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The influence of ethnocentrism on journalists' communication behaviour. The case of journalists operating in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.

Empirical thesis in the field of Public Relations. The study object of this research is journalists' communication, and if and how it is affected by culture. All the research is developed according to Gruning's situational theory. The aim is to contribute to the literature on Situational Theory by investigating if ethnocentrism, considered a cultural identity variable, influences communication behaviour of a particular public: media. To reach the objective there are two parts: theoretical part and empirical one based on a questionnaire filled by a sample of journalists.

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8 Introduction This research focuses on the situational theory of communication behaviour developed by Grunig (1968) within the field of public relations, a theory that studies the situational and individual communication behaviour of publics and that permits to segment the mass public into different publics in order to identify those of interest for an organization. Although situational theory has been applied by Grunig to a variety of fields (e.g. environmental publics, agricultural publics, student publics, reporter publics), one aspect has still not been properly deepened in the study of situational theory: culture. The objective of this thesis is to contribute to the literature on situational theory by investigating if ethnocentrism, considered a cultural identity variable, influences communication behaviour of a particular public: media. To reach the objective, the theoretical research develops around the three focal points of this thesis: situational theory, media publics, and ethnocentrism. Culture is no longer limited to the anthropological discourse; on the contrary, researchers have broadened its application to the fields of economics and communication studies. Rising awareness suggests that culture makes a difference when organizations communicate with heterogeneous publics living in different places and characterized by different cultures and identities. The inherent risk lies in delivering messages that will be ignored or misunderstood by the receivers. In this research, situational theory will be applied to media publics in order to investigate if the cultural component—ethnocentrism—influences the journalists’ communication behaviour in the way they select news and report about it. To develop situational variables, which constitute the situational theory, Grunig relied upon classic public opinion studies (Dewey, 1927, and Blumer, 1946, 1948 ) as well as psychological studies based on cognitive processes (Krugman, 1965, Krugman and Hartley, 1970, Bandura, 1986, Festinger, 1957) and mass media theories (uses and gratifications; message discrimination by Clarke and Klein). With regard to the concepts of “public” and “situation”, the primary authors of reference are Dewey (1927) and Blumer (1946, 1948), who were the first to talk about “public” and make the distinction between the mass and the public. In discussing media publics, the current study focuses on that particular field of research called communicator studies. The authors of reference are White (1950) - who conducted the first gatekeeper study on a news editor - and Janowitz (1975) for the early perspective; meanwhile, Whitney (1982), Sigelman (1973), and Aronoff (1976) represent a more recent approach to

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Scienze della comunicazione ed economia

Autore: Rita Casalaz Contatta »

Composta da 159 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 122 click dal 19/03/2009.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.