Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Chair

Fei Xue

Committee Chair Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 2

Lindsey Maxwell

Committee Member 2 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 3

Heidi Lyn

Committee Member 3 Department



The purpose of this research is to identify and understand media’s role in meat consumption and a disassociation of meat and its animal of origin. This study questions consumer behavior based on media portrayals of meat products as well as how consumers perceive these portrayals, meat consumption patterns based on media and family influence, and the types and levels of satisfaction (ex: self-esteem or masculinity) consumers receive from meat products.

A quantitative research approach was proposed for this study. The primary research method was a survey among students, faculty and staff at The University of Southern Mississippi. A total of 366 participants completed an online questionnaire concerning media and food consumption behaviors. Results revealed that, overall, individuals who spend more time watching television and video streaming are more likely to see meat products in media, less likely to associate meat with its animal of origin and tend to eat more meat. Results also revealed that media exposure is not related to how recipients view meat as social and self-esteem requirements or desires. However, there was a strong, positive correlation between family and culture influence over meat consumption, culture meaning the mainstream beliefs and cultures of individuals. There was not a significant difference in results based on sex.