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Toward a New Measure of Media Exposure: An Examination of Applications and Opportunities of Communication Ecology

Fri, May 26, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo Ballroom B

Abstract

Given the increasing dissatisfaction of social scientists with media exposure measures and the advancing fragmentation of information resources, a growing number of scholars agree that it is time to shift our focus toward a perspective that situates communication practices in a multilevel ecosystem. The current article offers a novel method to map and analyze communication ecologies – defined as the network of communication connections constructed by a communicative actor in the context of their communication environment – as social networks. Specifically, we provide a research agenda that focuses both on individual-level analyses (i.e., binding ecologies vs. parting ecologies), as well as community-level analyses (e.g., inter-ecology effects and temporal variations/effects). In order to demonstrate the mapping and assessment of communication ecologies, the article uses secondary data from the Multilevel Project that sought to examine the barriers to cervical cancer detection and prevention, among Latinas from the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

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