Cultivation Theory and the Evolution of Justice in the Facebook Era

By: Chelsea Slack  

It is hard to deny social media and its omnipresence is affecting users. The question is no longer if social media affects us, but how. Are these effects superficial, or do they deal with users’ most foundational values? To answer these questions, this study applied cultivation theory to Facebook, and social media in general. With 467 respondents, the results of this survey indicated that as Facebook and general social media use increases, levels of cultivation increase marginally as well. Demographics also played a major role in levels of cultivation, with certain groups being more susceptible to cultivation than others. In terms of perceptions concerning users’ views on justice, equality, and fairness, overall higher levels of both Facebook and social media use were related to respondents more greatly reporting beliefs that the United States is a place of justice and equality. In summary, this project found that social media, Facebook specifically, cultivates ideas, feelings, and perceptions in the minds of its users – some positive, and some negative. Lastly, this study contends that application of cultivation theory should finally move beyond television and into the realm of social media.

"Cultivation", " Social Media", " Justice"
Media Theory
Virtual Poster

Chelsea Slack

-, -, Clemson University, United States
South Carolina, United States