Research on the Effects of Religion and Media on Individuals and Families

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 12/31/1996
End Date: 
Thu, 12/31/1998

Stewart M. Hoover and associates followed up on an earlier planning grant to research the effects of religion and media on individuals and families. Through ethnographic observations of actual media use in families and in-depth interviews, researchers had identified several significant ways in which media shape and influence religious consciousness in contemporary American life.
In this phase, Hoover and associates conducted interactive interviews with a large section of household and identified social, cultural, and intellectual dimensions in media use and the influence of the media upon these factors. The researchers identified symbols and images from the media that people use to interpret and give meaning to significant life events such as birth and death, marriage and divorce. These two research tracks were then combined together with a wider range of cultural, ethnic, demographic and geographical context through a series of focus-group studies. Overall, about sixty-two households and 269 individuals were interviewed.
A wide range of findings from the study were disseminated through several publications detailed under the products section for this grant.