The media are traditionally assumed to have a uniform effect on public perceptions. However, the media are often conceptualized as the “news media” and other media contents are overlooked. Although novel research shows that certain TV programs have a different effect on public perceptions than the news media, there is little research into this direction. I start by conceptualizing five media content types and hypothesize their relationship with perceptions of inequality and social mobility to test whether different media content types have different effects on different public perceptions. The perceptions analysed are beliefs about inequality and social mobility. I conduct a survey in the Netherlands (n = 218) to collect the necessary data. Linear regression analyses show that the media content types cause more pessimism about inequality and more optimism about social mobility. Overall, this research provides a useful conceptualization of media content types and points out the need for additional research into this new direction.

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Jonathan Mijs, Sjaak Braster
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Veenema, G. (2021, July 31). Media Content Types and Their Effects on Beliefs about Inequality and Meritocracy.. Sociology. Retrieved from