The self, information topics of interest, and media use as information source
Lee, Hyun Joo
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From the theoretical viewpoint, the dissertation attempts mainly to contribute to an insight on the perspectives of interactionism and media repertoire of transitioning and seamless media use for information seeking. On the other hand, the dissertation seeks to apply the Galileo model to information seeking media use patterns, which takes into account self-reflexivity from the theoretical and methodological point of view. From this perspective on the changing and emerging relational properties of the communication network, the dissertation reveals that the cognitive process of information-seeking media use is the multidimensional structure on the Galileo spatial-linkage and thus shows the composition of patternized activities in the boundary of media repertoire. Evidence that information-seeking media use forms a multidimensional and multilayered cognitive structure that displays consistent usage patterns across clusters of media channels and information topics is also discussed. The dissertation reveals the role of the self in information-seeking media use. From the self-concept, self-points of the Galileo space are placed at different locations in the US and Korean samples. In the Korean sample, self-point is positioned as a liaison between all the information topics and media channels, while in the US sample, self-point is located close to face-toface (FtF) and local news, and also interpersonal-mediated media channels. The different positionings of the self-points reflect the difference of the roles in both samples. For the Korean participants, it seems that self-concept is regarded as the mediator of information-seeking media use. On the other hand, for the US participants, it seems that self-concept is regarded as the main agent of controlling interpersonal and conversational communication activities. The dissertation reveals a tendency for non-linear relationships between the number of weekly hours of media use seeking a specific information topic and the distance from the self-concept. The findings imply that as they perceive a specific information topic as closest to themselves across all media channels, participants in the US and Korean samples spend media time on those information topics at the maximum amount. In contrast, the findings also imply that as they perceive a specific information topic as farthest to themselves, participants spend media time on those information topics at the minimum amount. The dissertation also reveals a tendency for inverse relationship between the number of weekly hours of each medium use seeking all information topics and the distance from the self-concept in the US and Korean samples. The dissertation reveals the multilayered clusters that comprise the nested subgroups through hierarchical analyses. The big two separate clusters are created along with nested subgroups; one is the cluster of traditional media, news online and hard news types, and the other is the cluster of new media such as interpersonal-mediated and interactive media. Under the two separate clusters, the nested subgroups are visualized as different combinations of memberships depending on the applied methods of hierarchical clustering. The dissertation reveals gender-stereotyped differences in perceiving information topics and media channels in both samples, indicating that the Korean sample shows more statistically significant gender differences in the perception than does the US sample. As common denominators, males prefer sports news to females in both samples, but only the US sample shows a statistically significant difference. Females also prefer FtF and magazine to males in both samples.