Социометрический статус и досуговое медиапотребление
Background. In the context of mass communication research a special value is placed on the discussion of the connection between using various means of mass communication and their particular features. One of the important personal characteristics is the sociometric status of a person in a group. The Objective of the empirical research presented in the paper is to reveal whether there is a connection between leisure media consumption and the sociometric status of a person in small groups. If the assumption about the unified nature of communication processes in interpersonal and mass communication is deemed as the initial theoretical premise, it is reasonably assumed that sociometric characteristics of a person should correlate with the parameters of his address to the means of mass communication. Design The study involved 110 people aged 25 to 28 years old, employed with 10 departments of two companies. According to the results of a special questionnaire used together with a sociometric questionnaire, media consumption parameters are determined: preference of media channels (print media, radio, television, the Internet)), intensity of access to these media channels, functional orientations (e.g. information, entertainment, cultural and educational). Based on the data obtained, special indices are calculated: sociometric status index; four indices of media channels preferences (print media, radio, television, the Internet); four intensity indices of media consumption (reading print media, radio listening, television watching, using the Internet); three indexes of functional orientation (index of information function, index of entertainment function, index of cultural and educational function). Research Results. Popular respondents choose the print media much more often than others, while the unpopular ones choose television; more popular respondents use do print media and radio much more intensively, while unpopular respondents used television; with respect to the Internet, no significant differences were found; popular respondents are much more focused on cultural, educational and informational functions, and unpopular ones are focused on entertainment. For the sociometric status index, the following findings are true: strong direct relationship with the radio consumption index (R = 0.713) and with the print media consumption index (R = 0.693); mean value of television consumption index (R = -0.541); mean value of the Internet consumption index (R = 0.471). Conclusion. The obtained results correlate quite well with the results of the research conducted in the 1980s, although they were obtained in other socio-cultural and socio-economic conditions, as well as in a different social group. This proves the existence of a connection between sociometric status and media preferences, not only in high school students, but also in young adults. Hence it is logical to assume that such kind of connections should be observed in other social groups. At the theoretical level, there is an issue of developing an explanatory socio-psychological model that would organically link the interpersonal communication and mass communication patterns.