Media Construction of Reality:Theoretical Origins,Constructing Model, and Relational Mechanisms
|Keywords||media construction virtual reality model image knowledge identity|
"Media construction of reality" has become the consensus by the communication’s researchers. There are a large number of media research’s academic papers and works, which use the theories or methods on media constructivism. However, we face some difficult problems. Where does the thinking of media’s constructing reality come from? Which characteristics are the epistemology and methodology of it? How does the media construct reality? If the reality is constructed, what does the virtual reality like? Does the media construct reality directly, or by a series of intermediaries? Such academic problems need a theoretical interpretation.The aim is to study the theoretical characteristics of media construction of reality, as well as the operating of social power in the process of media constructing reality. This research adopt a series of research methods including of literature analysis, semiotic study, surveys and content analysis, etc.(1) The study find that media construction of reality is different from the thinking of media’s tools. For examples, the virtual reality is constructed by the interacting between the media actors, or the media actors and their surrounding environments. It stressed common sense, meaning and other features. The academic thinking may be traced back to three theoretical traditions:the sociology of knowledge, symbolic interactionism and critical discourse analysis theory;(2) Surrounding the three core concepts of "virtual reality","social reality" and "personal perceived virtual reality", we build the interactive constructing model. The core elements of knowledge, identity and images constitute the intermediary of virtual reality.(3) Take virtual communities like Sina blog, Rcnren network, the images" constructing or the knowledge communicating of "four famous fathers" as examples, we find that the social structure relationships between the participants of media activities play the role of social power; We further find that the demographic factors such as gender, age, residing place, education, etc, which is much close to the level of social reality, influence the virtual reality weakly. On the other hand, the psychological factors like interest, nickname, social values, media usage’s purpose influence knowledge’s communicating, constructing of media images and identities more significantly, which are much close to the level of virtual reality. We also find that the social structure construct a unique network of relationships between virtual reality and social reality related with the factors as knowledge, identity and image. Being the role of intermediary between the virtual reality and social reality, the operating of core factors as knowledge, identity and image is called the constructing mechanisms of virtual reality.In the media-oriented society, the research of media construction of reality may improve the theoretical reference to the specific media and society research on online communities, online violence, internet addiction, etc.