A1 Journal article (refereed)
How listening to music and engagement with other media provide a sense of belonging : An exploratory study of social surrogacy (2020)

Schäfer, K., & Eerola, T. (2020). How listening to music and engagement with other media provide a sense of belonging : An exploratory study of social surrogacy. Psychology of Music, 48(2), 232-251. https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735618795036

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Schäfer, Katharina; Eerola, Tuomas

Journal or series: Psychology of Music

ISSN: 0305-7356

eISSN: 1741-3087

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 48

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 232-251

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.

Place of Publication: Lontoo

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735618795036

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68291

Publication is parallel published: http://dro.dur.ac.uk/25612/1/25612.pdf


The social surrogacy hypothesis holds that people resort to temporary substitutes, so-called social surrogates, if direct social interaction is not possible. In this exploratory study, we investigate social motives for listening to music in comparison to watching TV and reading fiction. Thirty statements about possible social reasons for the engagement with media were compiled. After 374 participants had rated their agreement with those statements, they were reduced to seven categories: Company, Shared experiences, Understanding others, Reminiscence, Isolation, Group identity, and Culture. The results propose that music is used as temporary substitute for social interaction alongside TV programs and fiction, but that it acts differently. Music listening might act as a social surrogate by evoking memories of relationship partners or through identification processes. There are overlapping motives between the domains, but the elicitation of nostalgia appears to be unique to music listening. The results motivate further investigation into the effects of music listening on socio-emotional well-being.

Keywords: togetherness; music as recreation; social relations; music; media; social environment

Free keywords: belonging; literary fiction; music listening; parasocial relationships; social surrogacy

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:30