis” by means of systems theory, it reports on a baseline survey of over 200 people regarding relationship mediation--demonstrating yet one more example of the symbiosis among and between various media sources.A descriptive case study, Media-Mediated Relationships provides a barometer for better understanding the many “singles” and others searching for meaning and relationships in the sociocultural milieu of the 1990s and beyond.
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