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University of Delaware

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  • Elizabeth Perse, Professor Emerita

    Professor Emerita
    University of Delaware
    250 Pearson Hall
    Newark, DE 19716


    Elizabeth M. Perse (Ph.D., Kent State University, 1987) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware, Newark. She is currently researching and teaching mass communication theory and the uses of newer communication technologies. She has been identified as a prolific researcher in Communication, having published one scholarly book, two textbooks, and more than 50 journal articles and book chapters. Her research has been published in such journals as Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, Journalism Quarterly, and Health Communication. She serves on several editorial boards and is a past Chair of the Mass Cmmunication Division of NCA.


    My research is grounded in Uses and Gratifications, a theoretical perspective that focuses on why people use the mass media. I find this perspective especially interesting because it has allowed me to focus on the appeal of specific television genres (e.g., soap operas and local television news), compare how different communication channels differ in their utilities, and even why people use pornography.

    I have enjoyed applying uses and gratifications research to new mass media technologies. In the mid 1980s, I began studying why people used remote control devices. This research explored gender differences in remote use, how remote use could intervene in different media effects, and how people’s predispositions affected how much they changed channels.

    Most recently, my research has shifted to a focus on the mass media aspects of the Web. That research has explored if the Web can displace television use (probably not too much, for now). Doug Ferguson and I have collected data on the use of the Web for television-like activities, especially watching video on the Web.

    Dr. Perse's Recipes

    COMM 200 in London: Comparative U.S. - British Media (Perse)
    COMM245: Mass Communication and Culture
    COMM370: Theories of Mass Communication
    COMM418: Broadcast Television History (Courtright & Perse)
    COMM450: Mass Media Effects
    COMM670: Mass Communication Theory



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