Uses and Gratifications Theory
Quick revise

Uses and Gratifications theory as developed by Bulmer and Katz suggests that media users play an active role in choosing and using the media. Bulmer and Katz believed that the user seeks out the media source that best fulfils their needs.

The uses and gratifications theory assumes the audience chooses what it wants to watch for five different reasons.

Information and Education – the viewer wants to acquire information, knowledge and understanding by watching programmes like The News or Documentaries.

Entertainment – Viewers watch programmes for enjoyment.

Personal Identity - Viewers can recognise a person or product, role models that reflect similar values to themselves and mimic or copy some of their characteristics.

Integration and social interaction – the ability for media products to produce a topic of conversation between people. For example who is the best contestant on The X-factor who which was the best goal shown on Match of the day.

Escapism – Computer games and action films let viewers escape their real lives and imagine themselves in those situations

The video below explains Bulmer and Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory.


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