Gratification Theory

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Furthermore, one of the most important theories in the study of the spiritual communication is the Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G). U&G gives strong concern in how individual use the media. Researcher use U&G theory to explain the intention of folk religion that seeks for divine’s help. Instead of study how people use the media, U&G nowadays mainly sticks to the core postulate that “what people do with media” (Lull, 1995 as cited in Ruggiero, 2000; West & Turner, 2007, 2014). Scholar like Palmgreen (1984) has identified U&G theory into six main research scopes which are: (1) gratification and media consumptions; (2) social and psychological origins of gratification; (3) gratification and media effect; (4) gratifications sought and obtained;…show more content…
However, according to Chen (2001), the spirit medium not only serves the folk religion; in some particular circumstance, spirit medium also serves to fulfill the need of the deceased, spirit or the ghost. One of the most famous and popular practice among Chinese religion that happened in Taiwan is spirit marriage or ghost marriage (ming hun, 冥婚). Question to ponder, how living know that the deceased want to marriage? There are two significant conditions to acknowledge the need of the diseased in marriage aspect based on Li (1968, as cited by Chen, 2001), which are: (1) if folk religion or his family members keep on suffer in misfortune and illness; (2) when the mother keeps on dreaming about her deceased daughter who has passed away at young age and unmarried in a condition she keep claimed “cold” and “lonely”. These two situations have consisted the hidden meaning that the deceased intend to send a message to the living. But, unfortunately the living did not know how to interpret the hints. Hence, folk religion most probably required the spirit medium’s help in order to find out the hidden reason that caused the problems. And, Chen (2001) mentioned that spirit medium is needed in order to conduct the spirit marriage. As such, U&G theory has shown that the Chinese community engaged in spiritual communication in order to gratify their needs especially in terms of surveillance for information seeking as highlighted by West and Turner
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